Jenson Button goes through pain barrier to prepare for F1 season
Jenson Button has forced himself through the pain barrier to bolster his chances of remaining motorsport’s very own ’wizard of Oz’.
Button has earned himself a reputation for being a fitness fanatic over the past few years, notably taking part in a number of triathlons and ironman events.
But he experienced a level of physical discomfort he had rarely felt before when he competed on February 24 in a half-marathon on the south coast of France.
What kept the 33-year-old going was the thought of the season-opening grand prix in Australia at Melbourne’s Albert Park, where he has triumphed three times in the last four years.
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The race takes place in nine days’ time, and Button told said: “I don’t know if it’s the same for every driver, but you do put in the extra effort through the winter, and because I’ve been training for so many years, it all adds up.
“The amount of hours I do now I wouldn’t have been able to do four years ago. Physically it would have been too demanding on the body, but my body is used to it now so you can put more time into it.
“But then it’s not just about the physical training over the winter, its about the mental training and putting yourself through all sorts.
“I did a half-marathon in Cannes recently. It was zero degrees and I did an hour and 19 minutes, which I was chuffed to bits with.
“But it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done. Two days after I was still hurting from it.
“In putting myself through that pain, especially the last 20 minutes, the way I got to the end was to think about the first race of the season.
“I thought about being mentally and physically prepared, not feeling the pressure, feeling comfortable within myself and within the team. That’s what kept me going.”