Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emil Zátopek

Emil Zátopek, originally uploaded by Andy Waterman.
When I was 14 or 15, I got really into running. There was never any doubt that I was entirely without talent, but that didn't stop me coming back for more. What I loved about running was the gratification that any effort put in during training, almost immediately translated itself to increased performance in competition. The harder I tried, the faster I went, and although I was never going to win any races, I loved it.
One of the things that kept me motivated was reading about Emil Zátopek, a Czech who at the 1952 Olympics won the 5000m, the 10000m and the Marathon. His wins were a triumph of determination over talent, and the stories of his legendary training, running 80 lots of 400m in army boots, was totally inspiring.
Today I was lacking motivation so I went about reading a number of his biographies online, and hey presto, my motivation came flooding back.

"When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical.
Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem."
Emil Zátopek

To remind myself of this endurance hero, I decided to tape his picture to the stem of my TT bike. I'm doing a 2-up timetrial on Saturday and I think I'm going to need the inspiration if I'm going to get a result.

Go and check out Zátopek's wikipedia page

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