Training Tips For Athletes During The COVID-19 Crisis

By Ironman Champion and Pro Triathlete Matt Trautmann

In these challenging times, staying fit and healthy will probably have never seemed more important – particularly for those of us who train and race regularly, whether it’s for personal challenge, or for a living.

Here are my top five tips for athletes who want to keep training during social distancing, facility closure and other restrictions.

1) The first and most important thing is to not risk your health or that of those around you by going out in a group, to gym, or to another potentially compromised environment just to get a workout in. 

2) Be extra cautious when riding outdoors. Cycling indoors on the turbo is the safest way to go about things and is only going to improve your fitness and bike strength. It’s a fantastic tool, especially for non-drafting triathletes. If the thought of going long on the trainer is a bit daunting, try breaking it up into two sessions, morning and afternoon: try one interval session and one steady or threshold workout.  

3) Come to terms with the fact that it might be a while before you get to race again. There are a couple of scenarios in which I would recommend a mini-break before commencing training again – first, you’ve been building up to an ‘A’ priority race that has been cancelled or postponed, second, you’re dealing with a persistent injury or underlying niggle – or mentally you feel like a break is the best thing for you at this stage. 

If you’re already at a high level of fitness, you cannot maintain this indefinitely without eventually plateauing or burning out. Be patient and think long term with regards to your build up. 

4) Don’t compromise your immune system by suddenly ramping up your normal training regime because you have more time on your hands. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, hydrate and find that balance between stress and recovery. 

5) Don’t lose perspective of why you started this sport. For many it was to get fit and healthy. This is a great thing to have in these times. By all means, ditch the watch and power meter and dial in to how you’re feeling – there’s a great freedom that comes with this, and your workouts should relieve you of outside stresses – not add to them. Let the process of either getting or remaining fit and healthy and enjoying your workouts be the driving force.

Posted on 25th Mar 2020