A LETTER TO ATHLETES
HOW To deal with race cancellations
Dear Beckworth Racing Athletes,
This COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in a way we haven't really seen before, certainly in my time anyway. There is a lot of hysteria, panic, and anxiety which is understandable (but maybe a little over the top at times... think toilet paper fights).
Schools are closing, workers are being asked to work from home, people are isolating themselves and of course sporting events are being cancelled. Our government and organisations are doing this simply to help our health care systems cope with this outbreak.
They are attempting to reduce the large spike of people needing medical assistance and instead flattening the curve. This method makes sense and I love that we live in a country that takes health so seriously.
HOWEVER... sporting events, triathlons and training is part of our life!! We love it!!
In our own personal little bubble it is so hard to come to terms with our upcoming events being postponed or cancelled. This is especially true for our athletes who have registered for 2XU Series, IRONMAN or 70.3's in the near future, being such significant events.
I know how hard each of you have been training and the sacrifices you have made in your life to make the training possible. I understand the mental and emotional energy you have put into it, I understand the financial commitment you have made. To think that you may not even get the chance to race seems devastating, and it is... however all is not lost.
Let's remember WHY we love triathlon, WHY we love to train and what value it adds to our lives. For many of us "Race Day" is the cherry on top of the cake. But the real love is the life benefits we get from this sporting endeavour. Benefits such as.
A healthy body and mind.
The feeling of being fit and strong.
Being a role model for our kids.
The social interaction with like-minded people at training.
Starting your day exercising with mates before most others are even awake!!
Pushing your body and mind to places you never thought possible.
Having a valid reason for shaving your legs year round!! 😜
I truly believe that the life benefits outweigh the race results, and I want to see all our athletes have longevity in this sport for that reason.
All that is nice, but how should you deal with the disappointment right now?
My advice is to keep "glass half full" on it (which I know is difficult). Understand that there will be other opportunities and that the situation we are in right now cannot be changed. The only choice we have is how we choose to deal with it.
Until the race director of 2XU and/or IRONMAN & IRONMAN 70.3 Port Mac or other races actually announces it has been postponed or cancelled, continue to train as if it is happening. Wake up with purpose and train with the same intent you had 4 weeks ago.
If indeed your race is cancelled, accept it. Believe it has been done for the benefit of our health, the country's health and be thankful we live in a country that is proactive in helping us stay healthy.
Speak to your coach. Tell your coach how you are feeling. Together identify what your next race / goal can be.
We will adjust programs so you don't peak for a race that is no longer happening. We will adjust into a strength building phase or base fitness phase to ensure your body isn't unnecessarily overloaded. When racing comes back on the calendar, we will be in a great position to get you ready again.
Use the time to rehab any niggles or injuries.
Use this time to work on weaknesses, whether that is concentrating on one particular discipline or even a working on your strength.
Use this time as a chance to attack new challenges, such as a longer ride or run than normal. Create your own physical challenge.
Find a reason to continue to train, stay healthy and active.
Use this time to relax a little mentally. Without a Race Day looming, you can let go of any pre race nerves and simply treat each day and training session more relaxed.
Realise you have NOT lost anything, instead you have GAINED so much. Increased fitness, strength, knowledge and learnings on how to best prepare for the sport of triathlon. This is so valuable. It's kilometres and fitness in the body that will be so beneficial as you prepare for your next chosen race. You will begin your build in a better position than you did this current one. We are building blocks, and you have an excellent base level due to your current training. Be proud of that, and excited as to what that means for your next race.
One thing we know is that the situation is very fluid, things are changing fast. So, let's be ready to quickly adjust and there could be some really great racing still to come in 2020. All is not lost.
I do not want you to do is throw in the towel. You have all worked too hard and sacrificed too much to do that.
If you are feeling stressed about the situation, anxious, angry or sad, speak to your fellow athletes, your coach and your family. We are all in this together and we are all here for you.
For now, let's accept the decisions and cancellations already announced, hope for future races to go ahead and continue to train together. Just don't touch each other... no high fives!!! 😏
Stay healthy and wash your hands.
Beckworth Racing Head Coach