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Time to readjust your ‘why’
By Margaret Mielczarek
With the recent announcement from IRONMAN that, “due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship have been cancelled”, perhaps it’s time that we (the athletes) readjust our reasons – our ‘why’ – for training and participating in all things swim, bike and run.
While the recent announcement will no doubt leave many athletes deflated, disappointed and unmotivated – perhaps even adding to the negative mental health impacts that this pandemic has had – with everything going on at the moment (looking at you, Melbourne), really, the decision doesn’t come as a surprise.
And, deep down, we all know this is the right call by IRONMAN.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN World Championship and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship,” said President and Chief Executive Officer for the IRONMAN Group, Andrew Messick in a statement released by IRONMAN.
“While we were hopeful that we could welcome our athletes, their families, and supporters to these events in early 2021, the continued impact of the pandemic makes this impossible. It’s tough to make this decision in July, but it will provide the necessary clarity for our athletes, cities and partners."
"We will endure … and look forward to the day when we will again assemble the greatest professional and age-group triathletes in the world, and crown world champions.”
TAKE STOCK AND READJUST
For many athletes, a big motivator to train – especially in winter, when it’s cold, dark and possibly raining outside – is a looming race.
There’s nothing quite like the fear of a race on the horizon to help you get out of bed at 4:30am.
Am I right?
But now with a lot of races off the calendar, perhaps one way to stay motivated is to readjust your ‘why’.
Besides race day, what are your other reasons for training? What are the other benefits for getting out the door for that run, ride or even swim?
Some of the reasons for training could be:
So, think about training during COVID-19 as an opportunity to strip it all back; to build a serious base, without the added pressure of an upcoming race.
I, for one, have reaped the benefits of this, especially when it comes to my running – thanks, Scotty!
Getting out for a run with a friend can enhance the feeling of connection while living in a world of social distancing and isolation.
While, of course, there have been stories of even the strongest, healthiest people contracting the virus, exercise will help you stay as healthy as possible.
Every time you step out the door, think about the good it’s doing for your body and mind.
COVID-19 doesn’t have to crush your race dreams completely, and certainly not forever.
The virus will eventually pass, and races will once again fill calendars – remember this.
Because before you know it, it’ll be 2021 or even 2022 and what will you have done? Use this time wisely.
A conversation I recently had with a friend from Melbourne went a little something like this:
“Looks like my running will be the only time I’ll be allowed out without a facemask … think I’ll be running a bit more now (laughs).”
“Haha yeah, use it as an opportunity to get super fit, too! By the time we have some fun runs back … at this point we might all qualify for the Olympics, haha!”
Always wanted to do yoga but didn’t have the time? Do it now.
Adult ballet taking your fancy? (*raises hand slowly*) Why not! It’s a great way to work on strength and core, and to improve your balance.
Now is the time to try all the things you never got a chance to do because you were too busy … #training!
LEAN ON YOUR COACH
As with other disappointments in life, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is that it’s also important to feel all the feels when trying to get through a tough situation or setback – be that an injury or a cancelled race.
Allow yourself some time – cut yourself some slack.
If you feel down or unmotivated, don’t beat yourself up about it. Chances are, a lot of athletes are feeling the same.
Take the time you need to come to terms with the situation and to readjust to the new normal. Just don’t stay down for too long.
And if you’re struggling, speak with your coach.
Coaches are great at getting you to your race, but they can be so much more than simply the experts who keep an eye on what colours are appearing on your TrainingPeaks.
So, reach out to your coach. Speak with your fellow athletes, friends and family. You don’t have to go through this alone.
As Coach Heidi says in her recent blog: “As we hit a potential second wave of the virus and uncertainty, it may now be the perfect time to review your trajectory and create a second COVID inflection point by making a decision about your direction, locking into a goal or creating a positive change to your mindset.”
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