Bernard Lagat, A Racer looks at 40, the RBR interview by Cathal Dennehy

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Cathal Dennehy travels a bit. One of the dynamic duo from Jumping-the-Gun.com, Cathal found a great fare to Edinburgh, Scotland and covered the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Festival for RunBlogRun last weekend. 

Cathal caught up with Bernard Lagat, who is looking at masters records as he hits the magic four decades.....

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Bernard Lagat & Fans, photo by PhotoRun.net

Cathal Dennehy noted: "Bernard Lagat opened his 2015 season on Saturday by running the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, where he finished a disappointing 15th in the 4km race. Lagat, who turned 40 last month, will now turn his attention back to the track, and the American is planning to rewrite several of the over-40s indoor world records during the coming months, including Anthony Whiteman's 1500m mark of 3:44.12 and Eamonn Coghlan's mile record of 3:58.15. He spoke to RunBlogRun in Edinburgh about the upcoming season."

RBR, #1. How did you find the race today?

Bernard Lagat: Conditions were tough, and I'm not too happy with the result. I felt I was prepared, but with conditions the way they were, running with the guys who know how to run in these conditions, it was a little tough for me. 

RBR, #2. Has your training mainly been focused on the upcoming indoor meets and trying to break some of those over-40s records?

Bernard Lagat: Yes. I've been training for this cross country and of course, that will then transfer into a good indoor season. I have those times in my mind, trying to do my best, to lower the times in the mile, especially the masters mile, 3k, and two-mile. I want to make a good impression in my first year as a 40-year-old. It's going to be business as usual for me, though. I'm not just going to get into races and think: 'this is just about the masters record'. I'm going to do my best, even though I'll be running with the young guys; that's always been my mental belief. 

RBR, #3. When will we next see you in action?

Bernard Lagat: It's going to be Boston first [New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, February 7th], then the Millrose Games [February 14th]; I'll be attacking the masters mile record there. 

RBR, #4. You're good friends with Eamonn Coghlan too, right, whose mile record you'll be going after at Millrose?

Bernard Lagat:Yeah, Eamonn Coghlan is my friend, and I've also been tweeting with Anthony Whiteman [over-40 1500m record holder] too, going, hey, I might look into getting those records, and he told me 'go for it, buddy'. 

RBR, #5.Outdoors, I'm guessing your focus will be on the 5k?

Bernard Lagat: Yes, it'll be the 5k again. We have the World Championships in Beijing, so that will be my focus again. 

RBR, #6. Will you be focusing on the 5k in the Diamond League meets or looking to try some 1500s too?

Bernard Lagat:I want to mix it up. Last year I didn't mix it up as much as I'd like to; I did mostly 5ks. This year I'm going to try the 1500. I know I'll be toasted by the young guys like Asbel Kiprop and all the best guys, but I'll be getting in there, trying to do my best. I'll do the 1500, mile, 3k, 5K. I don't want to just consider one thing, but for the World Champs I'll train for the 5k. 

RBR, #7. How does the body feel this year compared to last year?

Bernard Lagat:This indoor season, my body feels much better than last year. I got sick in December and January last year so this time last year I was only starting my training, but now I've been able to run and do good training. It's a shame, because the training I've done did not show up today. It's one of those things we expect, and it's sad sometimes that you don't get the results you want so bad, but it's a stepping stone; this race will help me get ready for the indoors. 

RBR, #8. You went on to win world indoor silver over 3,000m last year. If you're ahead of that, things must be pretty good?

Bernard Lagat: Yes, and my coach always tells me: 'you were able to do little training, and then you came back with a silver medal' so that was really good. I am ahead of last year, so all I can expect is good results when I start running the indoor season. 

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