Bernard Lagat

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"Make the most out of any opportunities that you get," says the long distance runner.

Raise Your Game: What does it take to be a world class track athlete?

Bernard Lagat: It's all about the mental preparation and the physical training that I put into it.

RYG: Are there times when you think that it isn't going well? What do you say to yourself to keep going?

BL: Every day is different and you can have good and bad days out there. The bad days should be used to tell yourself "I will be back tomorrow and I will do better." Then you can forget about the bad days and use the good days to help you move forward. That's what I always tell myself. I sometimes have bad days but I remind myself to forget about them and concentrate on the good things that came out of that race or training session.

RYG: What inspires you to keep going out there and performing?


Bernard Kipchirchir Lagat

12 December 1974

Kapsabet, Kenya

1500m, 3000m & 5000m


  • Silver - 3000m - Aviva British Grand Prix, Gateshead (2009)
  • Silver - 5000m & Bronze - 1500m, IAAF World Championships, Berlin (2009)
  • Gold - 1500m & 5000m - Osaka World Championships (2007)
  • Silver - 1500m - Athens Olympics (2004)
  • Gold - 3000m - IAAF World Indoor Championships, Budapest (2004)
  • Silver - 1500m - IAAF World Indoor Championships, Birmingham (2003)
  • Silver - 1500m - IAAF World Championships, Edmonton (2001)
  • Bronze - 1500m - Sydney Olympics (2000)

BL: It is down to the goals that I set myself early in the season. I always make the decision to go to a race and I just want to do my best in that race. Track and field is something that I love. I'm always looking forward to running and that's why I feel it drives me to perform well in the competitions.

RYG: Do you keep records of your performances to help you prepare for your next race?

BL: Absolutely. When I look back at what I did in training last year I realise I was hurting a little during my workouts but this year I'm running faster without struggling. That's a good indication to me that the season is going well and that can help you prepare yourself when you go into a race.

RYG: Who were your sporting heroes when you were growing up?

BL: My sister is my hero. She has retired from running now but she ran during an era when there wasn't a lot of money in track and field. She ran during a time when it was considered shameful for girls to be out running. People used to think that about her but she turned a blind eye to it all and always did her best which encouraged me to be the runner that I am today. She didn't achieve that much in track and field but in my mind, she moulded me in a positive way so that's why she is my only role model.

RYG: What advice would you give to young people who want to follow in your footsteps?

BL: When you have bad days, don't dwell on them. Make sure you rectify the problem. Don't assume the problem will fix itself. There will be a lot of obstacles that come your way and you should try and find people who can help you, but at the same time try and help yourself by attempting to get over those obstacles and make the most out of any opportunities that you get.

Have fun but remember to set yourself goals. I'm a little older and I have some experience but I still set goals for myself. So my advice is to follow your dreams and never let anything derail you from achieving them.

Take it slowly, don't rush into it straight away, let everything fall into place.

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