x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Breaking record is on Gebrselassie's mind

The double Olympic champion has revealed the detailed training schedule he is undergoing in a bid to reduce his marathon world mark in Dubai next month.

DUBAI // Double Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie has revealed the detailed training schedule he is undergoing in a bid to reduce his marathon world record and claim the US$1million (Dh3.6m) prize when he takes to the tarmac in Dubai next month. The Ethiopian, who ran 42.2km in an unrivalled 2hr 03min 59sec in Berlin last year, will compete in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 22.

Having won the emirate's previous two races, the 36-year-old runner is looking to complete a hat-trick of consecutive successes, but, more importantly, this time he is determined to break his own world record and collect the $1m bonus on offer. With less than four weeks remaining, Gebrselassie is training intensely in his home city of Addis Ababa. "For three months, I started slowly with a number of long runs followed by a month of speed training," said the two-time 10,000m Olympic winner.

"Before Dubai I will do a number of speed tests, which are very important to gauge how well I am running and what I still need to do to be absolutely ready for a world record attempt. "I do 30-35km maximum road training per day split into morning and afternoon runs. I also work in the gym - treadmill, cycling, exercising - for around three hours once a week. By the time I start in Dubai, I'll weigh 58kg; by the time I finish, I'll be 54kg."

Gebrselassie broke the marathon world record in Berlin in 2007 and again in 2008, but this year, following warmer conditions than expected, he completed September's marathon in the German capital more than two minutes slower than his best time. @Email:gmeenaghan@thenational.ae