Jenson Button trains to run his first full marathon in Hawaii
Jenson Button will take to the track this week and put in the miles in a different way as he prepares for his first crack at a marathon.
Outside of a Formula One car, Button has become renowned for tackling triathlons, mainly a half-ironman event which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13-mile run.
The 32-year-old McLaren star from Somerset has never run a marathon, but is due to enter one in Hawaii in early December as part of a month-long winter programme on the island ahead of the 2013 campaign.
To prepare for the event, Frome-born Button and trainer Mikey Collier are to run six laps of the 3.6-mile Dubai Autodrome today, amounting to 20 miles.
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“It’s good to do training in hot conditions, which is perfect for this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi,” said Button.
“It’s also good for my weight. It keeps it down. If I run I lose so much weight, which I need because you’re limited on weight when you are a tall driver.
“And have you seen marathon runners? They’re quite skinny.”
Asked as to his thinking on opting for a marathon, Button said: “It is just another challenge, a mental challenge.
“I’m not going to set a quick time because it’s a tough hilly course.
“The quick guys, the Africans, they will run it and be 10 minutes off the world record, so that tells you it’s not a quick circuit.
“But for me it will be mentally very challenging, and I love doing that sort of stuff, pushing yourself.
“It will also be the start of training for next year, so it’s a good place to start.”
“I’m not looking forward to next year too much just yet, but I’m obviously excited about next season.
“Hawaii will be the perfect place to prepare, to refresh myself for the year.”
For Button, the rest of this campaign has become about enjoyment, and extracting as much information as possible to aid his cause in 2013.
The current campaign has been a rollercoaster for Button with more lows than highs, with the 32-year-old 99 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel in the wake of the German’s four consecutive wins.
Button could only manage fifth in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix.