You have all seen plenty of talk on how to train in lockdown right? It seems the hot topic. People posting pain cave pictures, swim band workouts, more indoor riding, ideas on how to re-focus your season goals etc…….
But we are 2-3 weeks in to this in the UK now and longer in other parts of the world with some places limited to only indoor training. We at Total Tri Training are privileged to have a large volume of athletes to monitor and thus see trends emerging in peoples training. Obviously some of these have been negative like struggling mentally to get focused with no races to aim for in the short to medium term, hassle of getting a decent in door set up to get constructive training done etc, but widely it has been a lot of positive things. Some however, a little too positive to be sustainable for long periods….
Here are common things we are seeing for high % of athletes:
- Stay at home is freeing up more time even for those working still, so more time to train
- Most riding is being carried out on the turbo which for every hour ridden loads the legs more than an outdoors session would
- Our guys are really getting in to group racing and riding on Zwift which becomes very competitive – keeping it easy when it should be easy is an issue for most, especially the newer athletes.
- Nearly all have no swim access so more than 90% of Cardio training is coming from the legs on run and bike, thus creating more fatigue in the leg muscles vs the norm
- People are running more days per week
- Athletes are hitting a higher % of their training, especially those who used to skip a bit in favour of socialising!!
So whilst all of this is very good for long term development on Triathlon in general it is easy to see how as little as 2 weeks of this happening is going to create a lot of fatigue, even in those with time to rest a bit more than normal. This leads me on to todays topic….
RESTING IN LOCKDOWN
It seems everyone has missed this bit out so far, and maybe because people are worried that if you let off the training the motivation might disappear somewhat.
Without adequate rest you will stop responding to your training and plateau very quickly. Normally for age group triathletes we build rest periods in to working weeks where it actually becomes a blessing to be told to lighten the load and chill out a bit more. However in the current situation with Coronavirus, when asked to rest and recover most athletes just want to fill their day with something so they get back on the bike or go for their daily run just to get out the house……..and inevitably go too hard.
What we are trying to promote during lockdown situations is active recovery weeks and alternative exercise forms in order to get our athletes to recover well for the next 2-3 week block.
- First we encouraged many to finish the first block with a short-ish race, get stuck in, see where you are at, go out on a high mentally…
- Then we have scheduled another race in 5-6 days time to encourage total recovery from the last block and then use the next race, as a test of where you are at when fresh……this is the first hurdle in getting the athlete’s mindset right in to why we need to recover
- Then we fill the 5 to 6 days with very short and very light sessions, for some they take more time off, for others it’s a case of same frequency but less load and certainly less intensity.
- Functional movement takes high priority to stay feeling normal so we increase sessions like mobility and yoga, the swim cord work becomes a little lighter and range of movement is more encouraged. More time spent on run drills and strides with very light jogging in the middle.
- We then keep social contact high with very easy “stay together” rides on Zwift in the week, a chance for athletes to have a chat with coaches and catch up
And before you know it 5 days is gone and you are allowed off the leash again!
We have seen Zwift racing a great use of winter base fitness and a real mental release for our athletes with nearly 80 in one race last night – feel free to come join us in our racing. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop and get motivated……..
This is all a very short blip in a life long love of endurance sport for most, but I always say “in every crisis there is opportunity”. In this one you just need to keep a balanced approach ……………….Stay Safe