by Ron Searle (aka Ronbo), Team Rev3, endurance athlete, computer geek
For those that don’t know me I am a triathlete (mostly retired), triathlon nerd, computer nerd, father, business owner, former fatman (see www.fatman2ironman.com) and husband living in Chicagoland. And I am doing my best to train responsibly through the Coronavirus outbreak.
Flexibility is my middle name and I learned that from 16 years of endurance sport. You can too and you must. I am not a coach, but I was coached for roughly 15 years so I’ve been through it all. I’ve mentored dozens of folks from starting triathlon through their first 140.6 Triathlon. I’ve raced every distance of triathlon multiple times, running races, cycling races, cyclocross, and so on.
TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)
For those of you new to endurance sport (or any sport) you need to realize that even thought you have a great plan, the universe simply doesn’t give a crap. Things do happen and things will happen. The key to enjoying athletics is to be adaptive to those changes and make being adaptive the “normal” and not the exception. Once you can get there suddenly the stress is gone.
So let’s go through a few things you need to know…
Internal factors are the voices in your head which make you worry. If you allow yourself to get worked up and emotional over the Coronavirus, then it is going to impact your training. You need to focus on what you CAN do and leave the rest to the universe. It takes some work to truly accept this, but I promise you it is ultimately freeing.
When the voices start getting you down you can use that as your signal to stop. Acknowledge the voices are real and say out loud what you can and cannot control. For what you can control, what are you going to do. FEAR is not a choice by a reaction.
THE VOICES: I am going to get sick due to Coronavirus and lose all my fitness.
FLEXIBILITY: I am going to make sure I follow social distancing procedures, wash my hands like a pro, eat well, get plenty of sleep, and keep away from sick people. Flexibility will be key here because I must CHANGE my habits. Practicing Flexibility will make me more successful on race day!
External factors are the things utterly outside our control that happen even though we don’t want them to.
When an external factor impacts you, it is time to pivot. Maybe you need to go outside your comfort zone and learn something new (and yes, maybe feel like an idiot again doing something new!)
THE VOICES: The Pool is closed due to Coronavirus so I am going to lose all my swim fitness and I will be an embarrassment to all triathlon kind!
FLEXIBILITY: Ok, pool is closed. I must focus on flexibility now. I will go look on Youtube for dry land exercises. All the extra time I would have spent driving I can use to finally figure these things out.
Workout schedules are important whether you have a coach or are self-coached. They provide some structure and clarity to all the things you need to do so that you can do well on race day. With virtually every sport there are strength days, speed days, endurance days and within those there are drills, repeats, intervals, and progressions. These are all important but in the end missing one drill one day is pretty much irrelevant in a 16 week training plan. What is important is repetition of the fundamental keys to success.
THE VOICES: There is a hail storm laced with Coronavirus so I cannot run outside today!
FLEXIBILITY: Ok, so there is Coronavirus hail outside, time to rethink things. If I flip my run today with a swim, bike, strength, or yoga I can still get it all done this week.
RACE DATES and A RACES
Race dates go hand and hand with Training Schedules. We often sign up for races to put a line in the sand to test ourselves on how we are progressing. Maybe it is a big-deal “A Race” or maybe it is just a training checkpoint in a longer journey (for example with an 140.6 Triathlon you would do several training races across a 7-10 month period to test your fitness, execution, and maturity for race day).
THE VOICES: My A race is CANCELLED! My entire season is ruined and my workout plan is useless.
FLEXIBILITY: Well my A Race is cancelled so this is a great time to look at the landscape and pick something else. Ideally a race LATER in the year so I can develop myself even better for race day.
Flexibility is the key for every athlete to mature and develop into the best athlete they can be. If you can apply even one of these tips, you’ve already made a step up and I’m happy I could be part of that journey.
During these trying times of the Cornoavirus and social distancing, it is important to keep a level head.
Remember that our older citizens (remember grandma or grandpa?) are at the highest risk of serious problems or death from this disease. So just because you don’t feel too bad doesn’t mean it won’t hurt them.
Be flexible with your training.
Continue to develop you.
Race your own Race.
You can still have a great season.
Happy Training, be safe.
Ronbo, Team Rev3 www.fatman2ironman.com