BUTTON TAKES A BREAK WITH A DIFFERENCE
Jenson Button heads to Hawaii this weekend for his latest triathlon attempt armed with cycling tips from arguably the world’s greatest, Lance Armstrong.
The punishing event that includes swimming, cycling and running is not one for the faint-hearted, least of all in between grands prix.
But that is the exacting schedule Button has chosen to undertake as he competes in the 14th annual Waikoloa Lavaman Olympic distance event on Sunday that includes a 1.5 kilometre swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.
Button could comfortably have remained in Melbourne after finishing sixth in Sunday’s season-opening race in Australia with McLaren.
Instead, the 31-year-old will jet across the Pacific to take part in the triathlon he feels is perfect preparation for the next race in Malaysia in 11 days’ time, with the levels of humidity similar in Hawaii to what he can expect there.
But it was in Hawaii in January that Button met seven-times Tour de France winner Armstrong by chance prior to the American sending the Briton a message on Twitter asking if he would like to meet.
“We did meet up and went for a couple of rides,” Button told Press Association Sport.
“It was an amazing experience. Anyone who is at the top of their game in a sport, to spend time with them, it’s inspirational.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from someone who has achieved so much.
“It was not only good for my training, but to talk to someone at the top of their game in a sport, to see how much training they put in and their mental attitude.
“A lot of top sports, especially cycling, mentally it’s so tough and sometimes you have to take your brain out, put it to one side and fully focus.
“It was good and hopefully that will come out.”
Button has revealed his cycling exploits especially will continue later this year, although he has refused to divulge details.
“I’ve the opportunity to ride with some of the greats, which is exciting as well,” added Button.
“We do a lot of work with specialist riders, and there are lots of good ones I will get the opportunity to ride with.”
Many would view Button’s triathlon workout this weekend as insane, but he does pride himself on being arguably the fittest driver in F1.
“Physically I am very fit, which in turn helps you mentally knowing you will be 100% on every lap,” said Button.
“It’s something I do particularly work on, but then as a driver you work in every area – nutrition, fitness, mental attitude, engineering, and obviously driving the car.
“But I’m really excited about this weekend. It’s going to be good, and great to do it in the humidity as well.
“It will really put me in the right frame of mind because getting used to the humidity is so important for Malaysia.”