Thursday, August 20, 2009 exclusive interview: It's Hendrick Ramaala week! (part four)

If you have missed any of the previous parts of the interview:

Here we go for today:

You ran your second fastest marathon in London this year (2:07:20).

I still think I can run faster. Smarter. Hopefully the pace makers are smarter next time and don’t go out awfully fast.

When things get tough in races, how do you deal with that mentally?

You just hang on. You don’t want to be the first one of the pack to get dropped. I know everyone is in pain after 30k.

And if you are being dropped, like in Osaka, you still finished albeit far back. How do you deal with that?

You just go with the flow. Switch off. If you know you don’t get any glory or money, that there’s nothing left for you, you switch off and run until you see the finish line. And it is SO nice to see the finish line.

What do you think of the half marathon distance?

I used to be very fast at the half. I still could run under 61 with track training but there’s no point as that is not competitive. And so far nothing beats the marathon as a motivator. When I train for a marathon, I give it everything. It’s more of a mental preference than anything. I’m not killing myself training for a half. Marathon is rewarding.

Speaking about rewarding: do you reward yourself with anything after the marathon, food or else?

I take a break of two weeks if I ran really well. Take all this running stuff and put it away. Sleep longer.

Do you change your diet during these weeks?

Oh, I don’t want to see all this carboloading stuff. Barbecue! [laughs] Switch off. get out of this running thing.

Do you think about the loop in the morning?

[laughs] Don’t go! Don’t go! I just go there to tease the other runners. I listen to their stories. They help me a lot during training.

And you’re helping them, I’m sure.

We all benefit from each other. I hope they become big runners, big names.

The younger runners these days, they’re all on Facebook, twitter etc. We tried to find you but you don’t even have a website.

I know, I know. I wonder how they have all the time to do this. I don’t even have time for my mails.

It’s all marketing, all money.

I don’t know. I think the best way to make money is to win NY again. [smiles]
Just train hard. I wish I could do it but I just can’t. I give you my email. Or my phone.

We’ll be in South Africa for Comrades next year.

Oh yeah? It’s earlier due to the Soccer World Cup. It’s in May.

Are you unhappy to miss out on athletics Worlds?

I will watch it. On my sofa. [laughs]

In our final part tomorrow, Hendrick talks NYC Marathon!