Mo Farah says his latest Olympic triumph in Rio has left him more determined than ever to wring every golden moment from what remains of his stellar career.
Farah, who successfully defended his 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Brazil, will bid to make more history by becoming the first man to win three consecutive Great North Run titles in the north-east on Sunday.
And despite admitting that he is starting to feel the effects of the encroaching years, the 33-year-old Farah has vowed to do everything in power to extend his reign at the top of the sport.
Farah said: “I want to be able to finish at the top – I said to myself once that when I can’t hold it at the top any more, then you’ll see me doing other things.
“I’m 33 years old and you start to question yourself a little bit because you train hard and you haven’t quite recovered – why haven’t I recovered, what do I need to do?
“As you get older it gets a little harder but at the same time it’s about having patience and having that belief and trying to work it out.”
While many top athletes would be satisfied with even a fraction of Farah’s glittering medal haul, he remains haunted by the memory of his failure to reach the Olympic 5000m final in 2008.
Despite an optimistic build-up to the event, Farah finished in sixth place in his heat and crashed out.
Even at this relatively advanced stage of his career, he insists he would not be averse to making more of the kinds of tough decisions which took him away from his young family to train in Kenya and Oregon in order to maintain that competitive edge.
Farah added: “I’ve had to make some crucial decisions in my life where I’ve had to say to the kids, ‘look, I’m going to be away from you for a while’.
“I know how I felt when I didn’t make the final in 2008 and I told myself, ‘this isn’t going to happen again, I’m going to go and do something about it’.
“I knew something needed to change so I made the decision. It’s about being able to cope and change that one or two per cent, and that is what makes the difference.”
Farah will make Sunday’s Great North Run a family affair with wife Tania also set to line up over the half-marathon distance after coming through an especially gruelling training regime.
“I have been a hard task-master,” admitted Farah. “I have had to step back at times. I feel that people can do what I can, then I realise they can’t – she doesn’t find it as easy as I do!”
He added: “I keep telling myself this the last race (of the year), just come away with the win. Then I will put my feet up with the family and relax, take the kids to the park and eat some sweets with them.”
Fellow Olympic medallist Greg Rutherford will compete in the long jump in the Great North CityGames on Gateshead quayside on Saturday.