Andrea Zambelli: For several years I have considered the Passatore the most beautiful 100km by Matteo Simone100km del passatore
Andrea Zambelli: For several years I have considered the Passatore the most beautiful 100km
The 100km of the passatore from Florence to Faenza did not win Andrea but King Giorgio Calcaterra did, but Andrea finished in second place close to Calcaterra, a few minutes away, an international race, the most important 100km in the world with perhaps nearly 3,000 attendees.
Below we can read Andrea’s impressions through answers to some of my questions.
Hi Andrea, Passatore 100km race, what does this mean for you? “I think it is the most beautiful 100km, for several years I have considered the Passatore ‘the race’.”
In fact, the Passatore is a tender lady, everyone wants it, everyone wants to try it, not everyone arrives at the start, not everyone arrives at the end of the 100km, many stop on the road, many cannot manage, you have to consider the power supply, The crisis. It is a fight in the top positions, those who attack immediately, those who wait for the climb, those who wait for the 3 quarters of the race, each one their own strategies based on their known characteristics and studied over time alone or through experts.
Did you have any particular problems, difficulties, critical moments? “This year was the third time I participated in the Passatore and compared to previous editions, perhaps thanks to a little more experience and more accurate training, I had no problems or difficult moments.”
Every time we try to do better, a year is long to face the passatore once again, we prepare ourselves, we train uphill, and then at the start we try to do our best, sometimes we succeed, sometimes there are unforeseen events, anxieties and tendencies, bad days.
How do you decide the objectives and strategies of the race, team, family, friends, professional figures? “In the last two years the main objectives have been the World Cup, Holland 2015 and Spain 2016. After recovering from the Spanish World Cup, I decided, together with my coach Riccitelli, to prepare the Passatore in the best possible way. The family helps me a lot, supporting me in everything … then my daughter Francesca gives me an extra charge and motivation, since she is passionate about this sport. I also have unique friends who always follow me when they can.”
Andrea seems to be in an iron barrel, he has the talent of his own and then has a network of people who care and take care of him, this is very important to be able to deal with others, trust and rely on expert people, have the family becomes very important, the affection and warmth of others increases the energies a hundredfold especially in difficult moments, the words to move forward and overcome dark moments come from your heart in a low voice and silently and the effect is powerful. Friends get a boost feel their energies pushing from behind making you become faster and lighter. Truly a beautiful story, well-being and performance, one leads to another, and then you add calls and blue jerseys, appearances in the national team and international competitions, comparison with the strongest Italian, European and world athletes, the experience that increases awareness, self-efficacy and resilience.
Has your way of training changed with experience? “Yes, with experience I learned to listen to my body and my sensations, if I feel I’m tired maybe I train less intensely, then I don’t do a lot of competitions, this to wear my body as little as possible.”
With the experience you take better care of yourself, your body, you want to last longer and better, increase self-confidence and decrease quantitative training, muscles and mind memorize previous workouts that remain in memory.
Do you take care of mental preparation? “Sometimes I do 25km training sessions in a 1km circuit, in order to find myself in a difficult psychological condition. It’s the only thing I do to train my mind.”
Simulating a race, a situation, an experience as much as possible is a good mental training.
What are the sensations experienced before, during and after the race? “Until a year ago the pre-race was terrible, already 3/4 days before the race I felt the tension; I have also improved this aspect lately and I am quite calm, so I arrive at race day much more rested. During the race I just try to stay focused and have fun.”
You learn about all aspects of the race but also the pre-race and post-race, you learn to consider that the race does not end at the finish but you have to take care of yourself even after the race, you have to understand what you need after so much effort, rest, food, affection, encounters, as well as understanding what to do before the competition, breathing, visualizing, being in silence, thinking about the daughter.
Is there a word or phrase said by someone that helps you believe in it and commit yourself? “I think there isn’t a phrase or word said that can help, it takes a lot of passion, grit and determination.”
These seem appropriate words, they can be a mantra that even if it is not repeated remains imprinted in the mind and heart.
I thank the famous and well-known Marche photographer Sandro Marconi “Scrotofoto”.
Interviews of athletes allowed me to write the books
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