Our New Normal, For Now…
Needless to say, the COVID-19 virus has affected all of us in many areas of life. Some, in very serious areas, and all of us in other areas that would be considered “secondary.”
Compared to serious sickness and loss of income, training and racing definitely falls into the category of not-so-serious, yet important to many. Here are a couple of thoughts about our new normal.
- Motivation. This one is big for many of us. Races are one of the primary reasons we train and get up when that alarm goes off very early (or stay up late to get that workout in). When races are removed from our original schedule due to postponements or cancellations, where does that leave us? For many of us, we’re tossed around emotionally. Lots of us were on specific training plans for upcoming, major races and now…? Keep the following in mind.
- Adjust your training and preparation as you need to, but stay on some plan! It’s tempting to say, “Well, just forget it. This race is canceled, and that race is postponed. I’ll just pull the plug on this season or at least the next month or two since none of us know when this craziness will be over anyway.” Fight against that urge. I get it. I really do. If it weren’t for racing, I’d lose 85% of my motivation. So, adjust as needed, then keep after it.
- Plan a personal or virtual race. I’ve been training for the Chattanooga 70.3, originally scheduled for May 17. It’s now been postponed ‘til August 23. But guess what I’m going to do on May 17 (or maybe the 16th)? Yep. I’m going to swim 1.2, followed ASAP by a 56-mile bike and then cover 13.1 on foot. Why? It keeps me motivated and gives me a goal. It’s part of a bigger plan to race the Des Moines 70.3 June 21, that is, if IT happens. Who knows? If that one is canceled or postponed, I’ll do my own 70.3 again that day, in preparation for the re-scheduled Chattanooga 70.3 in August. So, these virtual races, time trials if you would, help keep my eye on the ball.
- What about swimming? Pools are all closed! Right. But there is a plethora of dry-land strength/resistance work you can do to at least maintain your swim strength. This stuff is all over social media, YouTube and websites. In the Midwest, open water swimming will be possible in a few more weeks should pools not open up in May. Stay diligent with upper body strength work and core also. Running and cycling can now be done inside or outside, so we can really get after those!
- Keep a good attitude. Yes, it’s super disappointing when races are delayed or called off. Don’t’ get upset with race directors or race organizations. They WANT to hold the races because that’s what they do! They’re disappointed too. Stay positive!
- Lastly, as soon as a race that you were planning on doing is rescheduled, register! New schedules might not allow the new date to work due to our jobs or whatever, but let’s support those who put on races as much as we can. They are taking a big hit due to this virus just like we are.
OK. There you go. Just a few things to keep in mind. AND, one final thought, support your local bike shop! Small businesses are getting pounded right now, so purchase locally whenever possible. We all hope the virus curve levels off soon and then heads downward. Might happen in a couple of weeks, or this new normal might continue for much longer than anyone knows. Either way, stay healthy, practice good behaviors and keep your head in the game. This late summer and fall might be fantastic times for getting in some postponed or rescheduled races. THEN, you’ll be glad that you carried out your training plan now!