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!