Age for me is just a number.
— Haile Gebrselassie
Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.
At the end of the day, people want to see how fast you run.
If I don't train enough, of course I'm nervous.
Life is a kind of struggle. Life is a sort of fight.
I'm never satisfied.
You must do as your people do. If my people are poor, I must be poor. People ask me, 'Why don't you find a personal coach or a private car?' I can't. Then I won't be part of my people.
You know for me when I promise something I want to deliver. If you don't, you have to disappear.
Athletics is in my blood.
Some people start a sport just to reduce weight, or some say, 'My doctor ordered me to run and do exercise', and for others, they run for completely different benefits. But it is not like that with sport. We need to eat, we need to rest, but also we need to run.
First, do enough training. Then believe in yourself and say: I can do it. Tomorrow is my day. And then say: the person in front of me, he is just a human being as well; he has two legs, I have two legs, that is all. That is mentally how you prepare.
Schooling is so important.
Why should I say I will retire in three or four years? You retire the very moment you utter those words.
In the marathon a crazy athlete can just keep pushing from the beginning, at a championship you don't need a time just to win the race.
When you promise something, you must fulfill it.
I love running and I will always run.
I wanted to experience New York, to look up and see buildings.
If your body is damaged, wounded, it can be fixed, but if inside, mentally, you are wounded you cannot fix it, it's hard.
If you're planning only to make money and nothing else, you'll be broke.
For me a day without training is like a day without eating.
I want to avoid injuries by running only road.
When I had no shoes I was comfortable - I used to run barefoot. When I wore shoes it was difficult. To run in shoes was ok, but at the beginning of my career it was hard.
Many people know that Ethiopia is poor. When I break a world record, maybe people get to know something else about Ethiopia, something good. We can't make planes or cars, we don't have the materials. We do what we can.
I want to go down in history.
I remember in particular my first victory when I achieved a very fast time in what were perfect conditions but since then the wind has always been a factor against me.
In my life I do a lot of things but I never forget my training.
Like some high official, you have to tell your brain: 'Do it. Come on. I have to do it.'
I feel a social responsibility. We need to open people's eyes. There is a lack of education in Ethiopia.
I can't change everything by myself but I can be one of the people who are trying to change the situation.
What is important is to win.
Athletes have to be confident and I am thinking like that.
I have seen things few of my countrymen have. The first time I went on an aeroplane I couldn't work out how the lavatories worked up in the sky.
When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.
When I run in Ethiopia, I look out and see eucalyptus trees and rivers.
When I wake up at 5 in the morning is it just to jog? Definitely not, I give it all of my efforts.
If you are a really good marathoner, you have to run New York.
The marathon always starts after 30K. That's where the problems start. You start without any problems, without any pain. All the pain comes after 30K. Sometimes, it's possible to have pain even in the finger.
My father didn't think running was sensible. He told me running is just wasting time.
I was the kind of child who worked hard every day with the cows and sheep - I was a very aggressive boy.
I wanted to be famous. I wanted people to talk about me.
You know the marathon in my country is just exceptional. It's like soccer in England. If England win the world cup and Ethiopia win the marathon - it's the same.
I'm a runner first before anything else.
I always tell young athletes the same thing, 'Wherever you go, whatever you do, what must your top priority be? Running.'
Always, if you win mentally, you can win physically as well.
I find the business world hard.
My school was six miles away from where I lived on the farm. I had to walk and run, there and back every day, through gorges and over rivers. If I was late, there was a very big stick waiting for me.
The more you are getting older, you lose a little something. Of course there is another advantage, because of your long experience you can use it.
You need three things to win: discipline, hard work and, before everything maybe, commitment. No one will make it without those three. Sport teaches you that.
It is not my duty to spend my money in my country, but it is what I want to do. There is nowhere else I would like to invest.
You lose the speed before the stamina.