Work, rest and play – Bernard Lagat

Bernard Lagat (Photo: Getty Images)We take a peek into the life of the three-time world indoor 3000m champion Bernard Lagat of the USA as he answers our work, rest and play questions.

Now 39, Lagat will aim to defend his title at this year’s edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, on 7-9 March.


What is your favourite training session?

Bernard Lagat: I have two. I love coming back down from altitude training and doing 300m repeats with 45 seconds rest. The session tells me exactly how I’m feeling. I also love the five or six mile tempo runs. It is a hard session, but it is good pain. Running those miles under five minutes a mile always gives me a sense of accomplishment and I always feel good afterwards at home.

What is your least favourite training session?

BL: I don’t enjoy the longer sessions on the track like the mile repeats. I always tell my coach, ‘don’t tell me I’m going to do these sessions.’ I can’t stand it. I then tell myself that I’m a distance runner and I just have to enjoy them, but I can’t. I dread these sessions.

What is the worst thing about being an athlete?

BL: It is hard for me to find anything that irritates me in athletics, but if there is one thing it would be having no control over what happens. For instance, just three weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics I picked up an achilles problem to the point where I couldn’t even train. I would rank injuries as the worst thing.

Do you have a favourite training venue?

BL: I like training at the university track in Tubingen in Germany, which is my European base for the summer. The track is surrounded by steep hills and dense forest. It is super quiet and a stream runs down by the side of the track. It is a seven-lane track and it is one of my favourite spots to train at. I also love running in the forest there for my tempo runs.

What is your favourite type of music to train to?

BL: I’m not a music person, but there are some days, if I’m feeling like I don’t want to run, when I put my iPod on, go out for a five-mile jog and listen to a few Michael Jackson tracks. Read more