Training, Racing and Challenges

I have always said that the best form of training is racing. But is there a limit? Over the past 6 weeks our world has been turned upside down, from training to racing and everything in between.

I stand by my statement that the best form of training is racing. However over the past 6 weeks I have complete a few challenges and a couple of virtual races. As we all scrambled to adjust our training routines from squads to small groups to individual to online (swift, trainer road, RGT, Bkool ect) and even some Zoom sessions. We all watch on in horror as our favorite races were cancelled and postponed. The struggle was very real and raw.

I watched on as our squad and my athletes went through the highs and low of the roller coaster that is Covid19 Corona Virus. There were highs and lows I had to deal with, all while trying to help and assist my athletes cope and get through these time of uncertainty. Then a myriad of companies set about engaging or interest and ‘help’ us get through the race free calendar of 2020. It was exciting, it was new, it was the shiny new beacon of light and we all jumped on board in droves.

Here is the problem I have with all the companies and clubs putting out challenges – The become addictive – like gambling or playing the pokie machines. I have been sucked in and seen other athletes get sucked in to doing “ALL” the challenges and thinking that this is the best way to train. I am now seeing a lot of athletes suffer injuries, illness and sickness. Why? Because far too much of the training is at an intensity they are not ready or used to. I have tweeked my shoulder and am recovering from a slight strain, as a result of trying to master a shoulder stand yoga pose (obsessively).

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for these challenges and using them as part of my training has helped me get through this isolation phase. I have taken to challenging a few of my athletes that have requested to do another challenge weekend after weekend, how is this challenge contributing to your bigger goal? How is this moving us close to your goal more that our programmed session? Does this challenge fit with our phase? and finally will this challenge help us come our of this isolation period stronger, fitter and closer to your goal.

Ironman Virtual Race Number 1

I guess my final word of caution is look at your training plan, know your goal, ask your coach if the challenge is is going to help. If you are going to join challenge understand how it contributes and how your going to execute it. Be kind to your self and understand that the result isn’t really important, but the execution of the activities should be your focus. Don’t feel the pressure to do ‘ALL’ the challenges, to perform your best you need to give our body a chance to absorb and adapt to the training load. Finally understand that unfortunately in the virtual world there are a lot of ways to cheat so the leader boards are very very irrelevant.

If you’re not active at the moment & need some inspiration, follow me on Strava, Instagram, like my facebook page, subscribe to my blog and let’s get back out there swim, bike or running.   The biggest regret we can have in life is to not TRI!

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As always – till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!

TriathleteTed (Ted Britt)

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