Keeping motivated in covid-19 lockdown ?>

Keeping motivated in covid-19 lockdown

Looking back on the last 2 months it’s hard to believe how much life has changed.

We were due to fly to Lanzarote on Sunday the 15th of March for a week of training and relaxation at Club La Santa. I’d been looking forward to it for weeks, desperate to get away from the constant rain in Manchester. I’d started planning my activities. I was looking forward to getting off the turbo trainer and outside for some long bike rides.

Beat Beethoven 5k run for Sport Relief Media City
My last event for some time – 5k run to Beat Beethoven for Sport Relief on the 13th March

By Friday the 13th I was unsure if we should go or not. It seems ridiculous now – but even then it still felt like something that affected other places. On Saturday morning Jet2 started turning back all their flights to Spain and the Canaries and the decision was made for us.

By the end of the following week a missed holiday was the least of our worries. I’m a self employed marketing consultant and my clients are small businesses in the leisure and lifestyle sectors like weddings, salons, therapists. Nearly all of them have been forced to close or drastically cut back leaving me with very little work – or income.

In the last few weeks I’ve been coming to terms with the changes we’re all having to cope with – both good and bad.

Training and Virtual Events

One of my early concerns was how to keep myself motivated to stay fit. I’m not someone who loves training for it’s own sake. My strategy is to enter something scary and then make sure I put in the work to get through it. But with all my triathlons cancelled it would be so easy to skip a session here and there (or everywhere).

So I decided to give myself a challenge to aim for and I came up with the idea for a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). Basically tracking my training mileage and ticking off the distance. I mentioned this to members of my triathlon training group (Smiling Tri Coach) who loved the idea and it quickly became a race between 2 teams.

With some serious ironman triathletes among them, the race was over in no time and we looked around for a new challenge.

The result was the “From Corona to Kona” lockdown challenge where 18 teams from tri clubs around the UK competed to (virtually) cycle and run the 15,311 km from Manchester to Kona (home of the ironman world championships).

From Corona to Kona virtual duathlon

This proved the most amazing event . Team approaches ranged from the ultra-competitive to the laissez-faire. Knutsford Tri club came out the winners after putting in some mammoth hours on the turbo trainers. Manchester Triathlon Club chose a more leisurely pace. One athlete from Shetland took his turbo trainer to work at sea on a trawler. Above all there was lots of banter, funny videos and a great sense of camaraderie.

It really motivated me to keep training and make sure I put in the time for the team. I can’t wait to start the next Smiling Tri challenge.

Although they can’t replace the real thing, virtual events can really help us stay connected while keeping socially distanced.

PS: I’m still tracking my distances from Lands End to John O’Groats – I’m currently just north of Lancaster!

Really missing Parkrun but getting my 5k in each Saturday

Starting a new business

One thing I do now have is plenty of time. I’m no longer squeezing training sessions in between work and the pace of life has become much slower. It’s been lovely to take some time out, relax and reflect.

It’s also given me the chance to start something new. An idea that’s been bubbling in the back of my mind for some time – an online triathlon club aimed specifically at the back of the pack triathlete.

This week I took the first steps to launch Tail End Triers. I’m really excited about this and the feedback I’ve had so far has been amazing. You can find out more here

Tail End Triers triathlon club for slower triathletes

As I’m writing this things are starting to ease. Open water swimming is back – I’ve a session booked for this weekend. It’s clear that many things will take a long time to recover and we are having to rethink many parts of our lives. But in the past 2 months I’ve moved from fear and anxiety to hope and excitement for the future.

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