POSE IN PRESS A collection of articles about Pose Method and Dr.Romanov in various publications.
March 14th 2005
Andrea Zamboni - Men’s 30-34 Age Group Winner
by Fran Arfaras
Our Amazing Age-Group Winners are the backbone of the Ironman race and bring excitement and incredible stories of courage and determination with them. Stay with us throughout the year as we introduce them to you.
Andrea Zamboni, Locarno, Canton Ticino, Switzerland – “The race gave me the best possible gift – just to be happy.”
Andrea Zamboni was born and raised in Ticino (pronounced Ticheeno) Switzerland, in the shadow of the Lepontine Alps on the shore of Lake Maggiore. This is a picturesque, predominantly Italian-speaking area in the southern part of Switzerland. Spring, autumn, and winter are just a few train stations apart in Ticino. You can put on your skis and head for snow covered peaks, or go trekking through the rustling dead leaves of old chestnut groves, or stroll down quiet lakeside promenades. It’s no wonder that Andrea grew up trekking, skiing, and snowboarding.
When he bought his first bike his main interest was to discover the region in which he lived. He wanted to climb all the hills in Ticino. His interests didn’t change after his first bike race either. Fifteen years ago, he was a member of the Swiss Cycling National Team. While his competitors continued training for races, Andrea loaded on the kilometers discovering new hills.
“So firstly, bike races were a lovely way for me to discover my region,” he said, “but they also gave me the opportunity to discover other regions in the world. For example, I won a stage in the Tour de l’Abitibi in Canada as a junior.”
In 1997 he decided to build his upper-body muscles to gain some balance after so many years of developing his legs while competing as a professional cyclist. He decided against body-building, and thought the best thing would be to start swimming again. A friend suggested he join the Triathlon team.
“I did so,” he said, “swearing I’d never compete against others. Some of the athletes laughed at me because I was so slow in the pool. (To be honest, I still am!) But I’m proud, so I told them, ‘shut up, it might be true I’m a bad swimmer, but watch out! If I start racing I’ll beat you in no time!’ They only smiled, so that’s when I started racing once again.”
In 1998 Andrea competed in his first triathlon, a 500m/ 20km/ 5km sprint, and won it!
Andrea considers running and biking his strongest abilities in triathlon, but only if the drafting is checked properly.
Two years ago Andrea decided to quit triathlon. “There was always the same problem: DRAFTING,” he said. “Each year I had a goal, but the unjust race destroyed my interest in triathlon. Lots of training and sacrifices, but for what? In the end, there was only cheating. So last year (2003), before quitting triathlon, I decided to do an Ironman – a hard triathlon where drafting doesn’t matter. This was in Wallis, Switzerland, 3.8km swim, 187km bike 42km run. After six months of training I got an intestinal virus on that weekend. It was impossible to start! So I rested for 10 days, and at the last moment (14 days later) I decided to try Ironman Switzerland in Zurich, just to see the result of my training. I won my age group (30-34).” His time was a very respectable 9:28:34 but he didn’t take the slot for Kona.
In 2004 Andrea made some changes. “For the first time in my life I hired a professional trainer, who suggested I train slowly. I also decided to improve my technique. The POSE-clinic was very important for me because it improved my running and recovery performances.”
He usually trains in each sport three times per week; approximately 3 hours running, 14 hours biking and 4 hours swimming. Andrea works at a chemist’s four days a week, which frees up time for training.
Andrea made his first trip to Kona in 2004 after winning a slot at Ironman Lanzarote. He had no idea who was racing in his age group, but he felt the important thing for him was to do his best. He did know that the winner in 2003 was Martin Leumann, another Swiss athlete (who came in second, 5:55 behind Andrea last year.)
He was not really surprised that he won. It was his goal to be in the top three of his age group, and in the first 100 overall. He was very surprised to finish 21st overall. He was also surprised at how fresh he felt in the final part of the race. “About 3 miles before the finish, someone told me that I was the first in my age group,” he said. “If I had started together with the professionals I would have had more points of reference and would have been spurred to fight more. I might have even improved my performance, but that was not the case.”
Andrea didn’t have a target finish time. With normal conditions, his target was to finish in less than nine hours. But conditions were not quite normal on the course this year. Andrea did appreciate the strict supervision of the race marshals on the course in Kona.
“After six years of triathlon I can say that the Kona Ironman was the only just triathlon that I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said. “And through my result I proved I was right: when I think I’m in a just race I can be very competitive, because it’s possible to check the cheaters. This is very important! I was also scared to be in Kona and be cheated once again, but fortunately that wasn’t the case. On the contrary, this race was really controlled.”
Andrea has a good feeling overall about his trip to Kona. “The race, together with the amazing feeling before and after the race gave me the best possible gift – just to be happy.”
“My girlfriend was in Kona with me (she didn’t qualify but should do so this year) and another friend met us in Maui where we had surfing lessons. What a tremendous feeling!”
Andrea is 99% sure he will be back in Kona next year. “It depends on whether my girl friend qualifies and whether I’m going to find a sponsor,” he said. “To work and train simultaneously gets harder year after year.”
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Andrea Zamboni is a Pose Method Certified Coach. Click here to find out more.
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