We have gone through a tremendous amount of changes that have seemed to be ‘awful’ in the moment. Accepting in my thoughts that this period is really like ‘no other’ has helped me keep everything in check and what these disappointments really mean. I have learned and tried to build strength for the future race season to come.
I had a perfect off season, taking time after Barrelman 2019 to recover and spend time with my husband and kids, who supported me to race so well. I took time to reflect on my training, racing, nutrition, sleep, family, life responsibilities; you know, everything that makes you who you are and want to be. I looked at the next year to see what my family’s commitments would be and fit myself in there too. Seeing the ‘big picture’ was a perfect start for the 2020 season. I chose my races and even branched out to make time to build my weakness and registered for some spring runs. It felt like 2020 was in my control.
Then, it was on to ‘base-training’ time. Life ran in ‘fast-forward’ for the entire winter, but I was hitting all my responsibilities. I did not get sucked in by ‘training numbers’ but rather focused on ‘skill & drill’; something I never seem to make time for. If you are reading this, you probably did everything I did at home, trying to hold on to the hopes for your ‘goal race’ this year. After 8 weeks of lock-down, I have found 8 strategies that help my every day:
1. Keep your schedule; wake up and go to bed at the same time.
2. Protect that hour for yourself that you normally would not get; finish your wish-list that’s non-triathlon.
3. Set some habits that you would not have if it weren’t for this blessing of time; push-ups, core circuit or body-weight exercises would directly pay off.
4. Try some new recipes that are good for certain times of your day; post-workout carb fix, then 20 minutes later a good 3:1 carb:protein meal, then some good quality snacks or meals that keep you out of empty-calorie ‘junk’ foods. As I say at home, “they taste good but aren’t good for us”. Looking for good quality food when isolated to home is not best decided when you are hungry.
5. Look at some of the MSC sponsors! You have the time so learn something you can apply to future race years.
- F2C Nutrition has so much to offer for quality of nutrition in and out of training. I have learned so much by listening and reading about their “science driven” products. I have found an excellent blend of key electrolytes, fast-absorbing carbohydrates, and the F2C blend of Cluster Dextrin (not typical sugars) so I have now have no gut issues.
- Brubeck Body Guard base layer clothing is from Poland (and those at Gravenhurst Triathlon 2019 had the opportunity to meet the founder) where the focus is extreme hot or cold weather. I have worn many brands for 20 years of training and this is one of the top quality.
- Vorgee googles and swim gear was a hard sell for me as I have swum for over 35 years and found my ‘Swedish’ goggles that you must string yourself was all that fit my eye socket. The main feature was the anti-fog as your open water swim can be much longer if you do not sight well. After making this purchase, I will never turn back to anything but Vorgee! Well worth the money.
- Many other sponsors that I do not have a need for like watches, bikes, components and coaching that are valued as well.
6. Read! I have wanted to break the habit of only reading for information or learning related to professional or my kids. I started with “Let Your Mind Run” and now onto “the 5AM Club” (which I think I will have to join when we are able to socialize and return to the workplaces and schools).
7. Teach & learn in these moments. I have two young kids and their continued love for lifelong learning is fabulous. I have had to build this into my day with thought. Make that list and go for it.
8. My different “race” summer will be a balance of quality individual swimming, biking, or running that I will test myself on. I have some favourite routes that I can push myself for time if I really want that. However, I think this will be a 20 month build season instead of an 11 month one. Saying that, I am sore from the mile repeats I did yesterday! If you are one that needs to race, make yourself a circuit and have family support you. Once we can safely be around people again, I am sure clubs and groups will offer fun days just to test yourself.
Be well, Angela.