We are now into our 6th week of lockdown and starting the second week at alert level 3. One thing is for sure, we are waiting to hear if level 2 is going to be a possibility and what that will bring.
Thanks to the Zwift series it has helped us stay connected to you all in an exciting format that really has created some great races and rivalries. From this we here at Triathlon New Zealand wanted to let everyone know what we have been up to behind the scenes.
Training seems to be the theme for all of us here at Triathlon NZ; Bruce has been cycling and running, Mel is continuing her Roth regimen, Stephen has been ticking away on his usual training routine and Hamish has stepped back into some serious training. Everyone is excited with the prospect of more outside training, golf, swimming, and surfing making for a bit more variation now at level 3.
Moving from Level 4 to Level 3 has allowed some extra freedom with outdoor activities and movement within our own regions, but our HP environment remains largely unchanged as Bruce explains.
From a day to day coaching perspective we do not have the squad together until level 2, so from level 4 to 3 that is not changed how we manage that. Fortunately, there is opportunity to see some individuals on a 1-1 basis and planning going on in the background.
As the Olympic games were postpone until 2021 the HP team have been creating a new Tokyo Olympic plan. Stephen and Hamish have said “With 2020 likely to have very limited opportunities to race on the ITU circuit, we are looking at how athletes can continue to progress through the NZ winter so that when racing resumes and Olympic qualifying is completed, everyone is ready for a successful Games in July 2021.”
We spoke to two HP coaches and two Tri NZ Regional Youth Coaches to see what they have been up top during lockdown, how they managed the restrictions and any challenges they had to overcome:
Hi Tribe Community!
I am one of the five TriNZ Regional Academy coaches that coordinates the Manawatu- Whanganui region. The 32 days in level 4 lockdown has certainly challenged us all, but our kiwi ingenuity has seen many amazing things happen virtually including the Triathlon NZ Zwift Challenge. This has been one of the best initiatives seen in our tri community thank god for technology and the efforts of our NSO for pragmatically putting this together for us! It is something I believe has united our tri-community and made everyone feel included 🙂.
One of the challenges we have faced as a Manawatu region/club is that we have lost our event venue because of the pandemic, we are currently working with the council and our RSO to find solutions. This may be a challenge for us right now but in the long term, we will likely move centrally which will enable us to offer a wider range of events for our community.
At home my once quiet running trials along the Bridle Track in Palmerston North has become an outlet for many new active people, I am pretty sure my regular 5KM running route has been more like 6KM with wide birth around other people, their families, and dogs. People seem less stressed and even though it is like a park run start along our walkway everyone is accommodating and encouraging of all those who are getting active.
Keep up the great work NZ, stay positive, and keep engaging with the tribe community and our sport – connection and movement will get us through these unprecedented times
My car battery is flat, the warrant is overdue, but it does not really matter when I am stuck at home.
This ’stay at home’ lockdown is, as we all know, unprecedented, but given the fact that I work from home it really has not been too difficult for me personally.
However, it has affected the coaching relationship I have with my athletes. The opportunity to go out spend time with them as they train or chat over a coffee has meant a shift in the flow of information I give and receive. Training wise it has been a time to re-group, re-focus and get back some to base training. Focusing on what we can continue to improve on and be as ready as possible when the time comes to toe the start line.
During these times we wanted to keep some routine and structure to our trainings, to accomplish this we have been doing regular Zwift sessions, with those without smart trainers or powermeters following the sessions on their trainers.
We have been running these each day, to a structured program, and have included the Triathlon NZ Saturday races in our program (we are leading!!).
This approach is quite different for many, so learning new skills (eg on-line drafting) as well as getting bike fit is a great diversion to lock down.
In conjunction with these we have included a home strength program, and if you want some light entertainment while doing it, you can watch the coach do it badly.
Knowing that keeping in contact is crucial at this time, we have ensured that we have kept the whole squad in contact through Zoom meetings, not to forget the regular banter we always have but now its during our on-line training sessions.
While lockdown is not ideal – we have tried to make the most of the situation we have!
As with many coaches and athletes we have utilised this period as a reset for our athletes, and for ourselves. I have been immersed in trying to maximise the positives from this situation, to grow and to adapt to new opportunities. This period certainly has provided an awesome opportunity to develop athletes weaknesses, and we have also found it a welcome reminder to why many of us train; and that is because we enjoy both the challenge and process of Triathlon. At Fitter we have held our own World Cup to engage our athletes competitive side, and this has been a great initiative to get some banter going, bring our athletes together virtually, challenge skills sets, and push some physical boundaries that we haven’t been able to do before due to racing schedules and work commitments. This certainly has helped with the motivation for many athletes and is something we will embrace going forward.
As we continue to push into the unknown of this virus and its effects, I’m selfishly hoping that we can see some single discipline domestic racing so that the athletes can challenge their skill sets through winter bike racing, cross country running, and maybe duathlons. For the elite athletes this is certainly a unique opportunity to engage in this type of racing.
From a personal perspective it has given me more time for my own training, to enhance my knowledge and to spend valuable time with my family. We have also welcomed winter to Wanaka, which makes for magical clear days for great local strength rides with the family. However, this is coupled with embracing the virtual world of Rouvy to hide from the snowy southerly blasts when they rip through! And this has been a super motivating platform to get me onto the bike.
Lastly, I would like to wish everyone all the best. It certainly is going to be a rocky road ahead, which we will all need to navigate with a positive mindset so we can maximise opportunities when they arrive.
Key Points for Level 3 and beyond
1. Stay positive and focus on being ready for the 2021 Games
2. With the situation we are in, how do we come out of this on top
3. Resetting our goals – have clarity and direction for the next 5 months
1. We are still in our bubbles, respect that
2. Keep your training local and safe
3. Support your local clubs and coaches
1. Keep engaging with your members
2. Motivate them to keep training, be inventive
3. Be prepared to compete when we can
1. Keep engaging with the community
2. Look at flexible ways to make your event viable
3. Consider other event dates to spread across the season