Man at His Best

Mo Farah: What I've Learned

Two-time Olympic gold medalist & holder of 7 global titles talks about how he gets in the zone, what to avoid on social media and how fatherhood has changed him.

BY Olivia Ovenden | Jun 8, 2016 | Culture

​I dedicated my 3,000m record this week to Muhammad Ali. He has been a hero of mine since childhood for the ways he changed sport.

My first Olympics memory was watching Haile Gebrselassie in Sydney 2000. His sprint finish to defend his title really moved me. When London got the bid, I knew I wanted to do it in front of the home crowd. The moment I became an Olympic champion will never leave me.

I used to get called 'Ferrari' when I was a kid because I was always running everywhere.​

I can't keep my hands still. If I hadn't been an athlete I would have a job taking things apart like a mechanic.

My mum always stressed the importance of being adaptable. You shouldn't expect people to work around you, that is something I try to remember.

I never run without my Nike Air Zoom Pegasus trainers—other tips I stick by are make sure you hydrate properly and eat well the night before the race to maximise energy.

My life has changed a lot since London 2012. I definitely get stopped more.

Social media can be dangerous. People hide behind their computers and write negative things, so I like to keep it about communicating with my fans.

​I get to races two hours early. I lie on the floor and block everyone out by playing hip hop or RnB to get me pumped up.​

The Mobot came out of a promise to James Cordon and Jamie Redknapp. I agreed to do the M action from the YMCA song if I won at the Olympics and couldn't go back on it.

So much goes through your head at the start of a race, I try to focus on exactly what I have to do to win.

Becoming a father to four kids has totally changed my priorities, the saying that time goes too fast is true, my eldest daughter is eleven now which scares me.

Even though running is work for me, I always miss it if I take a break. A lot of people find running relaxing but I can never switch off from timing and competing against myself.​

From: Esquire UK.