A new year, a new departure for Mo Farah, Britain's male athlete of 2010. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," has been a philosophy that has served the 27-year-old leading light of European distance running well with his regular training trips to Kenya to train with the global elite. This week, though, the European 5,000m and 10,000m champion will head off to New Mexico to train with some of the Americans he beat in the feature race in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday.
Farah was in fine form in the snow at Holyrood Park, pulling clear of Galen Rupp after the second of three climbs up the steep slopes of Haggis Knowe to win the 8.2km international team race by nine seconds, clocking 25min 41sec. Rupp finished runner-up. He is one of the clutch of Americans who have been making an impact at world level under the guidance of Alberto Salazar, the three-times New York City Marathon winner.
Salazar's protégés are based at Beaverton in Oregon but use Albuquerque as a high altitude training base. It is there that Farah will train before returning to Britain to compete indoors in the Aviva British Grand Prix in Birmingham on 19 February. He will be joined by Paula Radcliffe, who has already spent time working under Salazar as she prepares for her return to the marathon in 2011 after the birth of her second child.
"I just want to try something different," Farah said. "Albuquerque's where Paula Radcliffe has done a lot of her training."
Radcliffe was bitten by a dog while on a training run in Monaco on Friday but intends to travel to Albuquerque later this week.