You can either listen to or read this one: its pretty much the same message......
It's coming up to the Easter weekend and we are all heading to a weekend very different to what we might have planned or expected. In fact, no matter where you are in the world, it's going to be a quiet weekend and possibly not much different to every other day of the last few weeks or even months.
We are all dealing with change at the moment: to work, to family life, to shopping, visits to the GP, social activities and off course physical activity. My personal opinion is that we are in this for the long haul so having spent the last few weeks adjusting, it's time to knuckle down and get a good routine in place - for all those things that are now the 'new normal'.
If you, like me, have found yourself glued to social media, seeing what others are doing, reading the news obsessively and trying not to get involved in the 'should I really go out on my bike' online discussions, it's probably time to stop it, and focus on yourself.
There's much we can do to take control of our lives again, and that's what it's about right, being in control of the controlables?
I'm not going to pretend to help with families, social life or work - that's neither my expertise or interest, so let's talk about your fitness, and what positive things you can do to take back control.
1. Give yourself a goal
It doesn't have to be an event (they are a continuously moving target right now) but it can be a challenge for you to focus on a work towards. Have you been meaning to beat that 2hr half marathon, or 25min 5k? What about working on your FTP on the bike? Or just building a strong, stable body to support you in all the other stuff you do? A goal just has to be SMART, as most of you will know: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-linked.
Give it some thought, write it down and make a plan of how you will get there. Share with a friend who might want the same challenge. Train remotely and share outcomes......it's all doable.
2. Don't overdo it though!
Some of you may be going the other way and potentially training yourself to death, because you have the time and resources. I'm with you on this and it's definitely my default action. BUT......at this moment in time, the LAST thing we want to do is to lower our immune system by training hard and getting run down.
With races off the cards for a few months, let's take this opportunity (she says, telling herself) to take the foot off the gas a little, give our parasympathetic nervous system time to take over and restore our balance. This little article here gives a good background into the effects of stress on the body.
3. Be kind to yourself
Do some yoga, stretching, baking, knitting, spend quality time with your home family, read a book, write a blog. Whatever you don't normally do in your 'previous' chaotic busy life. This is one of the benefits of this social distancing, self-isolation and lockdown.
You have more TIME in your day. Do that stuff that you keep putting off. Just do it!
4. Use social media and online communications
Some of you have been joining me for my daily workouts and I've had some lovely messages about how it's creating routine for people, forcing them to get out of bed and out of their PJs to start their day in a positive way. I love this!
There are many other outlets for online physical exercise and I wouldn't even hope to compete with Jo Wicks and other celebrities, but find your thing. Find something that you really enjoy and works for you. Stick with it and make it a routine.
Many of us love routine and structure in our lives and now is about finding a new routine. You might find that you really like it!
Living across the world from my family we have FINALLY arranged Sunday Skype calls for my mum, brother and sister.....it's only taken 18 months and Coronavirus to get everyone on board! But it's wine o'clock for me and breakfast time for them, so we are all very comfortable talking complete and utter nonsense across the miles for a good hour or more. It's a MASSIVE positive outcome from all of this in my opinion.
What's your positive social media outcome? I bet there's more than one!
5. If you are a triathlete...
Many of you have lost the swimming aspect of your training. But thats OK - so have most other athletes. You are NOT alone. This doesn't mean you should fill your weeks with 2-4 extra runs or bikes - you will end up exhausted (see above point 2) and injured..... even less fun than being on lockdown!
Instead, you could use the extra ‘sessions’ to work on technique, thereby creating sessions that are short and low intensity.
Also look to increase your core strength or upper body strength in other ways. I have shared this page many times as it has some great land-based swim exercises you can do.
Get outside when/while you can. For those of you with a turbo/wind trainer you can certainly get in some major training indoors, but for your mental health I suggest time outdoors in the sunshine when you can. And of course, this will also support your immune system and your mental health.
Ultimately we are all in this together. Let's look out for each other, take care of our own physical and mental health and work on the CONTROLLABLES (if that's even a word!)