Olympic champion and world 800m record holder David Rudisha is one of global athletics' most revered figures. The Kenyan shares the words of wisdom that he has learned during his glittering career.

1. It is all about hard work

“Athletics is no different to any other professional sports career in that to succeed it is all about hard work, discipline and determination. I first discovered the importance of this back at school aged around 16.

“I never used to train and raced off talent alone, but I got annoyed when I finished fifth and failed to make the school 4x400m relay team. I was really disappointed but that's when I realised if I can work hard and focus on training, then maybe I can do better and become a better athlete.”

David Rudisha ()

PRODIGIOUS YOUTH: After switching from the 400m, Rudisha won world junior gold in 2006

2. Find your recipe

“There are many ingredients involved in trying to run fast. It is far more than simply running.

“Shortly after joining my coach, Brother Colm O'Connell, I was introduced to a form of yoga called Sun Salute. I still regularly practise it today and I think it has been a big part of my success. Sun Salute really helps my stability and flexibility and my overall balance.”

David Rudisha ()

CUT ABOVE: For many, Rudisha's world record run at London 2012 was THE performance of the Games

3. Learn from mistakes

“The mental approach to the sport is vital. As an athlete, the computer and the machine is in your head. As athletes we all set targets, but reaching them all lies in how strong you are mentally and not becoming distracted. 

“The 800m is a tough race. It is the shortest race in athletics not run in lanes and many things can happen, so you have to make many quick decisions and act quickly. The mental side is a hard thing to explain, and I don't really learn about this area by reading books but through mistakes I have made.

“I remember one bad mistake I made in the 2009 World Championships semi-finals. It was a cool evening and my race had to be stopped for almost an hour following a thunderstorm. We then had to wait for the thunderstorm to clear before starting our race. It was a little confusing as to when we would return and I didn't do a proper warm up. In the race itself I was second last at the bell and when I tried to make my move with 300m to go my legs felt stiff and I couldn't react.

“I knew if I had run the race from the front I would have had a better chance to qualify. It was following this race that I decided to change my race tactics in future to run from the front.”

At those world champs, Rudisha failed to advance after finishing third in his semi. Since then, he has set three world records and won world and Olympic titles.