The Social Distancing Triathlete

By Kimberly Shah, Team Rev3 Alumni

Congratulations, you have been forced into home quarantine! Isolated from the outside world. Your gym is now shut and you have gone near mad in the first 48 hours.

But wait…aren’t you a triathlete? Didn’t you take up a sport which requires you to spend endless hours on the bike solo? How many conversations have you had with your friends with your head in the water as you swim lap upon lap staring at the black line in the bottom of the pool? How many mornings have you gotten up before the rest of the world to get in your miles of that morning run? Just to make my point clear; You chose a sport where you get penalized for spending too much time along the side of another rider! You are a Triathlete!

You have been training for this social distancing/isolation/quarantine all along!

It is time to go into training for your A race this year. This is the mental strategy we all need to take. We have proven we can train through blizzards and sub 0 weather inside on trainers and treadmills.

We have got this!

It is nothing different. There might be a few different changes you need to make with your training plan. But you have trained to be able to adapt to things that could go wrong in a race. This is the same. Adjust and adapt. I am going to keep this short and simple because there are endless articles popping up everywhere on tips of in home fitness and keeping active in the home and I am sure you want to read them all.

The Shortlist.

NOTE: before I go any further that it is essential to know your physical limits. I say this because half of you (or more) will start doing strength videos from your pain cave and it is important not to get injured. Make sure you choose from coaches who know how to coach exercises properly. Ideally from your own coach or someone you know. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you have additional questions on this, please feel free to reach out to me.

If you can’t do this…
don’t do this!

So back to the list…here you go Wear your fitness tracker – it is really easy to get lazy in the house and not move. But it is possible to get your average daily steps in if you make a real effort.


What, you have no pool in your home!? This is where strength exercises will become essential. Bands, kettle bells and body strength are all you need (or one of the three). This is where you need to go off the advice of your strength coach. But as a coach for 15 years I will tell you a little secret I did one season. I couldn’t bare to get into the pool during the cold Chicago winters. Training for IM Lanzarote 140.6 I did 99% of my training as dry land workouts. I logged only 12,000 meters of swimming total for my training, which I did in the last two weeks pre-race. Kettle bells snatches. I did thousands of them. I did them every other day in varied sets averaging 100 each arm in each workout with 16kgs. I did all my other training as planned but I could not get in the pool. I am sure you want to know my time: 1:07:10. I am not the strongest swimmer and I am sure if I had done my swims it would have been much faster. But my point is – IT IS POSSIBLE. HOPE IS NOT LOST BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE A POOL RIGHT NOW.

You don’t need a pool to swim well!


Ride that bike! If you are allowed out – go. You are more safe than ever with all the cars off the streets. It is amazing. Right now I have that liberty to do this. It is damn cold, but I am sucking it up and just getting it in. But for those who can’t, it is time to bust out the trainers. It is time for Operation IronAss. If it has been a while, it will hurt for the first few. But this is your big opportunity to put in the miles. If you don’t have one it might be time to consider making the purchase, or might I suggest a set of rollers. Triathletes tend to shy away from them, but they are cost effective and an amazing training tool. Yes – with great core strength you can ride a TT bike on rollers, but make sure you are supervised until you are comfortable. Also remember, cycling can help your running if you are putting in the right distances and intensities. So ride away!!!

Go Ride!


Anyone who has access to stairs USE THEM! They will be your saving grace with getting your heart rate up. You might have to bend the house rules as your kids see you running up and down the stairs after you have yelled at them endlessly not to run on the stairs they might slip and fall. But you get my point – STAIRS. (I have been averaging over 40 flights a day since I have been put in semi-isolation.


I know I am telling you to do all the things you may be telling your kids not to do in the house. But we are in quarantine and we will end up going a little rogue. This is not my strong suit, but it is one of the best cardio exercises to keep your HR up and legs strong. Hey, you might even start learning to follow through in your stride by repeatedly pushing through the ball of the foot!


We are mentally wired for this kind of thing. I have spent a lot of time with my clients sending daily body weight strength exercises and checking in. If you are lucky enough (like one of my client’s), you might even get quarantined with your coach! That’s right, I got stuck half way around the world with a client and we can’t get home. So he is now subject to my kettle bell – trainer – stair on a daily bases. I have spent the past four years living out of a suitcase and maintaining a fit lifestyle no matter where in the world I was and under all circumstances imaginable. It is possible. Any further questions feel free to shoot an email to I will be posting videos and additional workouts and tips on my website as of the 23rd of March.

Be safe and stay fit! In good health, cheers.

Coach Kimberly

4 thoughts on “The Social Distancing Triathlete

  1. What a great reminder that we can travel, for work or fun, and still train! Not just when we are quarantined! Look forward to seeing more of your travels!

    1. It takes adjusting to, but it is possible. It is just like those cold snowy Chicago days when you don’t want to get out of bed but you make yourself do it because you know afterwards you will feel like a rockstar….It takes that kind of mind. Once we get our pilots back to London and freed from this fiasco, it will be up up and away! I had already hit 4 new countries and ran in 11 different ones this year. I had been hoping for a record year.

    1. We get wrapped up so many times in doing what the plan says rather than what our body is saying.

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