The Triathlete’s Guide To Dealing with COVID-19

The Triathlete’s Guide To Dealing with COVID-19

Six ways triathletes can keep moving, stay healthy, and address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the foreseeable future, races and club training sessions will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to stay positive and know that we will get to the other side, safe and healthy. It may take a while, but we will get there if we work together and look after each other.

There will inevitably be emotional ups and downs from the isolation, but this doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home and do nothing in regards to your training. Here are six suggestions to help your maintain your fitness over this stressful time:

Utilize Resistance Bands

Swimmers and triathletes have used resistance for many years for warm-ups and to strengthen specific parts of the swimming stroke. With stretch bands, you can zone in on critical areas (lats, pecs and triceps) to make you a stronger and more efficient swimmer. Activating these muscles will transform your stroke come race day.

Invest in a Turbo Trainer

Turbo trainers are becoming a lot more accessible and a great way to do some quality training while indoors. There are no traffic lights, roundabouts or even pedestrian crossings. It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside, either. Basic turbo trainers work with fluid or magnets to provide resistance, while the more expensive smart trainers allow you to control resistance with a phone or tablet.

Zwift is one of the best online training platforms to use while on the turbo. You can meet up with a few friends for a cycle around seven virtual worlds, undertake specific training sessions and even participate in distance or elevation challenges. It’s a great way to maintain cycling fitness and stay social without risking the spread of germs.

Here is a beginner’s guide to Zwift:

If you have structured training sessions on Training Peaks, they can also be linked so that you can do the same session on Zwift. See resources to link Zwift with your TrainingPeaks account here.

Go For a Run Outside

If you choose to exercise outside, it’s important to choose a time and a location that you know will allow you to maintain social distance—i.e. avoid crowded trailheads and high-traffic times of day. Keep your distance from other people and if you’re running in the late afternoon, make sure that you have your light and high viz jacket. If you must run with someone, try to maintain as much distance as you can, and avoid high-fives or other physical greetings.

Even though running is physically a low-risk activity in normal circumstances, you’ll also want to avoid any technical trails or traffic which may result in a visit to the hospital. Every bed that can be available should be available for those fighting this virus or other critical illnesses. Here are a few great treadmill workouts if you decide not to risk it.

Get Creative

You don’t have to do hours and hours of aerobic training to get stronger and more efficient come race day. Doing a few small exercises every few days will keep your body in tip-top shape and even help keep the injuries away whenever training resumes. I like to say: “prehab before you have to do rehab!” 

 To make it a bit more interesting, plan your training to make it fun and enjoyable for the whole family, who may be in isolation with you. Try skips, hopscotch and even jumps for distance or height. Lunge walking and squats are favorites of mine, especially while my 5-year-old boy is on my shoulders. 

Plan Out Your Day

Pick suitable times during the day for family, work and training. Know what will work for you and your home commitments. Be realistic. Working on this now will ensure that you will still be able to achieve your 2020 goals.

Get more sleep 

Self-isolation can be a great time to catch up on some well-deserved sleep. Set your alarm for a specific time every night to make sure to get your 8+ hours. This will improve mood, boost your training performance and will help you feel refreshed every day.

And don’t forget to:

Wash your hands frequently.

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing.

Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Also remember that you may be carrying the virus even if symptoms aren’t present yet; so keeping your distance can help keep others safe as much as yourself.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. If you’ve tried to stop touching your face lately, you know how difficult it can be—one suggestion is to wear rubber gloves, which allow you to go about your day but remind you that your hands are essentially off-limits at all times.

Practice respiratory hygiene.

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of any used tissues immediately, and remember to wash your hands afterward.

Be on the watch for symptoms.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing) and have been in contact with somebody who is infected, seek medical attention. Due to high volume, you may want to call in advance. Always follow the directions of your local health authority.

If you have any questions about the above, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at tricoachbjorn@gmail.comor visit my website on: www.tricoachbjorn.com.

Happy training everyone, and see you on the other side!!

Bjorn  Ludick

I’ve raced all over the world for many years as an Elite Athlete, from short course to Half Ironman Distance, and qualified for ITU to 70.3 World Championships on a few occasions. I have more than 17 Years of coaching experience and coach to: Deca Ironman Winners, Ironman World Championships, 70.3 World Championships, ITU World Championships Qualified Athletes, Podium Finishers and numerous Personal Bests. I'm unique, Passionate and have the results to show to be your next coach. Get in contact if you want to work together.

Visit Bjorn Ludick's Coach Profile