It’s time to introduce May’s Athlete of the Month: Zak Mahamed!!
Zak moved to England from the Ethiopia Hills when he was younger, and since then he has been dominating the cross country circuit…check out his incredible records here on Power of Ten, but I’ll attempt to write a quick summary. So just last season we saw an English School’s win, a CAU Inter County Champs gold and another first place at the Southern’s. Oh and also an almighty Parkrun PB of 15.22…and Zak is still at Under 17 level like me.
But stats aside, Zak is a dedicated runner and with his attitude to training there really is a high chance he will succeed in the future. But enough of my waffle, time to hear from the guy himself.
Let’s start with the basics. How long have you been running for and what prompted you to take up the sport?
I started running around four years ago. My older brother Mahamed started before me, and I wanted to follow him. Plus my school thought I was good at athletics and got me to join Southampton AC.
You’ve just had an absolutely incredible season… Winning the English Schools Champs, the Inter Counties, the Southerns, and also placing third in the SIAB. But what was your favourite moment?
My favourite moment in athletics so far has to be winning the inter counties race four years on the trot and winning English schools.
Do you have a pre-race routine that you always follow?
Pre race I always do a warm up run, around 10-15 min, followed by drills and stretching.
I can only imagine the hardworking that you put into training to get those results. Would you be able to tell us about what your training week usually includes?
My training is normally training with the group Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes Saturday then a long easy run on Sundays. On a Wednesday I attend Solent University for some strength and conditioning.
The future is looking very bright for you: are you planning to take your running to a professional level? What’s the end goal?
In the future I would love to be a full time athlete and go on to the Olympics and win gold.
Being a runner at Southhampton, do you train with people your age or do you prefer to run with the adults?
In my training group I train with male and female athletics some around my age but also some seniors.
Does your school help you with training or is does all the running take place at your club?
At school we do some cross country races during the winter.
What’s your favourite pre and post workout meals?
Before races I tend to eat Ethiopian flat breads, pasta and rice.After races its chicken, fruit and bread. All washed down with water.
Most of your race calendar involves competing at the top events. Do you ever get nervous or are you more used to it now?
When I first started racing in the big events yes I use to get nervous. But know I am more relaxed.
Last one: favourite footwear brand for trainers and spikes?
I mostly wear Nike shoes at races.
I would just like to say thank you to Zak for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. If you would like to find out more about Zak and his brother, head over to this article on Athletic’s Weekly.
And now the wait begins for next month’s athlete…