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Shoes can't run on their own, put in hard work: Tips from TCS World 10K champ Alex Korio

Alex Korio of Kenya, the TCS World 10K defending champion

Bengaluru, May 25: You may have been training for a month or even a year, but it will all come down to the show that begins at 5.30 am on Sunday (May 27) when the TCS Open 10K run will be flagged off at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Whether you are a first-timer or have been doing this for a while, your end-goals for any race will remain the same - to finish and to finish on a high.

Don't give up. Champions are not quitters. Take Alex Korio for example.

At 27.52 minutes, the TCS World 10K defending champion Korio is not the fastest among his competitors, three of whom have best timings of 27.34-27.36 minutes. What he has instead is the experience and the desire to challenge himself. This, Korio says is what makes a runner a true conqueror of oneself.

And before you take the road (and track) for the TCS World 10K, Kenyan Korio has a few tips for you - push yourself and your legs will respond by running. Read on...


How do you train for a 10K compared to a Half Marathon (21.2 km) or a Marathon (42.2 km)?

Korio: I have been preparing for the TCS World 10K for the last two and half months. Before this event, my previous run was the Houston Half Marathon in January. The two races are obviously different. When we train for a 10K, we focus on the speed. The difference in terms of preparations will be to have short workouts, where you run faster than usual. I surely feel the pressure coming here to defend the title. But I am happy to do it.

How important is it to push yourself during a run?

Korio: I like to be the front-runner (the one with the lead) in any race. If I wait, it will give my opponents a chance to overtake me. You also tend to push yourself more because you have to maintain the lead.

Can you give us a glimpse into your training regime every week?

Korio: This is what I do when I am preparing for a 10K race. I start slow on Mondays, where I run a distance of 15 km at my own pace to warm my body up for the week. The focus on Tuesday is speed and since I will be running a 10K, I do this over 7 km but the pace has to be faster. Wednesday will again be a longer run and I immediately run back on Thursday with more speed over 6 km. Friday's workout will only be about speed over the 10 kilometres and you should always rest for a day in a week. My rest day is a Saturday.

You didn't have a good outing in the Houston Half Marathon before the TCS World 10K. You finished eighth. How difficult will this run be?

Korio: It wasn't a good day for me. I had prepared so much to win but fell down and got a bit of an injury. But coming back, I started preparing for the Bengaluru run, knowing the competitors on Sunday will be strong.

How crucial are the climatic and altitude conditions of the venue of a race?

Korio: The heat in Bengaluru is no big deal for us because we've run in places which are hotter than Bengaluru. That said, the temperature this time around is lower than last year, which is more conducive for running.

There will be no pacemakers for the Elite runners this time. Good or bad?

Korio: It's good for me because we'll plan the run accordingly. Many runners plan their race keeping the pacemakers in mind but when you are on your own, running according to your own pace, you are in command. Some runners are fast over five kilometers because of the speed of the pacemakers and then they drop.

Word for fellow runners this Sunday?

Korio: There's no shortcut in training. Only if you train and work hard, you will be able to run well in a race. Whatever shoes you wear, they will not serve you unless you put in the effort. The shoes can't do the running for you. It's just a tool and the real runner is your mind so make that talk.

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Story first published: Friday, May 25, 2018, 19:10 [IST]
Other articles published on May 25, 2018
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