What’s harder than putting on a wet wetsuit?

This sucks! I almost wish my biggest challenge right now was trying to put on a wet wetsuit, but it’s not. I think it is safe to say that we all had an expectation for how this summer was going to play out and so far it is not working out that way. For the last two years, I had been injured with an Achilles injury and participated in the Aquabike events. I did well, but with the injury behind me, this was going to be my summer to get back into full Triathlon racing. So how do we stay motivated and excited to train?

For now, the pandemic has only impacted MultiSport races up to the end of June. I don’t believe our season is lost (fingers crossed) and I still have hope that some races will return, albeit a bit different than what we are used to. But our sport of triathlon is not just about racing. During my past 10 years of participation, I have come to realize that the community we create is equally important. It unites us. So how do we stay motivated to wake up and train, even if we don’t know when our next race will be? Here are some things I have been doing to stay motivated, have fun and continue training as part of the community.

  • Group workouts – The Toronto Triathlon Club has daily Zoom workouts. This has been a chance for me to work strength training, something I tend to drop once triathlon training begins. I have joined them regularly for dry land swim training. I like the group motivation and the feeling of keeping up some of my swim fitness. 
  • Social swim meetups – I think it is safe to say even us triathletes who hated to jump in the pool, would be first in right now. What I did really like were the pre/post-swim chats.  My group still continues to meet online to chat about our week, training and updating each other on summer plans. It is fun to stay connected and it allows me to talk about training ups and downs – details my family pretends to care about.
  • Online cycling races – With group rides forbidden in almost every country, pros are jumping onto virtual cycling platforms. In the past week, I got to ride with Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and a member of the Spanish Track Team. Normally my training is very controlled and prescribed, but without a formal race to prepare for, I have been having a little more fun through these races.
  • Virtual duathlons – These have been popping up on a number of different platforms. They are also fun to do, a way to test your legs, and compete against yourself. You can find a different one every week with varying distances. I did a sprint duathlon last week the first time I have ever done one, virtual or real) in my life. It was a very different experience to ride hard after running.  

Every day seems to be better than the last. At some point, we will look back at this time as a blip in our racing careers. Growing up, my Grandfather would always tell me “Strong body. Strong mind.” During these crazy times, this is more important than ever. Keep training. Keep finding the motivation to be active and we will once again be calling on your left or trying to find that last bit of reserve energy to propel ourselves through the final sprint to the finish line.

Safe training.

Michael Telpner