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Ethiopian men hold six of the top fastest marathon times ever. The women's 5000m and 10,000m records are also held by natives of the East African nation. In Ethiopia, running is not a pastime but a central pillar of life – but what can we learn from the way they train?

Michael Crawley, a 2:20 marathon runner and assistant professor in social anthropology at Durham University, spent 15 months in Ethiopia training alongside some of the country’s best runners and distilled his findings into the excellent Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic From Above the Clouds in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian men hold six of the top fastest marathon times ever. The women's 5000m and 10,000m records are also held by natives of the East African nation. In Ethiopia, running is not a pastime but a central pillar of life – but what can we learn from the way they train?

Michael Crawley, a 2:20 marathon runner and assistant professor in social anthropology at Durham University, spent 15 months in Ethiopia training alongside some of the country’s best runners and distilled his findings into the excellent Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic From Above the Clouds in Ethiopia.