Training in times of the Corona virus

Who would have thought that in 2020 basically all sport competitions will be canceled?

Some countries are already loosening their strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus and outdoor activities like running and cycling become possible again. But we don’t know if competitions will be possible at all this year, or if we have to wait a little bit longer.

This situation clearly affects our training. Swimming pools are closed and group trainings are not possible. For many it becomes hard to stay motivated without a goal. For them it seems as if training now doesn’t matter any longer.
In this situation we can learn a lot from professional athletes. When they get injured it is vital for their fitness to keep the motivation up and shift their focus from the required training to the training that is possible instead of stopping completely. This might even lead to a stronger comeback because there was time to focus on areas that didn’t get as much attention before.

In case of age-group triathletes this could mean that the time spent usually in the pool is now available for running or cycling – preferably your weaker discipline.
Try to include focus blocks into your training. One or two weeks with an emphasis on running and the next block focuses on cycling. This can be an endurance or a HIIT block where you use the other sport for active regeneration. You will quickly see the results if you get the timing of training and recovery right. Here it is recommended to write down what you have planned for the next weeks, including recovery, and then stick to the plan.

With such structured training you can give your endurance and your speed a boost and get a head start into the next season. Now you got the chance to really work on your endurance without interruption of competitions. I am sure that next year we will see a lot of new personal bests and the time gap to the pros will shrink.

Probably not in the swim leg though.
Do you remember how many of us triathletes used to complain about swim training, that it was the least favorite part of a triathlon, but as soon as it is taken from us we realize how much we actually miss it?

But not being able to swim is not the end of the world and there are a few reasons:

  • In triathlon, the swim leg is the shortest part of the competition, so you can also lose the least time.
  • Your swim skills can be picked up quickly if you continue with upper body strength training.
  • We might not have to wait too long to be able to swim again as summer is around the corner and open water swimming is the best way to train for triathlon anyway.

You can also use the time without competitions to try something new in your training routine. As you will probably not have to perform in a competition you can experiment a little. Try trail running instead of staying on the road, you can improve your bike handling skills on the mountain-bike, or instead of your standard strength training check out the many offers you find for pilates, yoga or functional training. There are so many possibilities which can revive your training and set new training impulses.

Platforms like PerfectPace even offer AI-training plans that let you set the training availability for each sport – swim, bike and run – separately. Obviously, you would now reduce the swim time to zero and your training will focus on biking and running, and you will also get more strength training in your calendar to maintain upper body fitness. The PerfectPace performance management chart lets you track your fitness in each sport so you can figure out your strengths and weaknesses and get ahead of the rest.