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Beating the Off-Season Blues…..


It’s the end of the season. Your running shoes haven’t moved, your can’t find your goggles and your bike is slowly gathering dust…
 

Ever have that feeling? YES, you’re not alone…

 

You don’t have to be an elite triathlete to suffer from offseason blues. All you have to be is an athlete that strives everyday for perfection.

 

The constant drive of chasing perfection eventually wears thin and your life is thrown in turmoil, or your think so anyway, you tip the scale in a major way on the side of the spectrum. Living so far on the edge in a positive way has its “side affects” and you will loose motivation, feel unhealthy, tired and depressed. That’s totally normal and it sets in on you, depending on where you’re at in your sports career and or stage of life.

 

Obsessing too much about self-esteem, around a goal and then not achieving it can easily cause “The Offseason Blues.” When it hits, treat it like an injury and address it right away.

 

I like to say to my fiancé who is also an elite athlete, “I’ve lost my mojo” but I know in time, I will be able to regain it and settle back into that life I feel most comfortable in. A few tips I like to think help find your passion again:

 

1) Create an off-season for yourself: It very important to have some down time. Recharge your emotional batteries and rediscover the love for the sport.

 

2) Take a “real or normal” vacation: Travel somewhere that involves not wearing a race number. Stay up late. Sleep in. Eat what you want. Indulge a little and don’t feel guilty! Lie on the beach and soak up some sun.

 

3) Revisit what’s important: Re-examine your main values and what’s most important. Reflect on what motivates you, which can help those negative emotions disappear allowing you to perform at your best.

 

At the beginning of the NEW season I sit down with my coach and set “realistic goals.” These goals are more process-oriented than result-oriented. Result-oriented goals focus on the outcome, which is out of my control–such as winning the race etc. These types of goals risk creating a feeling of failure or underperforming.

 

Process-oriented goals focus on how I performed–such as the form I kept during the swim–not my total time or result at the event. With these type of objectives, I give myself the greatest chance of a successful 2017 season and remaining a happy participant in the sport I love.

 

Benny Allen

 

My 2016 XTERRA World Championships, Maui Hawaii   

Xterra World Championships 3rd place finish... Pic Jesse Peters

Xterra World Championships 3rd place finish… Pic Jesse Peters

 

23rd October 2016           

 

Flying under the radar… The typical “under dog” was what I was labeled before the start of the race!

 

That was completely fine by me and I went about my business doing what I do best, with my team there supporting me every step of the way. It’s the 21st edition of the World Title race and my fifth appearance on Maui to test myself against the fittest and strongest off-road triathlete on the planet.

 

There something about Maui that brings the best out of myself. I absolutely love and hate this race at the same time. When I tell people I’m off the Maui for the World Champs, they say, wow that’s amazing… To be honest I feel super lucky don’t get me wrong, but there is only so many things you can do on an island…. Plus Jacqui and I come to race and race only!! Athlete problems, I know!!!

 

Race week is always pretty hectic, with media interviews, clinics, Skype calls, emails, training and meetings. But Jacqui and I always make sure, we all sit down as a family, know matter who is at our house and enjoy dinner altogether as a one BIG family. This makes things seem “normal”.

 

This year we were very lucky to have an amazing support crew with us. A house full of passionate people believing in us and allowing us to do our very best on race day.

 

Race day was epic…. For once there was a decent wave, Heuy the “surf god” had delivered the goods and I was so stoked to see some swell at DT Flemmings beach. That said I lead the entire swim, cracked a beauty of a wave on the first lap and ran up the beach and around the flags and back into the water again.

Surf's up dude... Benny getting some air time!

Surf’s up dude… Benny getting some air time!

Heading back out to sea to round the last buoy for home and I was able to get a hold on another one. But, this one nailed me into the sand bank. I eventually surfaced, with I reckon about have of DT Flemming beach in my suit to exit the water in 2nd spot. Perfect positioning as I headed into transition to start the bike leg.

 

The bike was gnarly, days leading up to the race it rained a lot, which made the course super muddy and very slippery. It’s the same for everyone! I had half of DT Flemmings beach down my pants why not add some Maui mud to mix things up a bit… Yeeeew

 

Best way to describe how I rode was, “hang the f#ck on and embrace the chaos”. My ride was almost perfect, a few minor mechanicals, which threw a spanner in the works, but other than that, it was solid.

Embrace the Maui mud and hang on for dear life!!! Pic Jesse Peters

Embrace the Maui mud and hang on for dear life!!! Pic Jesse Peters

Off the bike in third and ran comfortable, coming home in third at the Xterra World Champs. That my third, third place finish in Maui in the last four years! One thing for sure is that I’m consistent. But the, scary thing is I know how to win this race now and I can see first spot within arms reach. Can’t wait for Maui 2017!!!!

 

I have to say a HUGE thank you to the people that have helped me. Your support, love and words of wisdom are priceless.

Support crew in Maui... #BJRacing

Support crew in Maui… #BJRacing

My Family, Friends & Sponsors you are my everything! Thank you so much!

 

Benny Allen

Kona Beer Shower anyone???

Kona Beer Shower anyone???

XTERRA World Championships 2016….

bike-maui

Firstly I would like to start with a HUGE thank you. With out the help and support from family, friends and sponsors I wouldn’t be on this epic journey to become one of the worlds best.

 

As you already know on the racing front my mid season has been relatively quiet compared to previous years.  This has been a tactical decision discussed with my coach and mentors in order to prepare for the 2 biggest races of the year.  Tomorrow I race the Xterra World Champs and 3 weeks later I represent Australia at the ITU World Cross Champs.  In order to be at my best for these races we decided to train through the European summer time to be fully prepared come October and November.

 

So tomorrow is the day when I line up against the best in the world.  Every male athlete in the top 10 including myself has won 1 or more World Tour races this season and will be on the start line to win a World Title.  I’m feeling as ready as i’ll ever be, training has gone well the body is healthy and the mind is focused to endure 2 hours and a half, of pain to achieve a dream.

 

I’m excited, nervous, anxious but quietly confident that I will deliver the goods tomorrow I can honestly say there’s nothing more a could have done and I stand on the start line ready to make you all proud of my performance.  I am surrounded by a great support team in Maui, special mentions to Ladi our On running team manager, Ian our go to guy and masseur, Alex Ball my coach and good friend and as always my mum and dad, these people take the pressure off on race day so we can focus on doing our job out there. A HUGE thank you!

 

Benny Allen

 xterra-maui-2013

 

Race Day Coverage:

Benny Allen: #9

You can follow the race here http://www.xterraplanet.com/worlds/

Tomorrow, Sunday – October 23, the island where it all started in 1996 will host the 21st edition of the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon.

 

Follow the race live with streaming coverage at www.xterramaui.com, on twitter @xterraoffroad,#xterramaui, and on Facebook.com/xterraplanet starting at 8:45am Hawaii time.  The race starts at 9am with elite men, followed by elite women at 9:01am, then age group waves starting at 9:04am.  Note: 9am in Hawaii is 6am in Sydney…

 

Find unofficial live results at: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-24496.  Official results after event posted to http://jtltiming.com/multisport.htm

Allen, Slack WIN XTERRA Malaysia

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MAY 7, 2016

Langkawi, MalaysiaBen Allen and Jacqui Slack captured the Asia-Pacific Tour finale at XTERRA Malaysia on a day that lived up to the event’s pre-race billing as The Hottest Weekend on the XTERRA World Tour.

Temperatures quickly peaked to around 90F (32C) as the morning sun rose over the Gunung Macincang mountains. With humidity near 83% Mother Nature was, without a doubt, the toughest competitor facing every racer today.

Allen looking to reclaim the XTERRA Malaysia title he first won in 2014 faced a deep pro field which included reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champ Bradley Weiss of South Africa as well as top tour contenders Takahiro Ogasawara of Japan, Brodie Gardner from Australia, Kaon Cho from Korea and Olly Shaw from New Zealand.

After putting a two-minute gap between him and the rest of the field during the swim Allen left little doubt, barring a mechanical or a crash, who’s day it was meant to be. Setting a blistering pace on the bike and run Allen raced alone to finish with a time of 2:55:42 nearly 10 minutes ahead of Weiss and 15 minutes ahead of third place finisher Fabrizio Bartoli of Italy.

“As always, I was just trying to play to my strengths. Coming from a swimming background I was just trying to nail the swim. I knew if I was able to do that and get a good lead I could then find that flow out on the trail.” said Allen. “I just felt like I was in the zone the whole time. I had a couple of crashes but I just tried to dust myself off and keep riding hard, pushing the pace.”

“The course out there is so gnarly. I’m just really happy to be on the top step and to win here today is a really awesome effort.” he added.

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JACQUI THE JET

Not to be out-done by his fiancé Jacqui Slack exited the swim up two minutes on 2016 APAC Tour starlet Lizzie Orchard with Austrian Carina Wasle and last year’s winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset of France close behind.

Slack’s skills on a mountain bike held true today as she bombed the steep, technical downhill sections while putting the hammer down in the flats to build enough of a gap off the bike that she could hold on and keep pace on the run.

“I had no idea how much of a lead I actually had. When you’re in the lead you have to keep pushing as hard as you can.” she said. “The last few races the girls have passed me on the run so it was just a matter of fighting to the finish.”

ALLEN ALSO TAKES HOME THE ASIA PACIFIC TOUR TITLE

XTERRA Malaysia was the final stop on the 2015-16 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour.

The top 15 professional racers at each event earn series points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.

Racers count their best three scores to determine champions in each division. Allen secured the Tour title by a strong showing at Xterra Malaysia and walks away with an extra $2000.

The 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race

B&J pre race interview

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(Jervis Bay, NSW) – The 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on an unseasonably cool and windy day at Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia this afternoon.

XTERRA’s surf-life saving guru Ben Allen used the rough sea conditions to his advantage and led everyone out of the water, followed close behind by Courtney Atkinson.  Impressively, Braden Currie and Sam Osborne came out together less than one-minute behind those two and quickly caught and passed Atkinson and joined a line of three with Allen into the Aussie bush.

“It was a challenging, tough course,” said Currie.  “That swim was amazing.  Probably good for us Kiwis because we can’t swim like Courtney can.  It was so rough he couldn’t see where he was going so we could just follow his feet and keep in close contact with him.  I knew coming out of the water it was going to be a good day if we were that close to him.”

By the midway point on the bike it was a three-man race with Currie and Allen trading leads and Osborne never far behind.

“That bike was absolutely unreal, Braden was drilling it,” said Osborne, who also finished 2nd behind Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend.  “I was looking at that back wheel of his and just thinking don’t let it go, that’s my ticket to the front.  He was going so fast.”

Allen hit the run in second but Osborne wasn’t far behind, and moved into second somewhere around the 3K mark.

“The swim was alright,” said Allen, who finished in third and top Aussie to win the XTERRA Australia title.  “Towards the end of that run the legs were cramping up, I think the effort of laying it down on the bike with Braden caught up with me. I just tried to hang on as long as I could to Sam.  Full credit to Braden, he’s a phenomenal athlete, and Sammy too.”

Brad Weiss and Olly Shaw were fourth and fifth out of T2, but Atkinson in sixth posted the fastest run of the day (35:16) to leap-frog past both of them for fourth.

“It’s one of those bike courses where you warm up on it and you think it’s not so bad but then when you start riding it hard every single little step-up and hill kills your legs,” said Atkinson.  “These guys make it look easy, riding around in the mud.  It’s a bloody fun day.  I come out here to have a lot of fun, and try my hardest to keep the deficit as best I can but today Braden and these boys were absolutely flying and caught me very early on.  I wasn’t even in the race so I really want to know what happened up in the front.”

Up front Currie was showing what kind of a fast, tough athlete he is.  Remember he was the runner-up to Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Worlds last year, and in doing that he became the only other guy along with Middaugh to upset Ruben Ruzafa in two years of racing off-road.  No doubt the Kiwi is looking forward to another crack at the Spaniard and American.

For Bradley Weiss, who held on to 5th by just eight seconds over Shaw, it was a disappointing day.

“I lost too much time on the swim,” said the South African who won the first four races he did this year. “I saw when I was running up to transition that Braden and Sam were together, and knew that Ben and Courtney were together in front of them, and there is a lot of drafting chances on this course and I ended up all by myself.  I caught Courtney eventually, but he’s become a much better mountain biker through the years so it wasn’t easy.  I’m disappointed in 5th, but the guys up ahead definitely deserved it today.”

After the race Atkinson, a two-time Olympian, told the crowd … “I’d like to congratulate everyone out here today.  It’s difficult for me, and for all the on-road triathletes that gave it their first shot off-road today I want to congratulate them.  It’s fun, but it’s a challenge.  I think we’ll continue to get people crossing over and tying this.  People tick off Ironman, tick off Olympic distance and all the rest of them, this is your next challenge.”

For Ben Allen, who worked so hard to help XTERRA establish roots in Australia, seeing the big field of international racers and the great vibe in Callala today made him choke-up a little.

“I’m absolutely stoked XTERRA is here, it’s been a dream come true for me to get XTERRA on the forefront of triathlon within Australia and this event, this day is just awesome,” he said.

ELITE MEN

Pl Name (Bib #) Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden CURRIE (1) 2:11:46 0:16:57 1:15:49 0:35:31
2 Sam OSBORNE (12) 2:13:38 0:16:57 1:18:05 0:35:14
3 Ben ALLEN (4) 2:14:47 0:16:06 1:17:56 0:37:12

Allen can make history with TreX Dirt Fest win in Queensland

Australian pro triathlete Ben Allen could become first elite male in six years to claim an Australian Dirt Master Title with a win at the  Queensland TreX Championships and Dirt Fest on the Sunshine Coast…

FINISH-ben-allen-auschamps-LCR-celebrate-600x500BRISBANE—With the Victorian and Australian titles already decided, only the Queensland championships remain as the third and final TreX qualifier for the upcoming 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon (X-Tri) World Championships in November.

The 31-year-old Wollongong native and 17-time Xterra champion could become the first elite male and only second athlete in the event’s six-year history to sweep all three Dirt Master titles since Connie Silvestri (QLD) claimed all three with wins in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in 2012.

The two-day multisport weekend is highlighted by the long course race on Saturday consisting of 1500-metre swim, 30-kilometre mountain bike and 10-kilometre trail run in and around the rainforests at Ewen Maddock Dam in Landsborough.

The ever popular Queensland Dirt Master and Dirt Mistress titles, combines all three long course events across two days, with the title of Dirt Master and Dirt Mistress being awarded to the athlete with the best cumulative times across 100 grueling kilometers in this ultimate off road endurance challenge.

“It will be a very prestigious honor, if I’m able to pull it off,” Allen told In2Adventure on Tuesday. “The Dirt Master is very special, because only a handful of athletes have the will and desire to push through the pain and challenge themselves to see how far they can go! It’s very mentally challenging, the feat of accomplishment is cast upon only the brave.”

TROPHY_dirtmaster_600x900Silvestri, who will trade the starting line for the sideline to cheer on daughter, Georgia, who has already qualified for the upcoming ITU Cross Triathlon (X-Tri) World Championships (18-19 November) in the 15- to 16-year-old junior elite division, fondly recalls her historic accomplishment.
“It meant a lot for me to do it,” admitted Silvestri, who was both inspired and motivated by racing eventual London Olympics bronze medallist, Erin Densham (NSW). “But it actually crept up on me. It wasn’t really my main goal. It just happened because of the way I trained.

“I used to leave no stone unturned and off-road Trex was my absolute passion to compete in and I really just enjoyed training hard for it so much.

“When I finally won, I was proud of the achievement and thought it would be repeated straight away. Then when it wasn’t I realized it was actually a tricky feat.”

Silvestri sees a lot of similarities in Allen’s approach to the sport and feels it’s only a matter of time before he joins her in the history books.

“Ben is very passionate about this sport and he probably didn’t exactly set out to do this but he trains his arse off and now that he his really in prime position, he would be aiming for it since no one else has done it.

“He will be remembered for a long time, rather than just winning a triathlon – it’s way more then that.”

In2Adventure event director Robyn Lazenby agrees with the 2013 Australian women’s champion.

“It’s so amazing that we may have another name on the Australian Dirt Master Trophy as this is such a unique and challenging honour to obtain and only goes to those at the very peak of ‘Off Road’ performance,” explained Lazenby. “To have such an incredible athlete as Ben Allen in the running is a great privilege and we can’t think of anyone more worthy of the title.”

The Queensland championships remain as the third and final TreX qualifier for 2016 X-Tri Worlds.

Event host In2Adventure also made history when it won a bid to host the X-Tri Worlds at Lake Crackenback in the heart of the iconic Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. This marks the first time the Worlds will be held in the Southern Hemisphere

“It’s never easy toeing the line in the Dirt Master,” said Allen. “Luck, strength and the will to continue to push and not give in when you body says ‘stop’ … I enjoy the challenge and can’t wait to tackle the Queensland Dirt Master Champs – making it three for three!”

Allen top’s Australian TreX Nationals with long course WIN

28 February 2016 Aaron S. Lee

Ben Allen (AUS) now set to wear Aussie ‘Green and Gold’ at the upcoming ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in the Snowy Mountains…

PODIUM_2016BenAllen_RenataBucher_AusChamps_LCR_LSSNOWY MOUNTAINS, NSW—With the highly sought after Australian ‘Green and Gold’ stripes on the line at the Australian TreX National Championships at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa in the Snowy Mountains on Saturday, New South Wales native Ben Allen (AUS) did what he does best – win. The 17-time Xterra champion and 2015 TreX Victorian winner soundly defeated a solid elite men’s field.

The 30-year-old Allen took the win in convincing fashion, finishing the 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run in a time of 2 hours 28 minutes, more than 10 minutes over Victorian silver medalist Brodie Gardner (QLD) and Robert Skillman (NSW) in second (2:38:56) and third (2:41:10) respectively.

“Very proud and honoured to win the national cross triathlon championship today,” explained Allen. “The course is amazing and so many people were cheering me on today, it gave me goose bumps.

“A national title is no joke and I’ll be wearing the green and gold proudly racing around Europe, USA and especially in November at the world champs on home soil.”
PODIUM_champagne_AusChamps_2016_LCR_LS

Following the opening day victory, Allen backed up with a sprint course (400m swim / 15km mountain bike / 10km trail run) win on Sunday.

Allen also claimed the NSW Dirt Master title, which combines times from the long course tri, sprint tri and 15km trail run.

The world championships will be held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere and will utilise the same swim, bike and run course in and around Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa as the Australian championships.
PODIUM_AusChamps_2016_BenAllen_PennyHosken_LCR_LSAustralian National Championship Titles (1500-30-10)

Elite Men:

  1. Ben Allen, NSW, 02:28:05
  2. Brodie Gardner, QLD, 02:38:56
  3. Robert Skillman, NSW, 02:41:10

Xterra Philippines World Tour Race…

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If you know me, you know how much Jacqui and I love the Philippines, it was great to kick start my campaign with the Sunrise Events crew and the xterra community. From the moment you step foot in the Philippines sunrise (Princess & Fred) take care of you and provide you with an awesome experience.

 

After a solid 2015 season I took some much-needed R&R, Jacqui and I went on a holiday to Bali, spent quality time with family and tried to stay in one place long enough for it to feel like home. This lead to a very short preparation for the first race of 2016. I don’t like making excuses, so I won’t. My performance and preparation was good. Training has been going well and I was feeling ready to start off the year on a high. But, luck wasn’t on my side, the first race jitters must of got the better of me and just about everything that could go wrong went wrong!!!

 

I even crashed and, went down hard too; I haven’t done that in a long time. Of course, as a pro athlete if you don’t win you feel like the looser, but I walked away from this race having learnt valuable lessons. There where a few things I let slip in my preparation, which ultimately lead me to executing an above average race. At the pointing end of the race, above average isn’t going to cut it.

 

Good swim gave me a lead heading onto the bike, rode within my current capabilities, but lost focus or mentally fatigued, causing me to misjudge a rock garden at high speed, totally wiping myself out injuring the right side of my body, taking off skin and breaking a section of my handle bars. So very lucky to ride away! There’s something inside me that says no matter what life throws at you, don’t let it get the better of you. “ Never give up and never surrender.”

 

I was in a position to challenge for the win, but the xterra gods had other plans for me now. To survive and get to the finish line as best I could. The run was extremely painful, I felt like I was hoping around the entire 10km, battered and bloody, I had to keep fighting. Luckily for me I had a solid lead from the next competitor, and I was able to hold onto my second place. Races like this you almost want to forget, because you think you had a bad race. But you never forget a race in the Philippines, win, loose or DNF.

 

You have good days and bad days, and days where nothing seems to go right. That’s life, how boring would it be if everything always went to plan.

Moving on, I’m excited for what this year has installed for me. Now that the first race is over with no more mistakes, its time to put the right process back in place and deliver the goods.

 

Thanks very much to Sunrise Events, especially Princess, Fred, Emma & Albay for another awesome weekend. My team supporting me to do my very best, On running, Giant Bikes Australia, Flight Centre Active Travel, Champion Systems, SH Plus, Schnell Carbon Wheels, Greeper laces and my family/friends.

 

 

Benny Allen

 

WHO IS BA? FINALE…..

WHO IS BA? FINALE….

 

Through it all, Ben has the “Lived More”- perpetuated the XTERRA spirit, challenged himself, discovered new places and made friends across the globe.  Ben is fuelled by the same dream to be the best and live life to the fullest…

 

The finale video is from the 2014 Xterra World Championships and it gives you an insight into the true dimensions that I face in the life of getting down & dirty, Off-Road triathlon style!

 

Thank you for following and tuning into my Facebook page: Ben Allen Triathlete to see each inspiring video of “WHO IS BEN ALLEN?”

 

I hope you enjoyed the videos. I appreciate your support and encouragement and I look forward to you joining me on the dirty road to Maui. The Big Race is now upon us.

 

Good Luck and see you at the finish line…

Also posted in Triathlon, Xterra NZ, Rotorua, OffRoad, Ben Allen, Xterra, France, triathlon, Multisport, triathlete, Ben Allen, Australian Triathlete

WHO IS BA? Part V

Off-Road triathlon isn’t easy. It’s the support from our family, friends and sponsors that enable us to fulfill a dream at concurring a challenge against unknown lands… Be grateful and share in your journey with the people around you who have helped you get to where you are today!

 

The videos are small clips from the 2014 Xterra World Championships and it gives you an insight into the true dimensions that I face in the life of getting down & dirty, Off-Road triathlon style! The small 6 part clips will engage your desire to see the final product, which I will release before the 2015 WORLD Xterra Championship…

 

So be sure to follow and tune into my Facebook page: Ben Allen Triathlete to see each inspiring video of “WHO IS BEN ALLEN?”

 

Anyway, enjoy the videos. I appreciate your support and encouragement and I look forward to you joining me on the dirty road to Maui. I’m counting down the days to the Big Race.

 

Get after it and remember – the destination is important, but you’ve got to enjoy the journey too.

Mahola