With lock-down now a stark reality for the majority of us, not only here in ZA but across the globe, athletes are starting to realise the extreme impact this is having on their daily existence. We won’t go into the economical and medical side of things which are by far worse, we don’t have the expertise to argue the pro’s and con’s – what we are going to do is focus on you, the triathlete
WHY DO YOU TRAIN SO HARD?
On any given week in the past, most of you would potentially put yourselves through a daily regime of swim, bike and run activities. Things (like being allowed to train whenever and wherever we wanted) that we took for granted in the past are little bit harder to accomplish at the moment. Perhaps the end goal was a race in the coming weeks that you were focussing on and this was your daily motivation to get up and do the miles needed to perform at your very best. Perhaps you had a training group that you joined up with on a daily basis and they pushed you to train a little harder in the group dynamic.
Others use training as a mean to “escape” or “de-stress” after a hard day’s work and perhaps looking after the family. We all have our own reasons and if that is going to keep you fit mentally and physically, then it’s all good right?
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
With a life deprived of just being allowed to go out the front door right now, people are more inclined (yes – even more so than usual) to go on-line and check their social media feeds. Posts are full of athletes completing mega sessions inside their “pain caves” or doing something extraordinary in terms of a personal challenge. This is all well and good, humans have their own way of coping with stress and other influences and if this is what makes them happy, by all means, they need to carry on
Now for those of you who don’t have the smart trainer (or any type of indoor trainer) are not connected to a virtual training platform, who don’t own the treadmill, who don’t have the garden to run around in, what about you?
I am guessing a major case of FOMO right now, correct? Perhaps we are wrong but we are willing to bet a large majority of you are getting slightly depressed when you see all these posts coming your way. In the past, you did not need a smart trainer, you could go outside and ride on the road, who needs an expensive indoor trainer when you can ride on the open roads for free. Why run on a treadmill when you can run outside – whether it be on the road or some trail. Some 10 days ago (more for some others) none of these training tools that people owned really mattered to you. Why? Because you could do the same as them by just going outside. It’s not so easy anymore is it?
HOW TO OVERCOME THE FOMO
1. Try and only focus on what you can do and don’t look at what others are doing?
- Google is amazing – you will be surprised at what you can do to stay fit with what you have at home – all for free
- You will need to tweak your training methods but there is still enough that you can do at home with the limited resources that you might have to keep fit and ready for a strong return once the lock-down ends
2. Avoid social media or at least curtail it somewhat if you don’t have access to all the training tools
- If you not reading or following everyone’s daily training regimes, you will be less inclined to get depressed about it, that simple
3. Perhaps use this period as the “off” season
- Back in the day (triathletes from the 90’s and early 2000’s will remember) there was such a thing as the off-season. In ZA, the TRI season normally started in OCT and finished up in APRIL. This was then followed by a duathlon season that spanned through JUNE – AUG.
- In and around these race seasons, were periods where athletes either rested completely or perhaps focussed on a strength component or on technique for example. This afforded them the opportunity to rest and recover sufficiently to go into the next summer season, fully charged and injury free.
4. Plan Ahead
- Even though it feels like this will never end right now, start planning ahead
- You cannot plan for a race because you don’t know when that will be but what you can do is plan your training.
- Set the target for the start of May or even June with regards to your new training plan.
- Plan the base work – then add in some speed work and go from there.
- If you have a coach, interact with them more frequently and lay down some of your plans with him/her that you would like to achieve in the medium to long term (remembering always, if you are paying them, they are working for you).
- Up-skill your knowledge and read a lot – the more you know about the sport of triathlon – the more you can use it to your advantage in the coming months
Don’t get too depressed, this period will not last forever and the time will come when you can go outside and train as much as you want to, when you want to and where you want to. It’s going to be a whole lot tougher if you are glued to social media and follow what others are doing on a daily basis. Rather focus on yourself and only on what you can do and the time will pass quicker. The playing fields are always level come RACE DAY!