How to really succeed as a triathlete during lockdown…..and how to potentially fail!
Lockdown has brought many challenges to our lives and if you are a triathlete this has been made much worse by the fact that most training and all racing plans have had to change dramatically.
Now that restrictions are being eased and we are able to train more regularly, we need to decide how we are going to spend the rest of the summer – do we go back to the same routine, with the same schedule, the same distances, same speeds, same technique and potentially the same problems and injuries? Or do we take this opportunity to make some changes?
As an athlete how do you want to be, when we come out of this?
I always think that change leads to opportunity and this change to our normal triathlon world is no exception. We have a great opportunity at the moment to assess our past actions and mindsets and re-evaluate our future ones.
Most of us have no races this season now. What a tragedy this is for the fit and motivated ones amongst us, as we see races disappear from our calendar. It is hard to see all that hard work and preparation going to waste but we do have some options. Virtual racing is one of them and there are loads around now, just go and look online. But if this is not your cup of tea or you are secretly a little relieved to be not racing this year, here is another option for you:
With no pressure of impending races, why not take your focus away from competition (extrinsic rewards) and re-focus all that energy on making yourself the best athlete you can be from all perspectives (intrinsic rewards). If we are completely honest with ourselves, we can all identify areas that we neglect or ignore. Mental health, nutrition, injury, weaknesses, fatigue, poor technique, work/training/life balance….the list goes on. Who in the world has all that nailed? I would say, not many.
We all have areas that we could improve but we can’t do it all and as the racing season approaches, a lot of good intentions usually go out the window. Do you maintain your strength work and stretching as much as you should, do you ignore that niggly injury that you know you should see a physio about but don’t want to be told to stop training, do you just grab the first thing you find in the fridge after a long ride instead of making healthy recovery snacks, do you get enough sleep, are you enjoying your training or just working stupidly hard because everyone else is?
So how do we successfully come out of this unusual time? Try these for starters:
- Relax into a no-pressure summer of staying fit, healthy and active
- Identify and work on your weaknesses – get strong and conditioned with good technique
- Prioritise stretching/yoga/mobility work
- Get educated about sports nutrition and experiment to find out what suits you
- Ask an expert to help – with a bike fit, a gait analysis or a swim video
- Spend time with family and friends, maybe even involving them in your training
- Get that injury diagnosed and start a re-hab plan
- Do what you enjoy, listen to your body, train because you want to, look forward to feeling fantastic!
So, will you be a lockdown success, or will you start the 2021 season still worrying about being injured or tired, not knowing what nutrition works for you, or still needing to start that strength work?
That would be a huge waste of this amazing opportunity that we currently have to change our world.
If you want any assistance or advice about any of these areas, please get in touch and the t club coaches will be more than happy to help.
Keep a look-out for future articles on various topics throughout the summer to keep you on track.