The hardest thing has been the change in my normal day to day routine. I’m a hands-on coach and I was running up to 16 sessions a week, so the gradual restrictions have been challenging. The initial limitation of 10 people per session wasn’t too bad as I could still maintain a good level of coaching. Next the pools closed, and we started using the beach for swim sessions. And now, under the current restrictions, I can really only do 1:1 sessions which is a big change and far from ideal. Having said that, monthly individual training plans are continuing as usual and I am able to review results and make any necessary adjustments.
Being near the end of the tri season, some of my athletes were already taking scheduled breaks and others have now brought forward their breaks a little earlier than they normally would have so I have already started my post season reviews with these athletes.
Pricing also becomes an important factor. I need to maintain a business but I’m mindful of not overpricing my services whilst still delivering on quality and value.
It’s difficult. At present various dates are being thrown around for recommencement of racing, but these are only proposed dates and so don’t have fixed targets to aim at – we are in limbo really.
Generally, the goals have changed from a race focus to a weekly platform of skills and personal development. We have an opportunity now to assess and work on any weaknesses away from the pressures of racing, and it also gives us time to really work on our bodies and our core in particular. We now have valuable time to rebuild so that we are stronger and revitalised when we do eventually return to full-time training and racing.
It’s during the off season that I generally expect to see two different types of athletes emerge – those that set themselves up to succeed, and those that set themselves up to fail. It’s only when we get back to racing that they will realise that the paths that they choose today will determine their results, not just for the next season, but every season beyond.
Motivation will play a key part as we move into winter, but a good state of mental health is equally as important. There’ll be a lot of soul searching and some dark days ahead, so checking in to see how athletes are going during these times becomes an essential part of my role.
We also want healthy athletes with strong immune systems, so the intensity is reduced from that of the normal load that I would put on the athletes. As long as you communicate the process to the athletes and where we are at present, a day to day to week process is very important.
The social interaction that we see in our daily SCTA Session is a major factor why athletes train in groups. I am fortunate to still be doing some 1:1 session with them so am able to keep that interaction going and talking thru the processes and seeing how they are travelling during this period. It is really tough on the athlete, but also on the coach/es. Its breaking down the process and informing the athlete of that process and why we are doing it and how it will benefit them in the coming months when we are back to normality
Riding alone on the roads compared to the safety of small group rides is a concern. Training alone also leads to some athletes pushing themselves harder than they need to at this point in time, and although some will embrace it, it can also be mentally tougher for some.
Understand the process at this point in time and understand why you are doing it. There is always a reasoning behind what we do so understanding this and also how important it is in setting up the next season will vital to get through this period.
It’s always important. As I have mentioned, we want healthy athletes with strong immune systems, especially at this time with the COVID 19 situation. My team know that having good gut health is integral to maintaining a strong immune system, and I see the prebiotic actions of the PREPD products as providing a big benefit to the heath and general well-being of my athletes.
We’ve mainly focused on the hydration benefits to date, so it has been a great opportunity to investigate the broader health aspects.