«I survived Corona well and without any afterpains!»
Tadesse Abraham holds not only the Swiss record in the marathon (2:06:40), but was also celebrated as European champion in the half marathon in 2016 and European vice-champion in the marathon in 2018. Currently, the Swiss athlete with Eritrean roots is preparing for another start at the Olympic Games. How is he doing at this particular time? What are his plans for the marathon in Tokyo? And what nutrition strategy is he going to follow during the competition?
Tadesse, is it correct that you started running because your bike broke down?
Yes, that is true. In Eritrea, cycling has a long tradition and I actually wanted to become a professional cyclist. When my bike broke down, I had to walk to school. That is how I got into running.
How did you come to Switzerland in the first place and where do you stay?
I originally came to Switzerland as an asylum seeker and have got the Swiss citizenship in 2014. I found my «running family» in LC Uster, while I live with my own family in Geneva where I benefit from perfect training conditions with beautiful running tracks, a tartan track right next to my house, an indoor pool and weight rooms.
What is your goal for the Olympic marathon?
I always have the same one goal: I want to run with a lot of joyfulness and get everything out of myself. The rest will follow.
What are you looking forward to when it comes to the Olympic games?
I am looking forward to meeting other athletes. The world's best athletes are at the Olympics, and getting to know them is extremely fulfilling.
How do you motivate yourself every day after so many years in top-class sport?
I love sport! Every day I get up, I want to move. That gives me the focus and joy for training.
Does Corona cause you any worries?
At the moment, I'm not worried about my health anymore, because I got over the Corona infection well and without any afterpains. At the end of the training camp I was tested positive and had to be in quarantine for ten days. Now I am in the final preparations for the Hamburg Marathon 2021.
How do you pay attention to in order to stay healthy and injury-free as an athlete?
It is important that the amount and intensity of training is right and that I set the correct training stimulus at the right time. In addition, I do a lot of athletic training and I do pay attention to recovery measures such as massage, physiotherapy and sufficient sleep.
What exactly do you eat before a marathon?
What does your last meal before the race look like?
I always have white bread with honey and mint tea for breakfast.
What are your favourite SPONSER products?
There are so many SPONSER products I like! One of my favourite ones is CARBO LOADER, which I use for carboloading before a marathon or the day before a hard workout. COMPETITION is my competition food, which I take every 5k on the course. I also use LIQUID ENERGY GELS before a race or before/during a hard training session.
And what else do you like to eat in «normal» life?
I am a big fan of pasta, in all shapes and colours!