Adam Bowden has been an athlete since a young age, competing at national standard in athletics and swimming and also representing Great Britain and England at cross-country and road.
The avid Arsenal fan specialised in the 3,000 steeplechase and was the British National Champion and Olympic trials winner in 2008.
At the end of 2008, Adam decided it was time for change and entered the sport of triathlon before successfully applying for the inaugural year of British Triathlon’s Talent identification programme, trigold, an initiative funded by Barrie Wells.
Adam’s transition into multisport wasn’t without its obstacles, as he describes, “my swimming background was the biggest challenge, I was a county level swimmer, but going from a pool swim to trying to swim in open water, wasn’t the easiest of transitions.”
Adam continued, “transitions themselves were also a challenge, it’s where a race is won or lost. If you muck up a transition, you can miss that front group, or if you struggle in T2, then you lose them on the run. That was a big part for me.”
After a successful year of working with British Triathlon world-class coach Rick Velati at British Triathlon's National Performance Centre at Loughborough University, Adam was invited to join the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Performance Programme in 2010, “it was the next level up, it made me feel like I was really making inroads into triathlon,” said Adam.
Since that graduation, Adam now trains full-time with British Triathlon world-class coach Mark Pearce in Loughborough, “I have really been happy with Mark’s way of coaching; I feel there is a good communication line between each other, if I am not happy with something then I will say and vice-versa. There is also a lot of talk about training, so that I can understand it more, I really wanted to know a bit more in-depth about why we were doing specific training.
“I think last year, we learnt that I got over-trained. As an athlete, we all don’t like to rest, everyone hates to rest, you always want to train. I have learnt from that and now know rest is so important and that is where I am going to get my fitness from, you aren’t getting fitter when doing the sport, but when you are resting and recovering. I have taken that forward this year and feel so much better and raring to race.”
In 2011, Adam managed to finish third overall in the British Triathlon Super Series but his highlight was the Yokohama round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series where he finished seventh. “I said to myself: ‘I’m ready for this last race now and I am going to give it my all,” said Adam.
He continued: “I pulled out a seventh, everything went perfectly in Yokohama. I swam the best I ever did, I biked so well, and I ran as well as I could. It clicked on that one day. All the hard work I had put in, the psychological part of triathlon – it all clicked. I was ending on a high! Yokohama was definitely a high point for my career so far.”
In addition to looking at his training loads Adam has also taken advantage of the support services provided on the programme, working closely with British Triathlon nutritionist, Kevin Currell to create a bespoke nutrition programme with positive results.
“I feel it has definitely helped in the races I have done this season, I feel getting off the bike, I have a lot more energy and although I am probably a better athlete now, I still think it’s down to smaller things like nutrition. I have to thank Kev, for sorting that out.”
The 2012 season has seen Adam record three top five performances at the 2012 Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup (5th), 2012 Lima ITU Triathlon Premium Pan American Cup (4th) and 2012 Larache ITU Sprint Triathlon African Cup (4th). Adam has also been selected to race for the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team at the European Championships later this week in Eilat.
His latest race in Larache was the perfect launch pad for the European Championships as Adam says, “sprint distance is always a good race to do in preparation for the Europeans.”
He continued: “I am looking forward to racing the Europeans and have had a good block of training. I am all set to race!”
However being a Londoner, Adam is keen to do everything he can to be selected for the Triathlon event at London 2012 Olympic Games on 7 August. The possibility of racing in Hyde Park is an exciting prospect, “I think it will be absolutely awesome, the support you will get from having a home crowd and the atmosphere will be second to none.”
To achieve that objective, Adam is taking a measured approach, planning on racing in San Diego as a starting point to secure his nomination to the British Olympic Association.“I am not putting massive amounts of pressure on myself, but if I can perform as best I can, and if my best is good enough, then it’s good enough!”
British Triathlon wants you to be in Hyde Park cheering on the British athletes. If you can’t make the journey down to Hyde Park, then enjoy the racing at one of 22 Live Sites around the UK with your friends and club mates. To find out more about the Olympic Triathlon, the race for qualification and the best places to watch, visit: www.britishtriathlon.org/london-2012.