Meet Diaa Nour.  Born in Eqypt and raised in Switerland and Washington DC, Diaa is the president of an international information technology firm.   He’s also an avid runner – or was, until a severe hamstring injury and knee problems side-tracked him in 2010. 

In August 2011, Diaa and I sat down to discuss his injuries and his goal to not only resume running, but to compete in the Pharonic 100K Ultramarathon in Cairo on Thanksgiving weekend.  After getting injured, Diaa had gotten discouraged and had stopped training completely.  He gained weight and lost fitness, but he had recommited himself and was eager to get to work.



Step one was to get his gait analyzed in order to get at the root of his problems.  Diaa went to local chiropractor and Active Release therapist Dr. Kevin Maggs for filming and analysis.  Dr. Maggs dicovered a common culprit: weak glutes.  Diaa and I agreed on a program of intense core and hip training, strength training, and base cardio fitness building, all based on the priniciples I laid out in my book,  Smart Marathon Training.

By October, Diaa had shed 30 pounds and was running strong and injury-free.  We used cycling and long runs to build his base, and then ran in the Freedom Run Marathon in West Virginia as a training run, followed that same day with bike training ride.  Diaa followed that a few weeks later with a strong race in the Toronto Marathon.  At the end of October, Diaa and I together ran the Marine Corps Marathon as part of a 40-mile run workout.  Diaa took second in a comptitive 8k the next weekend, and then completed a strong 80-mile bike ride a few days later.


On November 15, Diaa left for Egypt.  I’ll be joining him in Cairo on November 22d, and will run with him in the 100K on November 25th.

Can a suddenly sedentary, overweight, formerly injured athlete compete in a 100K ultramarathon after only four months of traning?  Diaa has already gotten himself into great shape.  Stay tuned to see how the race goes!


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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  1. David Dobson says:

    Good luck Diaa! This is incredibly motivating. Good work.

  2. Omar Nour says:

    Diaa, you are and always have been my inspiration! Keep it up, rock star! Good work Mr. Horwitz!

  3. Omar Nour says:

    Diaa, you are and always have been my inspiration! Keep it up, Rock Star! Good work Mr. Horwitz!!!

  4. Sean Myrie says:

    Well to answer the question– damn right he can! I’ve never known anybody that once they set there mind to something has the will and fortitude that my best friend Diaa has… His feats put him in the realm of legend. Best of luck Diaa although I have all the confidence you won’t need it… So proud of you!

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