‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,’ said Alexander Graham Bell. The truth ofBell’s quote was illustrated by all those Olympians taking gold home from London 2012, but perhaps none more so than Mo Farah. We, the fans watching at the stadium (and at home) saw thirteen minutes and forty one seconds of brilliance for Mo Farah to win the 5000 metres and twenty-seven minutes and thirty seconds for the 10 000 metres. The brevity of the events belies the commitment and dedication Mo Farah put in leading up to them.
No Britain had ever won an Olympics distance gold medal before.Britain’s previous best had been a silver medal for the 5,000m won by Gordon Pirie backing 1956. So how did Mo Farah do what no otherBritaincould?
Surely, it is Mo Farah’s desire to win and his sheer commitment to being the best he can be, a desire and commitment proven by his training regime.
Mo Farah’s Training Regime
Mo Farah works with his coach four times a week, has a sports biochemist analyse his technique and has a sports psychologist
Mo Farah runs 120 miles a week in his training regime, with a speed of a mile every 5.4 minutes
Mo Farah’s training regime has included sessions on an underwater treadmill (to prevent injury)
He lets his muscles recover in a cryogenic chamber after training
Mo Farah trains at the gym doing core strength work to improve his body strength.
Mo Farah’s Diet
If that training regime sounds a bit hardcore, then you’ll be glad to know that Mo Farah chills a bit on his diet. ‘’I don’t have a special diet. But I eat lots of protein after running. And I fuel up on pasta,’ said Mo Farah.
Of course, the core strength Mo Farah needed in his training and his racing was in his mind. He needed to have extreme perseverance (you can find everything you need to know about perseverance training here ) and a heck of a lot of self regulation.
One other very important factor to Mo Farah’s success (and a point the BBC focussed on in their coverage of the Olympic Games) was his ability to visualise his success.
Mo Farah is an amazing human being, but the strengths of perseverance, self regulation, visualisation, planning for success and performing are things that everyone can learn. Sure, we might not get gold medals at the Olympics, but using these skills illustrated by Mo Farah, we can being to achieve our own personal goals.
If you want to know more about sports psychology and mental strength, including exercises used by gold medal winning athletes like Mo Farah, I recommend: Finding Your Zone: Ten Core Lessons for Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life