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March 13, 2014

Mo Farah


Q.  You've been in Kenya training for the past few months.  How's that gone?  Any hiccups?
MO FARAH:  No, I've been in Kenya for the last few months.  Training's going pretty well.  It's been hard.  It hasn't been easy.  From running 5K, 10K to a marathon is completely different.  It's a lot more harder, a lot more miles, a lot more longer reps.
But things have gone really well, and I'm here today on the weekend to test myself doing the Half, as you see.  And I've got experience in the New York Half in 2011.  I want to be able to test myself, see where I am, and if there's anything that needs a little tricking, small thing, we'll change it leading up to London.

Q.  Will you go faster than you did in 2011?
MO FARAH:  It depends on the race.  It depends on what happens in the race.  I'm in great shape.  So we'll find out.  But mainly, just feel good and then go back to my coach and the rest of my team, and we'll see where I am and go to my coach and see how I felt.  You know, just the small things.
But I'm looking forward to the race.  Hopefully, it should be a very exciting race.

Q.  Can you give us a sense of what kind of training you did in Kenya?
MO FARAH:  Mainly just being long reps, just marathon training.  I've been running over 100‑plus miles, 130 to 100 week in and week out, and training has gone well.  In terms of what I normally do training for 5K, 10K, you normally do 400, 600 speed work.  I was doing completely different, longer reps.  So 400 reps up to 2K reps.
So it has gone well.  Mainly practicing.  Picking up the drinks, that was a challenge, but it wasn't well.  Training has been good.

Q.  You've already entered one outdoor meet after the London Marathon.  How will how you feel here in the London Marathon affect the rest of your season after the London Marathon?  What have you planned after?
MO FARAH:  Mainly as an athlete, you just want to be able to deal with one race at a time, and mainly after Moscow, we decided I was going to try a marathon, which was London.  That was my main aim.  You always have to pick up the Q race.  So pick the major championship that you want to do, it's like take the big one and work downwards and say, look, I'm running from last year and look back.  So Moscow was always the end.
Then from Moscow, you work downwards and say this race is close then.  Talk to your team, your agent, your coach and say we need to race here or race there.
This year, the main race has always been London.  That's the big one.  And then from there working downwards and say, This is where I need to race to test myself, see where I am, and then we can change a few things, and this is the race I will do before London.
And then after London, decided to do Glasgow, which is my first outdoor season.  And the reason why I chose that is to test myself, to see how I come off after the marathon.  And if that goes well, then I will do other track races.  But you don't want to be able to go‑‑ choose a major championship and go, I'm going to do this race just because I want to do it.
As an athlete, when you're at my level, you have to choose your races carefully, and you have to get ready for it and make sure you're in the best shape that you can.  That's one of the reasons I've decided Glasgow, to test myself, see if I've lost any speed, lost any strength in terms of track because it would have been a whole year I've not been on a track.  That's why I chose Glasgow, to test myself.
Then from there, we'll make a decision whether I'm going to run Commonwealth, European, or other races on the track.  But it all goes back to, again, how well I run in London.

Q.  What about 2015?  Do you plan on going right back to 5K, 10K there?
MO FARAH:  Yeah, it just depends how I come off London, and then I'll do Glasgow.  I don't even know what event.  I'll do Glasgow, test myself on Glasgow, and then come back and adjust a few things and see.  It all just depends on how I come off, I guess, and see if I've lost any speed or any strength.
Doing track and marathon is completely different.

Q.  After London last year, you said that that was a good experience, running half the marathon.  What did you learn, or what are the three things that you really remember from that experience?
MO FARAH:  The most things‑‑ the most thing I remember is missing my drinks.  That was bad.  Trying to pick up the drink.  You're on one side, and the drink station is on the other side.  That was hard, and something that I was been practicing in training.
The second thing was in terms of the pace.  It was hard.  I don't know whether maybe I didn't do the right training for the half, but how I felt, it was quite hard.  So now doing longer stuff and getting more comfortable at that pace.
But I picked up, and I learned a lot doing the half and being patient and also getting used to the course.  I know up to halfway now how the course is going to go.

Q.  The NYC Half kind of will be a preview of you and Geoffrey Mutai.  Can you talk about him and your relationship or your thoughts on him as a marathoner?
MO FARAH:  Geoffrey Mutai is a great athlete.  I don't personally know him, but I know what he's done.  He's a great athlete.  Hopefully, on Sunday it should be a good race.  We'll see.

Q.  You said you were seeking to learn a lot and answer questions for the marathon.  Any great marathoners that you turned to, and what did you specifically ask them?
MO FARAH:  I spoke to Kipsang and a few other of the Kenyan guys.  Those guys are simple and just train.  The hardest thing is training for the event, doing the right training.  My coach, Alberto Salazar, he was a great athlete.  So he's been there, done it, and he's a great coach.  I believe in him, and we are doing the right training.  That gives you good confidence when you have a great coach.  For me, I'm confident.

Q.  Something a little different going into the next Olympic cycle, you kind of were under the microscope since the Olympics were in your home country the last time around.  What kind of advice would you give to the Brazilians going to Rio de Janeiro Olympics that might be under more scrutiny, something unexpected they might have to deal with being the athletes in the host country in the Olympics?
MO FARAH:  Yeah, for me, the Olympics was one of the hardest races of my life, in terms of having the Olympics right on your doorstep.  It was amazing, and what I achieved has been incredible.  But the pressure I had, basically, it felt like I was carrying 2 kilos of sugar on my shoulders.
But once I got that first gold, it was massive relief.  Everything was‑‑ for me, I didn't put much more pressure on myself.  But as a nation, the whole country was behind me, and for me, I was only thinking on a positive thing, not in a negative way in terms of I want to make my country proud.  I want to do‑‑ I want to be the one, the only athlete to win two gold medals in your hometown and home Olympics.
So there's a lot of positive things I was thinking going into the race, and I think that helped me a lot rather than thinking about the pressure and thinking, I've got to win.  If I don't win, the country's going to hate me.  I'm going to let so many people down.
So any advice I would give in term of the athletes in Brazil is just, you know, get away from everything.  Just go somewhere and come back for the race.  That's what I did.  I was locked up in a room, turn the TV off, there's no TV.  And then two days‑‑ four or five days before the race, I came down and went to the Athlete's Village and went to the race.  That's the only thing you can do, in your control.
As an athlete, I think it's part of being an athlete, part of being a champion.  And someone who deals with it so well who we can all learn from is Usain Bolt.  He's the fastest man in the world.  He won so many Olympics.  He comes out on the track, and he's smiling.  If you love the sport, then sometimes you can deal with things, but sometimes it's hard.
I guess, you know, it is what it is.

Q.  You mentioned Usain Bolt.  People ask you about whether or not you're going to meet up and race him in, you know, just a fun kind of race.  Have you talked to him at all recently about that?
MO FARAH:  Yeah, it will happen at some point soon.  I don't know where it's going to happen, probably one of the big cities, but, yeah, it will hopefully happen at some point.

Q.  Have you named a distance?
MO FARAH:  We're still working on that, but hopefully it will happen before I retire and he retires.

Q.  What distance would you suggest?
MO FARAH:  I don't know.  It would definitely between 600 to 500.  It would be no more or less.

Q.  Are you taking that same‑‑ the mentality you were talking about, trying to stay low pressure, not let the pressure get to you, that kind of mentality going into London this year?
MO FARAH:  Well, London is like‑‑ it's different, London.  I've never run a marathon.  When you've never done a marathon before, then you don't know what it's like.  I don't know what to expect.  I've never done that distance.  I could run‑‑ I don't know.  It's not I want to run bad, but you could run 2:12, 2:07‑‑ it depends.  I've never done that.
As myself, yes, I will give it 110 percent, but there's so many guys out there.  The world record holders, the guys run 2:04, 2:03.  So I don't know what to expect.  But at the same time, I will respect the guys, get to the start line, and it's something that I have trained, something that I've been away from my family, my loved ones, and I've been doing the right training.  So it all depends, but it's just testing myself.
Am I going to be as good at marathon as I was good as track?  I guess we've got to find out.

Q.  How do you think about the class you have today with the kids here?
MO FARAH:  Yeah, I love kids.  I'm a parent of three, and if I can give back anything to the kids, it's the kids, you know.  Like myself, I even have Mo Farah Foundation.  I have my own charity, and what we aim is to be able to get kids active, similar things to today, and point the kids in the right direction.
Today was good.  If there's any way I can help kids, I would.

Q.  Is there any like advice and suggestion you want to give the kids who like running?
MO FARAH:  Yeah, be patient, enjoy it, and work hard for it.  As long as they work hard, they will achieve.
For me, I didn't just come along two years ago, three years ago.  I started running when I was 12 years old, and I'm only at my peak right now and achieved medals in the last four years.  So it takes long practice.  But as long as you love the sport and you enjoy it, you can get there.

Q.  Have you thought about the wall, 20 miles or somewhere around there?  What do you think about this so‑called wall in the marathon?
MO FARAH:  Sorry, when you hit the wall?

Q.  The wall, the famous wall, 20 miles.  What do you think of this wall?
MO FARAH:  The question is when am I going to hit that wall?  People say you always hit the wall.  That wall does exist.  Every athlete has been there.
Some of the guys I've been talking to say, if you've done the right training, you just manage to just pass that wall.  But at some point, you will feel it, but I don't know when I'm going to feel it.  We'll find out.
I guess half is not quite there.  They say between 32 and 35.  So I don't know.  It's just keeping that in the back of your head, back of your mind, and getting over it.

Q.  What fluids will you drink in the race and approximately what miles will you take them in?
MO FARAH:  I will probably pick up as much drink as I can, as long as I don't miss it.  It's just normally some gelatin, salt, but I'll pick up as much as I can, and if I miss one, I miss one.  But as a marathon runner, I think my main aim is to try to pick up drinks all the way as you can.
I don't know where the water station is.  Is it every 5K, the water stations?  And water everywhere, I think.

Q.  Do you have a special blend mix of Gatorade mix or Powerade mix or an electrolyte kind of mix that you drink?
MO FARAH:  I have been practicing, but I'm not going to say what I have been practicing.  But I have been practicing specific drink where you try and get your stomach used to it because‑‑ or you try and drink so much as a certain time.  So between a minute and whatever seconds, in that time, you try to drink as much as you can and then get rid of it.

Q.  Mo, great Britain, of course, has such an incredible history of distance running.  People saying you're the number one Briton ever.  What's your answer to that?
MO FARAH:  It's an honor to be Britain's number one ever because of the like of Coe, Ovett, Cram, Peter Elliott.  So many Legends have been there winning medals for their country and running world records.  So it's just an honor to be‑‑ I never dreamed I would ever be called‑‑

Q.  Do you accept that?
MO FARAH:  I don't know.  It's the public's decision.  It's not my decision.  In my control is for me to run and make my country proud and collect as many medals as I can.  That's all I can do.
But at the same time, if the public think that, if the people think that, that's just the way it is.  But I don't tell people that I am so and so.  I just let my running do what it needs to do.

Q.  Mo, when people look at the results, they don't see what went into it, and so when people look at the results of the 2012 Olympics, 5,000 meters, 13:41, what do you tell people about that slow time that will be in the record books forever?
MO FARAH:  It's not about times.  Times are there to be broken.  Medals are there forever.  I have my two medals on my wall in my living room.  Every day I look at it, I'm proud to have achieved the medals.  I know it's been hard work.  I guess my kids will be able to see that one day and be proud of me and say, look, Daddy's achieved that.

Q.  Well, maybe the point should be why are so many major 5,000 meter races run in slow time these days, relatively slow time?
MO FARAH:  It depends on the championship.  So many athletes have run sub‑13 minutes like myself, but in the Championship, it's never going to be fast.  Never going to be fast.  Never.

Q.  Never again?
MO FARAH:  It's never going to be sub‑13 minutes in any major championship.  The fastest it will ever be is 13:10, 13‑something.  It depends who wants to do the work.  As when you the next group of athletes, there will be fast times.

Q.  Do you have a time goal coming into this weekend?
MO FARAH:  My aim is to just do well in the race and take back something and discuss it with my coach and say this is what I felt, I felt good at this point, and then hopefully take that with me to London.  But mainly just enjoy the race.

Q.  What is your relationship with Alberto Salazar these days?  He's become rather a controversial figure in U.S. track the last couple of weeks.  What are your thoughts on him?
MO FARAH:  I love Alberto.  Alberto is like my parents to me.  He's a great man, and he's a great coach.  That's all I can say.
And for me, if it wasn't for Alberto, I don't think I would have achieved what I have achieved.  He's a great coach and a great person.

Q.  What did he start doing differently than you were doing before you went to Oregon?
MO FARAH:  It's just Alberto is always‑‑ for me, I was winning‑‑ I was getting close to medals, but I didn't have it quite where I was there but not quite there.  Finishing sixth, seventh, and you can work out the rest.
But from there, I've gone to Olympic champion.  That's the difference he's made.

Q.  What's it like for you‑‑ I'm not sure you're in town.  What's it like for you being in New York and walking the streets as compared to, say, London?
MO FARAH:  It's just easy here.  I can chill out.  My family's here with me.  So they came same day as me, so we can go restaurants.  We can push the kids, take photos in Times Square, relax.  Nobody recognizes you.
If that was Piccadilly Circus in London, I don't think I could have done that.

Q.  Little bit colder here?
MO FARAH:  Yesterday was good.  It's only been today I'm wearing my hat and gloves here.

Q.  Does it bother you that it's cold?
MO FARAH:  No.  Everybody has to deal with it.  It's not just me, all the runners.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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