All athletes need three things: commitment, discipline and hard work.

Without that it's hard to keep running.

When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.

Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn't feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first.

My father thought sport was something fun - he didn't know it was a way to make money. Then I won a Mercedes at the world championships and I gave it to him. From the moment it arrived my father said: 'Good, you can support not just yourself but me too'.

I can't change everything by myself but I can be one of the people who are trying to change the situation.

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.

Life is a kind of struggle. Life is a sort of fight.

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.

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.

Why should I say I will retire in three or four years? You retire the very moment you utter those words.

In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we'd have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.

I feel a social responsibility. We need to open people's eyes. There is a lack of education in Ethiopia.

In my life I do a lot of things but I never forget my training.

When I run in Ethiopia, I look out and see eucalyptus trees and rivers.

He was not a runner, my father, but he was quick.

I always remember it was very difficult to escape from him when he was angry. If he wanted to beat us he would always catch us. Even me, he could always catch me.

I love running and I will always run.

I have to change a lot of things before I become a good marathon runner.

Since I achieved something, running has exploded in my country.

For me sometimes it is difficult even to know who the athletes are who are competing at the highest level. There are thousands.

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.

You lose the speed before the stamina.

When you talk about world record times, you have to understand that everything must be perfect the weather, the course, the temperature. It is not always enough to be in good shape.

Being a great athlete is something that requires a lot of training and dedication, it does not come as easily as some people may think.

I haven't done a marathon for a long time. So we'll see. I will need good luck.

If I don't train enough, of course I'm nervous.

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.

Like some high official, you have to tell your brain: 'Do it. Come on. I have to do it.'

When we race in London a world record will be the last thing on our minds.

You know, I want to help my country. Definitely I can help them, simply by winning races. Sure, they can follow my path to a good career. But for me it is not enough. I want to be more than that. In everything I want to be a role model.

When I wake up at 5 in the morning is it just to jog? Definitely not, I give it all of my efforts.

For me a day without training is like a day without eating.

I'm a runner first before anything else.

Athletes have to be confident and I am thinking like that.

When you promise something, you must fulfill it.

Considering that the race is star-studded no runner will be willing to set the pace for the others. This is why a record will be almost impossible.

I know what I want when I start a marathon: to win! But what do you want? Make sure you're clear in advance and don't go out too fast.

My father thought sport was something fun - he didn't know it was a way to make money.

Since I achieved something, running has exploded in my country.

I'm retiring from competitive running, not from running. You cannot stop running, this is my life.

That is not enough. Sport has been great for me, a great learning place that if you want to achieve you can, even if you are from the poorest part of Africa.

Eradicate poverty. This is all that matters in my country. When I am out training I think about this a lot; when I am running it is going over in my mind. As a country we cannot move forward until we eradicate poverty.

At the moment I am a little bit politician, yes.

I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people.

I'm lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife.

This hand is not very active always, because it was in this hand that I carried my books. My carrying hand was always my strongest. Now I think my other hand has developed more muscles from signing all those autographs.

I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.