Lausanne, Switzerland – Week #1.1

First full-time training week with my new coach! It’s the beginning of new phase in my athlete life so the weeks count is going back down to 1. Yes, I know, me too, I started to feel attached to all those 5.3, 6.2… 😉 Back to 1.1!

SWIM x3 BIKE x4 RUN x2 TOTAL
10.3k – 3h50 135.7k – 6h20 16.7k – 1h40 162.7k – 11h50

This week, for the first time in my life I…:

  • visited Lausanne, in Switzerland.
  • have been interviewed by a local TV channel.
  • spoke to a track field world-record holder.
  • sat down in a train next to a very interesting person!
  • have on my iPhone, the phone number of an olympic medalist.
  • ran for an hour, singing.
  • swam in a pool in Paris.
  • swam 4k, without stopping.

This week, I messed up when…:

  • I was not able to use the electronic lockers in that pool! 😦
  • during that conference, I went to speak to a japanese guy and after 30 seconds, he told me “Mmm…should we speak english instead?” 😦
  • I received an email from an interpreting agency, asking me if I know any japanese speaking-interpreters and I said: “No, I don’t know anyone” 😦

Monday

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Today, I had a first taste of what my life as a pro triathlete will be. 3k swim in the morning. 2h ride in the afternoon. And in between, an interview with the local TV channel. The reporter wanted to talk about my recent National title. We got into a TV studio. I gave my speech several times and he filmed me from various angles as if we were shooting a music video. After we sat down for the interview itself. I’m really glad because I said everything I actually wanted to say. Sometimes, in some circumstances, you speak and then tell yourself “but why in the world did I say that?”; whereas here I said everything I wanted. Of course, I acted all polite, well-behaved and used some words I usually never say but the ideas were the right ones. As soon as the clip is live, I’ll publish it.

Tuesday

My coach only sent a few emails so far but he already taught me one thing.

After a 2h ride, I wrote him: “After 90 minutes, my legs are as hard as if I had ran track repeats. Is it normal or does it mean I’m going too fast?”

He just replied: “Don’t ask yourself too many questions”.

I don’t know about you but I have this tendency to over-analyze everything that’s a part of my life. My brain is still rolling. He never takes any time off. Of course, there are some times where it’s necessary to think but 75% of the time, I am asking myself questions for nothing. Everything’s fine…but I am still wondering.

Here is the lesson: Shut up. Don’t ask yourself too many questions. Do things. Shut your brain down. Do things (Maybe that’s why athletes look younger…they don’t ask themselves endless useless questions).

Today, I also heard Kenny Smith, a former NBA basketball player say: “The greatest athletes are the ones with the shortest memory”. Sometimes, I feel like I have an elephant memory. And this memory only serves one purpose: asking myself even more questions.

It reminds me of one quote: “Yes I had a lot of trouble in my life and most of them concern things that never happened”.

I really believe my mental preparation is key if I want to succeed as an athlete. I need to forget what’s past, what’s now useless. Focus on what I am doing now and once it’s done…let my body recover and enjoy.

Wednesday

It is my first time in Lausanne. I didn’t know it but Lausanne’s nickname is “The Olympic Capital”.

It is 5:49 am when I start running under the rain. I pass by the Olympic park, then the Olympic museum, then the International Olympic Committee, then the Olympic bakery (no, I’m kiddin’ here). In other words, this city is custom-made for me 🙂

In this conference, many speakers come to the stage to speak about the Champion’s league, the UEFA, the Rio Olympics, sponsors…etc

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 Colin Jackson, former star hurdler and still world record holder of the indoor 60m hurdles  opens the conference with the following story:

“After winning the silver medal at my first Olympics, I came back to see my mentor (Dailey Thompson, a successful former British decathlete) and show him my medal. There, he told me: ‘Mmmm….I didn’t know they were making medals of that color'” 😉

It is then the turn of a fascinating man to speak: M. Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, the watch brand. He answers the following question: “What qualities does a potential employee needs to have in order for you to hire him?”.

“First, he shouldn’t give me a Power Point presentation. That kills creativity!”

“Then, I’d like him to start his resume by mentioning his biggest failure. If he made a huge mistake, it means he probably learnt a huge lesson”.

Thursday

I woke up and for the 2nd time in my life I dreamt in japanese 🙂

The conference is over. I hang around in the room and get the opportunity to speak 1 on 1 with Colin Jackson. In case you don’t know, he ran during 4 olympics and was the 110m hurdles world record holder for 13 years. I speak with him about triathlon, my Olympic dream and ask him: “What is that extra thing you need in order to get to that next level?”

His answer: “Fun. I’ve always loved training but the day I stopped having fun when travelling and racing is the day I started being a step slower”.

I am then heading to the train station. I don’t know about you but when I board on a plane or a train, I rarely sit next to smiling or interesting people. I smille and salute them but usually…they just look grumpy or don’t even answer. But tonight, I feel the curse has been lifted:

  • In front of me, Makan Dioumassi, former French pro basketball player and silver medallist at the Sydney Olympics.
  • On my left, a japanese guy 🙂

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One of the details I like most when speaking with elite athletes is that when you tell them “I want to make it to the Olympics”, they don’t even react. There is no sense of surprise in their eyes. It’s as if you used a set of words which are part of their everyday vocabulary.

I asked Makan what does it feel like to be an Olympic silver medalist. He said he doesn’t know where is the medal but that yes, it does change your life.

Friday – Saturday – Sunday

3 days of training where my coach repeats the same thing: some volume but no intensity. 1h easy here, 2h easy there.

I can feel now my body getting stronger. When I swim, overtake others and take some hits right and left, I tell myself “Yeah, go ahead, try to knock me, try to make me move”! 😉

When I run, I now try to sing. I feel my stride becoming looser, more relaxed and it makes me keep an easy rythm. My coach told me that’s what Kenyans do during their “easy” 12km/h run…

Currently, I repeat myself the following saying: “Train like you’re the lowest. Race like you’re the best”. I try to stay discipline. Not to think about people looking at me. To focus on my technique.

Krakow_rynek_01

3 weeks to go before the London race and 3 days before flying to Krakow for the European Championships of public speaking. This is going to be huge. Of course, of course, I’ll tell you all.

Next week, let the fire inside of you burn. Tell yourself you’re happy. Listen to more music. Say what you think. Be yourself. Stay with people who have a good influence on you. Believe in your dream. It will come true.

Heiwa ( “Peace” in japanese)

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