Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stay prepared, despite the extra winter LBS!

Congratulations on ending another season! If you're ready for your break don't worry, now is the time to fatten up a little and have some fun without losing too much fitness.

About ten years ago (when I was 15 ahem, give or take 9 years) I could finish the season and eat whatever I wanted and still barely put on a lb of weight. And even if I did throw on another layer it would be gone and I'd be back to my ripped looking 8 pack of stomach muscle (slight exageration) in just a few weeks of training.

However, this might be directed to the older folks out there, but these days if I put on 10lbs - it stays there for months! You have to give yourself some recovery time whilst not getting too slack, as you might feel as though you'll never get your fitness back again. You can though...don't worry, but you must stay somewhat balanced througout the off-season!

Here are a few of my easy to read tips without any scientific jargon to enjoy the off season you deserve but still keep your body ready and prepared to kick off a great start to the next.

Numero Uno: My number one tip for staying in shape during this little off season period is get rid of the structure and to enjoy the training. I find a break is just as much mentally needed as it is physically.
If you don't want to ride then don't, maybe go for a run instead. If you want to ride two hours easy spin at 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% or even 100% of your FTP then do it, take the next day off if you feel like it...who cares? If you want to ride for an easy hr to the coffee shop on your mountain bike and grab lunch then do it. Don't drive there, ride there and take in the surroundings as you ride as fast or as slow as you want. As long as you stay active, have fun with whatever you want to do then you'll love the training again.

In actual fact the off season is a great time to play around with your short threshold and VO2 max sessions if you want to as there's no real distance requirements or pressure to hit goals like there is in the build up or during the 'on season'. Sometimes I'll set out for an easy hr run, but end up hammering it home...just because I want to. And if I feel wasted because if it then I won't go swimming midday, I'll have lunch with my lady instead. I'm the boss of me during this period. (Despite what my girlfriend thinks). This approach can also help to keep that motivation going. I love going way too hard and not holding back sometimes like I have to in the race season...it's fun!

You do still need to be mindful of your goals however. For example, if you're an injury prone runner and you need two months easy to build up to decent form or mileage and you plan to race in April, then it's not a great idea to have the whole of December off without a single run as you won't be ready to 'train' specifically until Feb-March and you've left no time for any unforseen problems that might crop up along the way. Hence that April race is not gonna happen. Personally, I run every other day througout my break, I never totally stop or I know problems are gonna come knocking on my door when I start back.
The important thing here is the balance thing I mentioned earlier. Have fun, but make sure you're still mindful of what's going on. Pretend to 'not care' when secretly you still do - like a girlfriend secretly watching her man talking to another women...yes you know what I'm talking about. (Never the other way around of course).

Numero Deux: Do not worry about throwing on a few unwanted poundage! If you put on a little weight it's not a bad thing. In fact most coaches encourage this. You can put on a few lbs and still gain some training adaptations so don't feel as though you've lost it all, you haven't. Putting on some extra weight does have some positive attributes and it's a great time to get strong and smash out some gym work.

Some athletes however, especially cyclists try to use the last few weeks of their time off to actually start to lose weight and prepare. If you've put on some lbs try to curb your slack approach to your diet and cut out the McDonalds before you actually start training properly again. Sure, training can reduce weight, but the most sure fire way to get lean is to consume less calories than what your burning. This can really affect and hinder your performance during heavy training, so the last phase of the off-season is a perfect time to do it when the physical demands on the body are still pretty low. If you're calorie savvy then I'd recommend a calorie deficit of about 400 calories a day. Not too much, but enough to make a difference without feeling like crap.

Numero Trios: Sort your life out! I love the off-season as this is the time I do everything that I have been wanting to do during the on-season and couldn't. It's also a time that my girlfriend has been waiting for, which isn't always good...("remember when you said you'd do this?"). This is the period now where I am actually "good at life". I write a mental list of things in the season that I'm going to do in the off. Such as watch movies, go to bed late, watch football on Sunday with a six pack, eat chicken wings, lie in bed and drink coffee and toast until 10AM and to actually be a good boyfriend (for 4 weeks, then it's back to being all about me).
On my girlfriends list however it's time for me to clear out the garage, paint that cabinet, lay the wooden floors, clean the windows...go dancing, be romantic, fix the dishwasher and paint the bedrooms! But this is when I finally have the energy to play with life and go on a weekend trip to the mountains...even if I do have a 10 AM swim first, I finally have the tenacity to do it all!

Numero Quatre: Focus on enjoying and learning to love the discipline that worries you most. If you know throughout the season that you weren't making that front pack or you weren't swimming as well as you wanted, then the off-season is a perfect time to keep training on that discipline without any stress. You can concentrate on drills, focus on technique, build up the mileage if you need to. You can do all this knowing that you have so much time to play around and figure things out. You probably have at least 3 months before you race again to work on whatever area you need to improve on so when the season starts you can approach this discipline with a fresh mind and a new confidence. Swim, swim and then swim some more. Even if it's just 20 mins to relax and enjoy yourself, at least you're gaining something positive from the experience...it could be that you're finally enjoying the water without being swam over ten times in the session or being overtaken by the fast 'know it all arsehole' in the lane next to you. Chill out and swim. Take the same approach to running and cycling. Sometimes I'll start out for an easy hr run and either end up smashing it out on the way home, or stopping for a bit a walk. Either way I'm out there enjoying life whilst still staying active!

Numero Cinq: Don't do an early Jan run, cycle race! Even though it is temping to get started early and race. You've had fun and a great rest but don't get too excited to get back to the grind. It might feel good to race in Jan but come later on in the year this could have a negative effect whether it be early injury or mental burn out come June. Don't forget if you're racing Kona...that race isn't until October! You definitely don't want to feel as though you mentally need a holiday after just a few short months of the season. And don't justify the early race by depending on the mid season break. The idea of the mid-season break is to recharge the batteries and prepare for the second half of the season, to reinvigorate yourself not to get sloppy, lose fitness and get fat again.

Ok so there's just a few of my main tips I like to think about during this time of year. remember, this is a guilt free time period and it only comes round once a year. Even the hardcore athletes that sulk and cry about having an off-season appreciate it more once they rest and see the benefits of it during the race season. Oh, and before the season starts, treat yourself to "something nice" for your first race like a new tr-suit, new running flats or if you're rich - some new race wheels! It feels great to start off the new season with something exciting to boost your excitment for the coming year!

Bonjour amigos

Coach James Hadley

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cozumel 70.3

Hola readers! Race report from Cozumel is as follows! This time of year in Boulder can be pretty tricky. People are dropping like flies from flus and colds. I have been fortunate to avoid this and continue training well for a while with my buddy Leon Griffin, smashing out some awesome swim sets with Ironman legend Dave Scott and riding the long time running 'Bus stop' rides with the cyclists. Boulder really is amazing, and I love it. Coming into race week I found it difficult to relax. My nerves were creating a lot of negativity, and I could still see other athletes training hard, twice as much as I was doing. I remembered Craig 'Crowie" Alexander saying to me once before St.Croix 70.3 a few years back when we had a conversation about tapering - "Mate, in hot humid races like this, the freshest man on the start line wins". Good advice as always, so I kept reminding myself of what he said, relax and feel confident in resting. The travel to Cozumel was long and tiring. Friday consisted of driving to Denver, flying to Cancun, getting a bus to the ferry, then a ferry to Cozumel, and lastly a taxi to the hotel. Hence it took me 11hours door to door. I wasn't gonna let this effect me though. I remained calm and collected (sort of) with some really annoying people that obviously didn't get the memo that I was traveling that day (bastards). I forgot how humid Mexico was. I went for a 15 min run on Sat morning and just about sweated out every last drop of hydration I had in my system. I knew then that I would need at least a full bottle of water on the bike as well as carbs/calories. Whilst dropping my bike off to transition I noticed all the names I would be competing with on their bike stands. Very tough field which included names such as Bocherer, Michael Lovato, Luke McKenzie, Paul Ambrose, Leon Griffin, Fontana, Callum Milward, Brandon Marsh and a few more top athletes. I knew with a field as strong as this one that you could go from 3rd to 10th if you make just one small mistake. So I went straight back to bed to relax some more...and Skype the misses. Sunday morning arrived. I was nervous. But I was ready to challenge myself. We got the bus to race start. The atmosphere was great. I ran along to the pontoon area, jumped in the water for a warm up. It was beautiful. Fish swimming everywhere, that also might be due to the fact that I threw up in the water during my warm up. I'm not sure why, but the same thing happened in Wisconsin Rev3. Although I was actually sick as a dog before the race in Wisconsin, but still managed to pump it out and get a 4th place finish. This race I was healthy and ready to rock. Anyway with the last minute clear out which fed the fish break fast we all lined up to start. The gun went and off we sprinted off into the current. I felt great in the water. I have been swimming 5-6 times a week, two of those are coached by Dave Scott - VO2 max sessions and threshold sets. He's a great coach and I've never felt better in the water than I have this year. I was cruising along aerobically in the front of the first pack. We turned the buoy which can be rough, but I'm swimming so well I stayed far right out of the way of any trouble and hammered back towards the swim exit. I jumped out the water with the leaders in about 4th place, perfect. I was super fast in transition 1 and scooted out of there in 2nd place. I knew I had to hammer the first part of the bike as the slightly slower swimmers but tough cyclist/runners would be hoping to get in at the back of the pack. My running is not quite at the level I need it to be at the moment to feel confident in taking on any fast runners so I had to increase any lead I had over them.
Paul Ambrose came storming up alongside me with Bocherer, Luke McKenzie, Fontana and Brandon Marsh. There were about another 4 guys with us too. Awesome pack. I couldn't see Lovato, Griffin or Millward with us, but I knew they would be desperate to catch and join in the fun. The pace was insane, very fast. All of a sudden we hit the long cross/head wind along the coast. Geez it was tough. This was where Bocherer and Ambrose made their move. They hammered along and drove open a decent gap ahead of Brandon. I was behind Brandon so I took the reigns and decided to pass him and try my best to close the 80meter gap. To no avail, they were flying through the head wind and I was tiring fast with the extra effort. I realized then we had lost them for good. Luke McKenzie came hurtling by soon after. He was riding strong and managed to leave us behind as he cruised on up to the lead...impressive! Our recently adjusted pack consisted of myself, Brandon Marsh, Fontana and a couple of others. I knew that Griffin and the other guys behind would be throwing down the gauntlet to catch us so Brandon and I drilled the bike as hard as we could to maintain or increase any lead we had. I powered through aid stations just to save those vital seconds. I left everything out there on the bike. I absolutely pushed myself to the rivet. It worked. At the turn around I saw the chasers were about 3-4 minutes down from us...yes! I had a nice blanket of time for the run. I had been run training with Leon Griffin this summer. I know how fast he runs...it's faster than me, so this lead was imperative if I was to hold onto a top 5 finish. I entered transition and headed out onto the run with Fontana and Brandon. Fontana is a great runner, I knew he would be consistent in his pace. I tried to match him, and in doing so I was relieved to see that I had managed to drop Brandon who out ran me in wisconsin and also the other 2-3 athletes that held on to our pace on the bike. I was excited to be in 5th but had to remain relaxed. The heat was intense and the humidity was insane. Anything can happen in these conditions. Fortunately I had been sitting in the steam room everyday for weeks prior to this race in the hope that this would enable me to cope better with the heat/humidity. It may have worked. I was consistent with my pace and I felt great despite leaving everything but my manhood out there on the bike course. One lap down, still going well, but I could see Lovato and Callum pushing the run to catch me. Lovato even shouted some encouragement to me as we crossed paths in opposite directions - "Come on Hadley, its time to start running!" I thought, damn right it is...he was flying like a bloody horse. I could see Luke McKenzie about a minute up the road. I hammered the last part of the run to try my all to catch him...it turns out that I don't think I was actually going any quicker, it just felt a lot more painful...shit!
The last 1km came into view...I was to achieve a 5th place finish in one of the toughest fields I have raced in this year. I came down the finish chute like I'd won the Olympics grinning from ear to ear. 5th was a great result.From 2nd to 8th place the times were very close. Like I said, 1 small mistake could have changed the results dramatically. I was very happy. Great swim, good bike, and I topped it off with a solid run. Money in the bank and some good points towards the 70.3 World Champs next year. Next race is the F1 sprint series in California. It looks crazy fast, and super exciting...sometimes I really love this sport...but only when I do well. Thanks for reading! Hadmeister

Saturday, September 15, 2012

From where I left off

Hello readers! Welcome back to HadmeisterGeneral. I thought I would write a new blog as my cool new website www.hadmeister.com is now online! A lot has happened since my last post in 2011. I won't go into details but a quick over view is probably needed. So here is where I left off from 2011. My last race in 2011 was Cancun 70.3. My girlfriend Kris came to see me race this time. I swam well in the front pack and cycled strong also whilst trying to make a few break away attempts with fellow triathlete buddy Tim Reed. I moved to the front of the lead pack with 5km to go. It was then that I hit a rogue piece of concrete in the road which was camouflaged by poor road conditions. My arms jumped off the tri bars and my chest took their place. The front wheel wobbled, hit a log in the rough grassland to the side of the road - I flew off into the trees somersaulting as I went through the air at 45kph! I stood up put my cycling shoe back on, fixed my chain, briefly checked myself and the bike for breaks...and jumped back on. I couldn't breathe well at all and my femur (leg) was agony. I was determined to finish so I could at least get a pay check. After a long agonizing 13 miles I finished the race in 7th. Pay check, but I had to endure a few days of pain bed ridden in Mexico. I had torn ligaments in my back and a hematoma on my femur. So that was the end of race season. Beginning of the sleepless uncomfortable nights and a return to work...snow removal and gutter cleaning paid the bills for the next few months. After Christmas in UK with my family I returned to Boulder to start training. An extra 15lbs accompanied me again after the time off I had to recover and work. I raced a few times early season, grabbed a 3rd place in Kansas 5150, a 7th place at New Orleans 5150 and a 4th place at Rev3 Wisconsin.
Training has been great throughout the summer of 2012. My buddy Leon Griffin returned to Boulder after 2 years away! We've been hammering through some great sessions. I consistantly train with a handful of athletes here in Boulder that help keep an awesome, lighthearted positive attitude during the tough training days. Athletes such as Leon Griffin, Drew Scott (yes...son of legendary Dave Scott), Tom O'Donnell and even Craig Alexander sometimes. The training here is second to none...I love it! Seven days a week there's organized cycling rides, running groups and great swim sessions at FlatIrons Athletic club. Next race for me is Cozumel 70.3 this weekend (23rd Sep). A week later I'm excited to announce my first F1 race in San Diego that my friend Lars Finanger has been organizing. Awesome event! On the 14th Oct I'll be racing the Rev3 Anderson, then the Rev3 Florida on the 28th! Four races to go to close off 2012. Exciting times! So, whilst missing a huge amount of interesting stories that I'm sure you'd very much want to read, you're pretty much up date with the main gist of things. Oh I forgot to mention that I also brought a dog for my girlfriends birthday. She's a blue Heeler, just like the dog in the hit TV show 'Wilfred'. She loves me a lot, so I decided to keep her and not send her packing back to the Humane Society lol.
I'll be updating this much more from now on, so please keep checking in! Adios Amigos! Hadmeister General

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alcatraz

Bonjour Amigos!

This is my post race write up from the TriCalifornia Alcatraz race.

The week leading into the race was lovely. I threw down a couple of fast bike rides, a couple of fast short runs and a couple of swims...I was as fresh as a daisy.
I got to the hotel Coventry in CA and got my key for the room...much to John Flanegans disapointment as he had no idea we sharing a room. So when my smiling face opened the door he was literally caught with his pants down haha! Just kidding, he wasn't really. And yes...for all you dirty minded individuals out there, we did have our own beds!

Anyway, enough of the trash talk and on to race day!

The weather was freezing...about mid 50's farenheit in the morning, so not actually freezing, but it felt like it. Early start down to transition, on the bus and at the ferry pick up by 6am.
We finally approached the the point out near Alcatraz island where it would seem we all dive to our deaths out at sea from the boat.
The pro's lined up on the ferry ledge and the horn blows! We're off! Straight away I slam into a wave which knocked my goggles off...'great'. Even so I was still fighting hard in the front pack. The waves were insane as they slammed us from side to side. The fog drooped over the Golden Gate bridge in the distance. I was trying to spot the 'Gold Dome' that we were supposed to swim towards 1.9km away to shore..."Where's this fricken Gold Dome?" The waves were high, the tide was strong and I couldn't see sh#t as I swam towards land. I lost the leaders, as because quite frankly, they were just faster than me. The swim was long and tough and some 30 mins later I saw the swim finish banner on land. It turns out I hadn't swam direct to the finish, but instead got pulled further out to the right. I put my head down and made my way across to the finish. I had a bad swim getting out of the the water some 4 minutes or more behind the front pack. But i was relieved to be out of there.

The long 1km run to transition felt more like 10km and I could see all the faster swimmers cycling by me as I made my way to transition...bastards. I eventually reached my biked and set out on the Kestrel 4000 with my new ENVE wheels. I rode alone for the entire ride but still got top 5 fastest bike split. I felt great on the bike and even though I was behind I had a great time smashing those hills and time trialing the flats. I made up considerable time on some of the lead swimmers.

I threw my perfect biking equipment in transition and slid my feet into my new Newton flats. Off I went. I took it easy for the first mile but felt awesome! I passed John Flangegan and ticked along nicely towards the the Golden Gate bridge. I started to feel even better and picked up the pace hard. After about three miles I made it to the famous sand ladders that everyone talks about. Being 'English' my attitude when people said the "sand ladder climb was the hardest climb in the sport" was... "right, I'll be the judge of that thank you". Well, it turns out that it really is tough. There's no chance you can run up them. It felt like the scene from Blades of Glory when they're chasing each other with ice skates on. We were racing but plodding up the hill like old people from a local nursing home.

As soon as I got back to picking up the pace again I approached the down hill wooden steps that last about 50meters. I could almost hear Brian Rhodes ahead of me and I got excited. Flying down the steps like a man posessed. Bit silly really as on the last group of stairs my foot slipped landed side ways on the step below and released a loud crack accompanied by a sharp excrutiating shooting pain. I flew into the rail to my left and shrieked...in a very masculine way of course! I had two miles to go, I was in money position and I needed it so bad. I regained my balance and continued to run as best as I could. I could see Rhodsey just 30 secs in front of me. I was desperate to gain that next position but the shooting pain up my leg was almost unbearable. I knew I had damaged it pretty bad, and I also knew that continuing to run on it was not the smartest thing I could do. But again, I need the money. Over the next mile I was gradually gaining on Brian just 15-20 secs in front of me. The pain hadn't worn off, each step almost made me cry...and I almost never cry, so do the math on that! I eventually met the final run shoot after two miles of the most painful run of my life. I couldn't catch Brian, he finisihed just 12 secs ahead of me. I was just glad to have made the finish line and still pick up some cash.
I immediately got assistance and made my way to the medical tent where the doctors assumed my Tibia could be broken. Hence I spent the next 4 hours in hospital getting x-rays. Everyone was amazed at my bravery in the hospital though, they never said anything, but I knew that's what they were thinking.
I was told that might not be able to fly home that evening...to which I replied "bollocks, I'm making that flight". I really wanted to see my misses Krissy. We had already been away from each other for two days and there's no way she can handle one more night away from me! She never said that either, but I knew that's how she felt...probably. She actually offered to fly to CA to see me, but I said "no babe, don't worry about little old me, I'm fine".

Good news is that the tibia wasn't broken. I just badly tore the ligaments and possible stress fracture.

Anyway, I'm getting back into cycling and swimming with a pull buoy to keep my fitness. I'm booked in to race Cancun in three weeks so lets hope things are good enough to race by then.

Thanks for reading Amigos!

Ciao for now homies.

Hadley

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bonjour readers.

It has been ages since I last wrote, and for some reason I have just got the urge to post a new blog whilst sitting in my hotel room in San Fransisco awaiting the onslaught of the Alcatraz race tomorrow morning.

I have my new Newton shoes in toe, my sweet Kestrel ride kitted out with brand new Enve wheels...they are as smooth as ice. So in terms of equipment everything should be spot on for a great race. My fitness??? Hmm, who knows. I was training real hard for most of the season. I was fit and lean. Then I raced Calgary 70.3 a couple of weeks back thinking I was to have the race I knew I was capable of, but instead it ended up being a real tough one and I finished up in 6th place...which was good considering the field was tough and the results were pretty close. But like all athletes, I was certainly not satisfied with my performance. I actually think it is possible to go into races too tired and even though you think you have rested up and tapered well, your body wants more. So this time there's no excuse.
I went to a wedding last week where I took four days off, and then chilled out for the rest of the time with short easy rides and short fast runs leading into this race. So take a look at my results and you'll find out whether that was a good idea or not :-/

I always struggle in really cold water, so I'm pleased to announce that the water is in the 50's farenheit for this race...thats bloody freezing so thanks for that.
The swim is gonna be fast with the likes of John Flanagan, Brian Rhodes, Brian Fleischman and Graham O'Grady, so there's a good field here tomorrow. Due to this my race strategy is to latch on to whoever I can in the swim,try to hang on for dear life for as long as possible, last it out and get ready for the tough as nails bike and run. I decided to go with the disk wheel and the ENVE front 50mm and it looks SWEEET on the Kestrel 4000! Love it! The ENVE wheels are so nice...with the DT Swiss hubs! If you wanna see a photo look at my twitter (@hadleysituation) or take a look on my FB page.

This race pays top ten which is great for any pro trying to survive in Triathlon. I actually think all races should pay top ten with more even pay outs to help out the up and comers leap into the big leagues. After you pay flights, accom and other expenses, earning a living in triathlon is hard. I don't like leaving my girlfriend Krissy back in Boulder either, so racing away had better be worth it :-)

Anyway, it should be a good day. I'll write a race report to highlight all my excuses later lol! Just kidding.

Chow for now homies

Hads

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Replenishment

Hey there Comrades! How is everyone?! Well it's been a long time since I wrote a blog, so I'll try to cut things down as much as poss...but there's so much to tell, it's gonna be a long one, so get comfy!!! I'll start off from Nov 2010 on my return to the UK! I had been away from home for 2.5 years struggling to be a professional triathlete making good money. However 2010 was somewhat a difficult year for me, hence I didn't quite make the grades that I had anticipated to achieve.
Things changed one day though when I got a phone call at 03:30am from my ever supportive Father who said "Jimbo! Get up, you're gonna get a call from ITV" (television channel). I repied..."what, it's 3:30am, sod that I'm going to sleep, tell them to call me at 8:30am...what's it about anyway?" He said "It's about a dating show...I've entered you for it, it's on ITV...national tv!" I was intrigued, but sleeping was still my priority. Plus I had to be up to ride 3 hrs with triathlete super star Matty Reed at 9am...and those of you that know Matty know that cycling with him is never easy. 9am came around and I got a call from ITV. I didn't even know what this show was, but it sounded fun. I wanted in. All I knew is that I had to come down a "love lift" and choose a date from 30 girls!!! Awesome! They must have thought of me when they invented this show. As it happens my days of dating are long behind me. I'm always tired from training, so my first thought was actually "cool! My sponsors are gonna love this!" Long story short, I was on the plane 2 weeks later about to embark on an exciting TV opportunity. I hadn't seen my Dad for 2 years...an there he was at the airport. It ws a strange feeling. I felt like I was 5 years old again as I walked from baggage towards arrivals. I was so excited. I was actually going to see my parents...for real! In the flesh! Then there he was! All smiles and he must have been somewhat nervous too as he had his leather jacket on, which he reserves for special occasions. It was only when I walked up close and hugged him that I saw paint all over it...haha, oh, it's obviously not for special occasions anymore, he even wore the bloody thing painting!! It was a much needed trip. I was so happy to be at home with my family. At last I could really relax.
It's a strange feeling to be travelling for so long, sacrificing as much as you can for your career, and then all of a sudden be at home, surrounded by people that love you. I hadn't seen my Sisters little new born yet(well she's one now, so not that new). So seeing her for the first time was amazing...all in all the homecoming was emotional for me...although I didn't show it - cos I'm cool like that :-/ However, the next day I was driven to London for the show. This was exciting! I was pulled into the main studio to rehearse my scenes. I was amazed by it all. This thing called "Take Me Out" was a big deal!! Arrgh, what am I doing? We rehearsed coming down the 'love lift', saying our lines and walking to our placements in time with the music etc. I realised then how bloody nervous I was.
"Shit! This is gonna be done in front of 700 people...I hope I don't stutter!!!!" Then Paddy McGuiness showed up. For those of you that don't know him, he's a TV star in the UK...Comedian/actor, one of my faves. So to see him and talk to him in person was awesome for me. He was a great guy, friendly as well as very very professional. He has everything organised in his mind...very creative and quick thinking. The time had come for the show to start. The crew decided my hair needed sorting, so the hairstylist chopped away and blowed dryed it to look like David Copperfield. I tried to change it slightly, but got busted...not a chance, TV controls you thats for sure. I was directed out of the waiting area, walked behind the studio and I could hear the crowd going crazy! "Shit shit shit! This is real! AAAAHHH". The adrenaline was flowing like I couldn't believe. I thought "bollocks, my mouth is dry, I can't talk, this is on TV in front of 8million viewers!!! There's no way out!" I stood in the love lift above the studio for what seemed like an hour (it was only 5 mins). Then Paddy says "Single man....reveal yourself!" The music I chose (Beautiful girls by B.O.B) kicks off aloud with base to rival the boy racer cars. The lift starts to descend...with me on it. There's no turning back now. 700 of the audience were cheering with curiosity as to who I might be. The 30 girls all glared at me with wonder in their eyes...could I be the one to choose them? As I walked along strutting my stuff looking cool, I reached Paddy wth my arms in the air and turned to the girls...You could hear a pin drop in the thick, highly electified atmosphere that surrounded me."Take it away!" Paddy instructed..."Hello lovely ladies, I'm James from Weston-super-Mare!!!!!" Nerves racked my entire body, the crowd went insane, but I got the words out, and the ladies responded well. To cut a long story short, I chose a girl after 30 minutes of chatting, jumping in an icebath, and parading around in a bath robe. (You'll have to see the show if you want to know more) So my date and I got whisked off to the 'Isle of Fernando's' which is sunny and warm for our date that consisted of a yacht trip out to sea, and dinner on the coast. It was a beautiful time, but there was no romance between us despite having a great laugh...well I did. So post 'Take Me Out' adventure. Unfortunatley for me that was good and bad. Good to see my family, but bad as I knew that work awaited me like pending doom. Believe it or not, if you have a bad year in triathlon that means you have to subsidise yourself. It is hard to make ends meet in terms of money unless you get some great sponsors and some great results. For me that meant going back onto the building site for 3 months. 3 months of hard dirty graft. It's good money, but it's hard labour. This time though I was working with my Sisters fiance Steve Hancocks. We're like Bro's! So I had a great time working hard, laughing and eating bacon sarnies. We would work all week from 8am until gone 7pm. We'd be roofing (in the sodding rain), tiling (in the rain), digging trences (in the rain), laying floor, plasterboarding, studding, drilling, plumbing, you name it, we did it. Then on a Friday night it was off the Windsor Pub for some beers with the lads. Although I wasn't used to the drinking. I forgot that the English don't drink for fun, they drink to totally smash themselves up. When I first returned home I thought "I'm still gonna train when I come back". No way hosay. I was exhausted. Building work just utilised any energy I had, and to top it off my Mom begged me to play badminton with her at her club on a Tues and Thurs night. No-one likes playing with her (they don't think she's any good...just cos she can't hit the shuttle haha!) So I had to go down for support and kick some ass for her. Anyway, after 3.5 months of this I was 15lbs over race weight. I then get an email from my good friend and training buddy Matty Reed..."Hadley, are you coming with us to Hawaii...training camp". Oh shit! I can hardly run down the shops, there's no way I'm gonna be able to train with Matty! I replied "Hey mate, I'm not sure if I'm gonna be much use to you. I been working non-stop to raise some money to come back and give it another shot in triathlon...but I'm really unfit and overweight". To which he replied "Hadley, toughen up, get your ass over here. We'll check out chicks on the beach and have a great time". Straight away I was relieved! Although concerned too as I knew then that aint gonna be no "checking out chicks on the beach!" They know me too well, this is trick to lure me into going haha...it worked. I was in Boulder 2 weeks later preparing for the onslaught that lay ahead in Hawaii. Hawaii was awesome and if you don't know the Reeds I'll tell you that they are the most generous kind hearted people that I know. This is extremely rare, and even more rare in triathlon. They help whenever they can and are truly great friends. Although Matt was tryin to drop me 2 miles out to sea. I was overweight, hadn't touched the pool to swim in about 4 months, and there we were 2 miles out to sea with Matty swimming balls out 1:10 pace. Hence my balls had dropped off out at sea a long time ago. I was absolutely on the rivet!!!! There was no way I was gonna get dropped with these Tiger Sharks just waiting to pounce on my chubby pork like layers of meat. I asked Matty once as he was laughing at the state of my fitness, "Matt, how would you feel if I actually did get eaten by a shark out there, would you feel guilty?", to which he replied "no way, I'd think thank F@&K it went for Hadley and not me". So there you have it, pure honesty haha!!! It's good fun.

Anyway, so now since coming back from Hawaii training has been great with Team Reed/Hadley. I have dropped about 12lbs since my heaviest in UK. I am fresh, clearminded and ready to rock and roll!!! The trip home was a much needed rest mentally and physically, and the TV show went wild. I am coming home to race UK70.3 where I want a top class performance from myself infront of my beloved home crowd.
I love UK and I wanna make my country supporters (if I have any) proud that I represent the GBR! I told you this was a long one, but I hope the pictures kept you entertained enough to read through it. Until the next blog fellow readers, take care! Happy days! Hadley

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to Basics

Hey! Hello fellow readers! Well, I'm calling this blog the "Back to Basics" because that is exactly what's transpired during the last week or so since the Boulder 70.3 Ironman. I was pretty fit leading up to the race.

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Training had been going well, and I have been totally injury free for 3 months now. Physically all was going good. But mentally things have been tough for a few months in regards to some personal issues clouding my motivation and performance. This showed during the race of Boulder 70.3. Many people assume that if you're a pro athlete, everything is great. We're fit, professional and have everything sorted ready to race at every event. This is far from the truth. Talk to any of the pro's in any sport, they have all been through some kind of heart ache and stress, and without doubt they will tell you that no-matter how fit you are, you need a clear mind and focus in order to perform.

During the Boulder 70.3 I knew it was going to be a tough one. The few days leading up to it were especially difficult. To make things tougher, the field was real strong with the likes of Andy Potts, Tyler Butterfield, Tim De Boom, Matty White, Josh Rix, Ritchie Cunningham, Stevie Hackett and gun cyclist Tom Lowe. To race guys like this, you better bring your "A game".

The swim was great. We shot off with Andy and Hackett out in front. Then came Tyler followed by the pack with me in it. I exited the water with Josh Rix and Matty White, my two training buddies here in Boulder, so I was happy with that. The bike performance coming from us was insane! We were cycling harder and faster than I would have imagined. I went to the front and worked with 2 x Ironman World Champion Tim De Boom to persue the couple of athletes up the road that included Ritchie Cunningham. I was riding my Tommaso "Sixth Sense" with 808 zipps. The combination was awesome. Retul bike fit experts perfected the set up, and I felt great out there. We completed the bike course in a time of 2hrs 5mins for 90km (56miles)...thats fast.
This is where my energy ran out. With every step of the run I felt terrible. The stress and upset of recent months have left me drained. The heat was unescapable, and the legs were operating from pure will. There was nothing in the tank, and I soon realized that this was going to be a long, tough, solitary half marathon. All my buddies ran off up the road competing for their rightful position, whilst I was left behind battling with my will. I eventually reached my goal (the finish line) in 9th or 10th, but I learned something very important about myself and the lifestyle of an athlete. video
Everyone trains their bodies to the peak of excellence...but most athletes can neglect training of the mind. The mind, focus and motivation can make the difference between success or failure. Every professional athlete is fit, but the one that turns up on the start line the most fresh, the most intelligently trained, the most clear minded, the most focused and the most determined will perform to the best of their ability. Life has it's ups and downs, and if you're in a lull, or a bad state, then you better make damn sure you do everything in your power to release it, and change the way you perceive it...otherwise it's "good bye" to your performance or even your career. I have gone back to the drawing board to find a fresher approach to succeeding in this sport. Sometimes it takes a wake up call to realize that things aren't on the right track. "It's never too late if you wake up in time". Hah, I just made that quote up...good hey?

I have been training hard now with Matty White, Josh Rix and Jason Shortis. It has been awesome, refreshing and inspiring. They have been instrumental in re-focusing my attention to the future and what can be achieved. I am extremely grateful for that.

So bottom line is this. It makes no difference whether you're a pro athlete, an age group athlete, Tiger Woods or anyone else. If you want to succeed in anything you do, there is really no stone that you should leave unturned. A clear mind and a "fresh start" is sometimes all you need. A lesson can be learned and a new approach can be designed from any undesired experience if you search for it..."the silver lining".

Anyway, enough of that for now. Training is back on track, the weather in Boulder is beautiful, and everything looks good! Keep a look out for my races in the near future!

Till next time ladies

Hadley