We’ve experienced a rapid change of lifestyle over the past few weeks, from being out doors training, to near lockdown. I’m not going to deny that I have been hugely rocked by the Coronavirus pandemic. National governments have taken drastic actions to help slow down the rate of devastation caused by the virus. Social isolation seems to be the most effective measure thus far. We are currently only allowed out for ‘essential’ work, to exercise once a day and to shop for essentials. For triathletes, this social obligation means that our training needs to be adjusted from both a practical consideration and also a psychological outlook. I fully embrace the measures that our government have put in place and so you can be sure I will practice what I preach.
Tom Bishop’s Training Advice
My goal at the start of this year was to qualify for the Olympic Games. The Olympics are still on the cards, with the announcement yesterday of postponement until summer 2021, however my training has completely changed focus. Here are a few of my principles that are guiding my day-to-day decisions regarding my training:
1. Be socially responsible. Only go out once a day and don’t bend the rules. I’m training safe and not taking risks. I’m also not going out from dawn till dusk on my bike. We have a privilege that some nations don’t have, to exercise out doors right now, let’s not abuse the advice.
2. Use the opportunity wisely. You cant do all your training at home right now. We don’t all have treadmills or turbo trainers, so chose the session you think that is most important for each day and do it outside. This could be anything from run intervals to a sweet-spot session on the bike. However, always assess
the risk of the session. Don’t go and do something you wouldn’t normally do, the last thing you want now is an injury, or even worse and accident which may require the emergency services.
3. Establish a routine. We love routine and familiarity and there is still a chance to create a weekly plan. I’d encourage you plan what you’re going to do each day of the week. Make it manageable and not too ambitious.
4. Get online and do some research about home training. This will be for turbo sessions, gym work, treadmill sessions and even dry-land swim exercises.
5. If we’re in this for long long run, consider periodisation. I’ve basically started again. I took a week off training (like end of season) and began a very easy build. Each session is easy and manageable. I’ve knocked back both volume and intensity. I’m fit now, but I cant sustain this indefinitely and in reality our
circumstance wont allow that. I intend to lose fitness and then build it up again so hopefully when our social restrictions are lifted I’m in a safe and healthy place to restart my usual training.