Friday, January 2, 2009

Bernard Lagat interview, courtesy

As part of Nike's Cross Nationals promotions last fall, Bernard Lagat (#1113/file photo by Paul Merca) answered a few questions posed by The Running Network's Larry Eder about his start in the sport and his days running in high school and in college at Washington State University in Pullman.

1. What was your first experience in cross country?

Lagat: It was during an inter-class tournament at our High School way back in 1992.

2. What was training like in high school?

Lagat: Training was not coordinated. There was nothing set for a particular day. A games master could just think of anything for that particular day and we could do it without asking any questions. We did mostly long runs and fewer track sessions. A few hill sessions were sometimes put in plan for a particular day.

3. When did you make a commitment to running?

Lagat: I made a commitment to pursue running during my sophomore year in HS. This was in 1992. A few boys my age had never seen a training shoe and ,since I was privileged enough to own a pair, thanks to my older sister Mary's generosity and encouragement, I then decided to incorporate running into my daily routine but making sure that my EDUCATION was my first priority.

4. What was college training like?

Lagat: CRAZY..... Seriously, it was my first time to really follow a set training programme. I had experience a little bit of a well laid out plan while training in Kenya after my High School, but when I joined W.S.U, my coach had a well structured weekly training plan, which comprised of long runs, tempo runs, hill sessions, drills, weight training, ice baths etc. Most of these were quite new to me, but I immediately got used to it and I truly enjoyed everyday I went out training.

5. What is difference between running in high school and running in college?

Lagat: For me, HS running was something I didn't take it seriously. I could skip training and still be ranked very high in my school, but when I joined college, I realized right away that in order for me to be anything useful in this, then I must be serious and dedicate more time to making sure that I prepare myself well for races/competitions. I also realized that in order to make it in college; first; I needed to have some goals for the season. And second, once I knew my goals, all I could ask of myself is the discipline and hard-work necessary to achieve those goals.

To read the full interview with Bernard, click here...

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