All eyes might currently be on Mo Farah as he makes the transition from the track to road, but fellow London 2012 10,000m runner Chris Thompson admits he might not be far behind.
Since claiming an unprecedented 5,000m and 10,000m gold-medal double in the capital last summer, Farah has raced just once indoors – this coming at last month’s Birmingham Grand Prix over 3000m.
Instead the 29-year-old has turned his attentions to the road, winning the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in a new British record of 60:59 minutes last month.
Farah is also set to complete half of this year’s London Marathon and Thompson, who finished the Olympic 10,000m in 25th, has clearly been inspired.
Thompson, 31, admits he doesn’t know when he will make his half marathon debut, but insists it occupies his thoughts as he looks towards Rio 2016.
“Mo moving up in distance was always going to be a move he would make,” he said. “It’s a natural progression for a lot of runners, especially with big aerobic capabilities.
“It’s not to say they will all be successful, because it’s an event all on its own in a single category.
“To say you’ve run a good 10k, then you could probably run a good half-marathon is OK, but it’s far from true when it comes to comparing the half-marathon to a full marathon.
“A completely new set of skills comes into play over the second half of a marathon and in my mind I’ll only know if I have it when I do it.
“I know Mo will respect the distance, as will I. No matter what event you do, you have to expect a group of world class athletes to beat and Mo stepping up is great for the distance in the future and will make everyone earn their victories.
“I have no idea when or how my first marathon will go, but it’s an exciting prospect and a new challenge.
“You never know, it might be my best event, or it might not work at all. That’s what makes it exciting.”
But before Thompson can even think about the next Olympics, he has this summer’s World Championships in Moscow to worry about having missed the last global gathering through injury.
And the European Championships silver medallist is chomping at the bit to get his campaign underway having opted out of competing indoors.
“I’m just getting my base fitness nice and strong at the moment,” he added. “Hopefully I’ll be looking to open my season at Stanford again this year at the end of April. I’ll be looking for qualifying standards for Moscow.
“The team leave for altitude training in two weeks, so we are all getting ourselves ready and prepared for that trip.
“Then the real hard, specific work will start.”
© Sportsbeat 2013