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

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