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Mo Farah's goals for the London Marathon, were they realistic?

Written by Mrs. Fiona Meikle

Mo Farah's preparation for the London Marathon was well publicised, with several newspapers and reporters stating that the Nation wanted him, and expected him, to win first place. The BBC stated that Mo's minimum goal for the day was to break the British record. Was this a realistic goal for the 10,000m World and Olympic Champion, or was he setting his sights a little too high? Not only was his minimum goal to break the British record, but he appeared to fully expect to achieve this aim. Was he expecting too much of himself in his first ever marathon?

In Mo's debut marathon he achieved an impressive (in my opinion) 8th place. Mo said that he was "quite disappointed" with this result and looking back he wished he had attempted to go with the front group. He went on to state that the field was tough, he had gone straight into the deep end, but is now looking ahead to his next marathon.

The BBC reporters for the marathon declared that they believed that Mo should stick with the track, especially in the lead up to Rio. They said that the marathon was too much of an unknown territory for Mo and the other athletes were just too good and were getting better. They were not surprised when Mo stated that he was disappointed and the transition from track to marathon is not for everyone.

Did Mo set his aim too high for his debut marathon? Should he stick with the track or pursue with the marathon?

There are many challenges associated with changing discipline in athletics. A new training programme is required, possibly a new coach, it's a different environment and you are competing against very different people, most of whom have been in that discipline for a long time. Being able to mentally adapt to this change in discipline is crucial as the mental demands associated with a marathon will be different to those associate with the 10,000m. Mo Farah is known for his mental strength and mental capabilities, which allow him to keep pushing when other people can't. But knowing when and how to use these mental capabilities will be different for each discipline. Around mile 24, Mo seemed to be struggling whereas the front group appeared to be speeding up. Was Mo's mental strength letting him down at this point, or was his aim to break the British record too high and as a result started too fast?

I am looking forward to hearing Mo's decision in regards to if he will stick to the track or continue with the marathon and whether or not he thought his goals were a little too unachievable.

- See more at: http://www.fionameikle.com/blog/entry/3729126/mo-farahs-goals-for-the-london-marathon-were-they-realistic#sthash.dNKa3qDy.dpuf

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Qualifications

  • BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist
  • Science Council Chartered Scientist
  • M.Sc. Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • B.Sc. Sports Medicine

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