British long-distance runner Julia Bleasdale is training in Ethiopia ahead of the Commonwealth Games and European Championships. She offers an insight into life as an elite athlete.

Julia Bleasdale training in Ethiopia. Photograph: Julia Bleasdale

Julia Bleasdale training in Ethiopia. Photograph: Julia Bleasdale

The rhythm of daily life in the Ethiopian highlands starts early, with the coolness of the refreshing mountain night giving way to the pleasant warming rays of the equatorial sunrise. Children wander to school from distant farmsteads, cattle are herded to the grassy plains from their overnight enclosures and the assorted community go about their business of the day, all casting long morning shadows across the open fields.

With every new day, Ethiopia offers inspiration in a variety of ways. I welcome my share with open arms as I embark on another day of training, one of 50 I’ll be spending here at over 2,700m altitude in preparation for the year ahead. Read more at The Guardian

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