COVID 19 - Some training thoughts
By Chris Hanrahan of Eastern Suburbs Triathlon Club
Depending on where you are in the World right now, you are in varying degrees of forced isolation, your goal races have been cancelled, your local pool may be closed, and for even a couple of you, you are part way through your self isolation. It's unprecedented, but crucial to keep a broader perspective than the narrow view of an endurance athlete that wants to race. Having said that and accepting current global limitations, I have been asked my thoughts on what is the best way forward for those that want to train.
Remember, fitness does not equal health. In fact the opposite can be true. Some of the most unhealthy people you will meet are endurance athletes that constantly run the gamut of what their immune systems can withstand. There is often a certain badge of pride around the brutal sessions we may complete, week in and week out. Therefore, it is crucial that your health become a priority. If your race has been cancelled, keep the training going, but perhaps consider knocking the top end off (anything above LT or lactate threshold). The higher end training is generally reserved for the necessary adaptions brought about in race scenarios, so you won't particularly need it at this stage. For those of you on programs, I have already been slowly working through these.
What is crucial is to keep your training routine as much as possible. This virus will pass (hopefully swiftly) and there is going to be ALOT of racing in the back half of this year, so it requires a temporary shift in focus. Revisit your goals, which shouldn't be contained purely to races but should involve measurable targets such as goal times or paces. Write those times down, isolate them (pardon the pun), and take 10% off them to give you an immediate training focus. This sort of specificity within your training, keeps you focused and energised.
Keep moving..I am of the opinion, unless it's illegal, you should keep moving and doing what you love. That will always be the key to long term health and happiness. Keep your body strong and mobile. It is an excellent opportunity to work on weaknesses. I have lost count of the amount of times people said to me, "I would have had a great race, if I just had those extra few weeks" or "If work and travel hadn't crushed me, I could have done really well." Many of us are now presented with a marvellous opportunity, and the health benefits that come with consistent aerobic exercise are well documented and scientifically undisputed.
Know your WHY and stay healthy.