Interview extract with Robert de Castella 21/03/17
Recovery is a critical component to any athletes training plan. If not completed properly, it can increase the risk of injury and limit the athletes long term potential. One of Australia’s greatest marathon runners reflects on his gruelling recovery time after winning gold at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games.
DEEKS ON RECOVERY…
In a race when you’re running hard and you’re wearing very light, thin racing shoes the shock and the pounding is transferred directly through your legs.
The physical trauma and damage that you do to your legs is significant, that’s the price you pay.
It takes a long time to recover, from a marathon, it takes a good 10 – 12 weeks to just get back into normal training and another eight weeks or so before you contemplate racing again.
It never ceases to amaze me, man’s capacity to extract super human performances out of our body, by the strength and power of the mind.
Defining what makes a champion is no easy feat, but certain personality traits and characteristics can be easily spotted in many of the sporting greats. Natural skills and training hard are vital, but according to de Castella it’s controlling the mind, that is key amongst the elite.
DEEKS ON MENTAL TOUGHNESS…
Athletes in general are more resilient and that resilience in born from tough training and tough times.
Resilience is, I think, a mixture of strength and courage, self-belief and confidence.
You’ve got to have that mental toughness and the focus to overcome gruelling conditions, like fatigue and exhaustion.
Prior to competing, athletes can experience pressure from all different areas of their life – don’t ever feel as though the pressure is a negative thing – use that and channel it into your focus and your confidence and belief in yourself.
It’s the hard things that we do that test us and make us strong.
That’s why the marathon has become popular all around the world, more so for other runners because it is a wonderful way for you to develop your strength and your belief.