Josh Kerr: “Consistency is my greatest weapon” – AW

    World 1500m champion goes for 3000m gold in Glasgow on Saturday and reveals: “I don’t do crazy workouts or crazy mileage. I just don’t miss days.”

    By his own admission, Josh Kerr has no filter. He shoots from the hip and has no qualms about speaking his mind. So when asked what his goal is at this weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, he answers without hesitation.

    “To win,” he says. “I’m here to win in front of my home crowd.

    “I’m in fantastic shape,” he adds, “although it’s a lot easier said than done.”

    Rivals in the 3000m include Yared Nuguse of the United States plus Selemon Barega and Getnet Wale of Ethiopia. After his recent 3:47.83 win in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, Nuguse looks particularly dangerous although reigning champion Barega is the man to beat.

    Not only did the 24-year-old win the last world indoor 3000m title in Belgrade but he is the Olympic 10,000m champion and possesses a lightning quick finish. Ethiopia takes the World Indoor Championships seriously, too, topping the medals table in Belgrade two years ago.

    After winning the world 1500m title last August and then breaking Mo Farah’s world indoor record for two miles at Millrose, though, Kerr fears no one. “I’m in fantastic shape as I showed in Millrose and I think I’ll be a real problem for whoever’s on the start list. It’s going to be a hard race but that’s why I signed up for it.”

    On that Millrose record, Kerr clocked 8:00.67 but admits it wasn’t easy. “It was extremely hard,” he says. “I messaged Farah’s team and told them ‘there’s a reason this one stood so long’. I love going after one of his records as he has such an amazing legacy in our sport and it’s really cool to take one of them.”

    Josh Kerr (Getty)

    After such brilliant form lately, what are the secrets of Kerr’s success? He sums it up succinctly.

    “I don’t do crazy workouts or crazy mileage,” he says. “I just don’t miss days.”

    The 26-year-old adds: “Consistency is my biggest weapon. I’ll break any athlete down with how consistent I’m going to be training wise and just getting the work done. I just don’t miss days. I haven’t missed any days (recently) and that always ends in really good results for me.”

    In recent seasons Kerr has been reluctant to make too many transatlantic trips from his base in the United States to compete in Europe. But he’s made an exception with the World Indoors being on home soil. But why 3000m instead of 1500m?

    Josh Kerr (Getty)

    “I didn’t want to run the trials and multiple races and also to take anyone else’s place, which pretty much took the 1500m out of the conversation,” he says, referring to the fact Adam Fogg and Callum Elson qualified to run the metric mile. “I got an email from British Athletics saying medallists don’t have to run trials.

    “So I then had conversations around the 3000m and just said, ‘look, I think I’m in really good 3000m shape and I’m going to run this two miles. If I run fast, do you think I could be available for selection for 3000m?’ And they said ‘yes’.

    “So I said, ‘look, again, if someone else has run the (3000m) qualifying standard and has qualified through the British Champs then I will not take the spot off them. But if the spot’s there for me then I would love to go and do it’. So that’s kind of the thought process that’s been happening recently.

    Racing on home soil will be exciting too. “It feels like an honour to be honest and there’s an element that I have to go out and earn that. I don’t feel like I’ve done the British fans as proud as I could have over the past couple of years in terms of the performances in the UK and in Scotland. So it’s really exciting to come back in very good shape and being ready to go after a world title at home.”

    Josh Kerr (Getty)

    This winter Kerr and Ingebrigtsen have enjoyed a mild war of words ahead of their much-anticipated clash in the Olympic 1500m in Paris this summer. On the eve of the World Indoors, though, Kerr wasn’t in much of a mood to fan the flames, though. For once, has he tried to employ a filter.

    “I think there’s been a lot of noise around stuff,” he smiled. “It can get busy that way, so I don’t really pay too much attention to it. So again, I’m just going to keep putting performances together that I’m proud of and hopefully you guys will enjoy it.

    “There’s a bit of banter back and forth that I think is entertaining some people. But I’m focused on the performances right now and hoping those speak for themselves. I’m sure myself and Jakob will be racing again before the championship season. So I think it will be a really fun and exciting time around those races. But right now I’m just kind of focused on the guys that have the race right now and that’s obviously the 3000m this week.”

    At the pre-championship press conference on Thursday, Kerr was even asked about Ingebrigtsen’s comments that he could beat the Briton over two miles “blindfolded”. Kerr responded with a smile and two words: “No comment!”

    On his friend and fellow world 1500m champion Jake Wightman’s promising competitive return from injury, however, Kerr adds: “It’s a craft that it takes time. And I think we all knew that it wasn’t going be like fireworks right off the rip where he’s going be running low 3:30s and close the way he did the World Championships in 2022.”

    READ MORE: World Indoors preview

    Wightman will be an interested viewer of Kerr’s 3000m final but from the other side of the world as he is training in Australia. Kerr does, however, have friends and family at the Emirates Arena, although not quite as many as he’d like.

    “I’d like to have more of a crowd but the tickets seem to be a bit difficult to get!” he says.

    Check out our Glasgow 2024 coverage here

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