Butchart in coaching switch
GUIDANCE FROM FARAH GAVE BUTCHART THE CONFIDENCE TO MAKE COACHING SET-UP SWITCH “I TALKED WITH MO FARAH QUITE A BIT ABOUT IT, HE KIND OF POINTED ME TOWARDS TERRENCE”
ANDREW BUTCHART says recommendation from Mo Farah helped convince him that moving to work with coach Terrence Mahon was the right call to make, writes Jessica Whittington.
Having formerly worked with Derek Easton, who guided him to sixth at the Olympic Games, the Scot is now among Bostonbased Mahon’s charges and appreciated the 10-time global track gold medallist’s guidance.
“I started speaking to Terrence at Rio last year and we just gradually got to know each other a bit more,” explains Butchart, who placed eighth in the 5000m final at the IAAF World Championships in London. “The more I’ve spoken to him, the more I’ve thought he’s the right guy to look after me from now on.”
Mahon, who was lead endurance coach at UK Athletics between 2012-13, also guides Scottish European medallists Lynsey Sharp and Chris O’Hare.
“I spoke to my old coach, Derek Easton, who was amazing,” Butchart adds.
“I talked with Mo Farah quite a bit about it, he kind of pointed me towards Terrence. He really respects Terrence so that meant a lot to me that Mo approved.”
The 25-year-old says a stand-out moment of his season came at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham when Farah took off his vest and handed it to him in a symbolic changing of the guard gesture as the 34-year-old prepared to switch his focus to road racing.
“I do consider Mo a good friend now rather than just a competitor and a team-mate,” Butchart says. “He is such a good guy, I’m going to miss him so much. We’ve had a lot of moments this year, including passing the vest.
“There was a moment that people didn’t see in London during the race when he held back (Yomif) Kejelcha so I kept my inside line. No one saw it but to me that was massive. He said to me ‘you’re meant to be here’, sort of thing.
“Me and Mo have spoken quite a lot since the world championships. He has given me a little bit more inside knowledge into what I should do in races and stuff like that. He’s a good mentor to have for the next few years.”
The respect is mutual. “Butchart’s a great athlete,” Farah says. “Like myself, I had to make a decision on what I wanted. I said, ‘I was once like you – I was there but not quite there’. It’s how much you want it. You have to understand who can help get you there.
“Terrence Mahon, I believe in him. He’s a great coach and coached some great athletes in the past and he has great experience.”
Like Farah, Butchart’s next race is also set to be on the roads as he plans to make his half-marathon debut at the
Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run on October 1.
But rather than it representing a more serious move up in distance, Butchart says he will just be using the 13.1-mile event as a chance to test himself before his attention moves to cross country and racing indoors.
“I’m planning to do a halfmarathon in Glasgow straight away, just to see my fitness off a break,” he explains. “Then I’ll speak to coach and work out when we go to altitude and when we do races.
“It’s just for a bit of fun,” he adds on his step up to the halfmarathon. “I’ve not raced in Scotland for a long time.
“It just seems like a good one to do just to start off the winter. It means I get some miles in and it means I can start off not expecting to do anything, the pressure is off.
“It’s just to try it out. In the future I’m going to have to move to the road at some point but I think it’s many, many moons away.”
Andrew Butchart: will be returning to the roads to make his half-marathon debut at the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run