No races. No Problem.

No races. No Problem.

No races. No problem.

30

July, 2020

By Astrid Stienen

At the moment you have the feeling that every day a race cancellation is coming in. Be it for the autumn marathon, the IRONMAN World Championship in February or the Grand Fondos postponed to autumn. As an athlete who has been looking forward to his event for more than a year and for which you train with a lot of dedication, you feel lost. Sometimes left alone or even demotivated. New races: Not in sight. Without alternatives the time until races are possible again could become a little boring.

Motivation

Races are the motivation for many athletes to train. The motivations are as diverse as we as individuals are. Some want to enjoy an event, be it because of the landscape, the people or the organisation. Others want to achieve something for themselves and try to reach a new distance. The next one is looking for sporting competition with others or wants to push his limits a bit further. The reasons could be continued endlessly. But every motivation is beautiful as such and has its legitimacy.

The fact that motivation can also be filled in a different way, Janine Jung explained very clearly last week in her Blog . Janine has used the missing races and the limitations of Corona very positively for herself and gave great inspiration.

But what if it should be more specific goals? What kind of ideas are possible then? We have collected some ideas for you.

Virtual Racing is possible everywhere

Photograph by Christian Decker

Virtual Racing

For all those who would like to compete with others, this is possible at almost any time of day or night. Especially running and cycling events can easily be found at Zwift. Triathletes will find what they are looking for at IRONMAN Virtual Racing.

These events have a clear focus on the racing character. If you want to compete with others or simply complete a certain race length, you will find great opportunities here. From our experience, it is often easier to get the best mental performance if you have competitors who pull you along or competitors who push you. Depending on which point of view you have. That is always the case with this type of race. However, some things, like race tactics, are often different than in real races. That's why for Zwift Tips for cyclists and Tips for runnersexist, so that the first race is not a surprise. The first of the two articles also explains how to choose an event and register for it.

For triathletes there is the IRONMAN Virtual Racing. This is a little different. Events as races take place here on weekends, although the distances vary. From the sprint distance to the IRONMAN 70.3, everything is included. The events are held as duathlons and you have to run the two legs outside and ride the bike split inside on the roll on a ROUVY course. For multisporters this is definitely a nice format that allows the combination of running and cycling virtually. As a further motivation IRONMAN pros start every weekend at these races and you can compare your times with the pros. You are free in the timing of the challenges, which are presented by sponsors and where you can get bonus points for completed performances with which you can buy certain products at a discount. These are very similar to the challenges you know from Strava.

Summary of the Virtual Races: If you want to compete with others or want to complete a certain distance for the first time, this is the right place for you. For all those who want to compete at Zwift, here are also very nice differences in the choice of courses. Lightweights will achieve better results on hilly tracks, whereas heavier athletes will have better chances on flat courses.

For all those who would like to compete with others, this is possible at almost any time of day or night.

PB Days

In the social networks, weekends are currently being announced where you try to improve your personal best performance (PB) over a certain distance (e.g. 10km) or on a race course (e.g. Challenge Roth) at the same time as other athletes.

To concentrate on a certain day and to train systematically for that day definitely increases motivation. The course can be chosen by yourself and maybe you will even find a friend who will join you. If not, hundreds or thousands of other athletes are looking forward to this day on the various social networks. The fact that all of them document this in pictures makes it possible to get in contact, to cheer for the other athlete and to congratulate each other. PB Days are a great alternative for athletes who get their motivation from social interaction.

Astrid Stienen

Photograph by Christian Decker

Club Races

Since races with a large number of participants cannot be held "Corona safe" at the moment, more and more private races are being organised. This way, a small group of participants can create their own format and be sure not to have to fear any risk of infection.

You can hold your club championships, a friends' race or a village championship. It does not matter which sport or distance you choose. Use your Garmin watches as timers, define a course and start with a gap. Just like the individual time trials at the Tour de France. Remember that races on public roads are not allowed in all countries and that traffic regulations must be observed at all times. Safety first, so look for remote paths and roads.

Theoretically, such a format can also be used independently of a specific day over a period of time. But if you do it on a specific day, you can organize an award ceremony and exchange your battle stories over a beer afterwards. That's also what sport is all about.

Personal Challenges

With a fully packed race calendar, other challenges cannot always be integrated into training. Be it the desire to ride a top stage of the Tour de France with 5000 meters altitude difference, to run an ultra trail or simply to experience your personal longest day. If you are looking for your limits or want to make extreme experiences, you can do this now without making any compromises.

At the moment, from a training point of view, what counts most is continuity and that is guaranteed even with such long days. Grab your shoes, your bike or whatever and redefine your limits. Does it make sense to ride 300 kilometres and more or to run more than 50 kilometres? Everyone has to ask himself that. But for whom this is attractive, now is the time to do it.

Bucket List

The personal challenges certainly have some overlap with the bucket list. But there is also a high pleasure factor. Instead of training camps, how about a trail tour through the mountains with backpack from hut to hut? Or to ride your bike with backpack to the sea or into the mountains? Maybe you just want to swim in a crystal clear lake or go on a canoe trip in the wilderness. Why not take the opportunity? Everything that can be done outside can be used as training and included in the training plan. So, talk to your coach and do what you don't always have the time for.

Summary: There is enough to do.

We have only picked out a small selection of possibilities for you here. There are no limits to our imagination so the possibilities are endless. All you need is initiative. Pick the format that's closest to your interests and then you rock that. Just like you did in a real race. Because races will come back one day. And until then we still have fun.

Motivation – nicht nur in Corona Zeiten

Motivation - not only in Covid-19 times

Motivation - not only in Covid-19 times

23

July, 2020

Motivation

By Janine Jung

 

At the beginning of the year we all probably didn't want to believe that the corona virus would hit us too and suddenly all the planned competitions would not take place. But this is exactly how it happened now in 2020. And even if there are still some competitions on the agenda, we all have to accept the fact that maybe there won't be a competition this year after all.

At the start of the Corona period you could read a lot of blog entries about how to train correctly for the coming months to improve weaknesses. But the longer Corona lasted, the more entries you could read about motivation and how to keep it up in this very uncertain time.

It was only through these entries and conversations with my trainer, Astrid, and my partner that I realized that at no time did I really have a real low motivation for triathlon training. This made me think, why am I still motivated although I don't expect to have a competition this year? I think it can be reduced to a few points, which I would like to write down here.

1. To become aware of why you enjoy sport in the first place

 

What made me start triathlon in the first place? I have been doing competitive sports for a long time and then I had the classic break-off, from 100% to zero and therefore unfortunately an unhealthy lifestyle. There was nothing left of the athletic person I used to be. 10 years after the end of my "sports career", the joy of movement and the enjoyment of nature suddenly came back with my first racing bike. And as so often, a bet led to my first triathlon competition. Like many others. This then led to my first 70.3. The feeling of competition is simply a dream, but it is not only the competition that inspires me to train. It is much more to feel how my body develops back to the way I knew it from the past: sporty and reliable. And it is exactly this development of my body that gives me the motivation to continue training every day, no matter if there is a competition or not. I can finally look at myself in the mirror again for 10 years now and am satisfied and proud of my body. And I wouldn't want to miss this feeling anymore, and Corona can't take this away from me either.

In the mountains

Photograph by Janine Jung

2. See advantages

 

Does the current situation have any positive aspects? Yes, there are, in fact. 😊 In my case, the home office eliminated two hours of travel to work and I was able to train more. This is something I always wanted to do and now I had the opportunity to do it without changing everything. This privilege would not have happened without Corona and such an opportunity should be welcomed with a kiss. Think positive.

So Corona only "stole" the last 5% and fortunately we still have the privilege to exercise and enjoy nature in its full beauty.

3. The training helps to structure the day

 

In the uncertain time with home office and the loss of the daily structure, the training helped me to keep a structure. Additionally, I had something to look forward to every day. And yes, it wasn't the swimming, but luckily there is still running and cycling. So we can still choose. In addition, there was of course the effect that sport in general simply helps to forget the bad news for a few hours.

Janine Jung

Photograph by Janine Jung

4. Having a coach

 

Ich war schon immer der Überzeugung, dass ich die Fortschritte nur dank meiner großartigen Trainerin mache. Und während Corona wurde mir dies noch bewusster. Wenn der Trainingstag geplant ist und man nicht überlegen muss was man machen soll, dass motiviert schon gewaltig und der Schweinehund verschwindet auch von ganz allein. Schliesslich will man im wöchentlichen Update was zu erzählen haben. Und wenn jemand ganz tolle Wege findet das Training abwechslungsreich zu gestalten, dann ein Coach. Mit dem Nebeneffekt, dass man sich auch noch verbessert 😊.

Set new targets, e.g. work off your bucket list

 

Since I started with the road bike, there have been a few tracks I always wanted to do. But 2 years ago I didn't think I could do them physically or last year they would have competed with the competition preparation. But this year I was fit enough and I didn't have to have a bad conscience when I did a unit that probably didn't work out that well in terms of training but gave me a lot of fun. And so it happened that my coach and I built these rides into my training plan. So there was my first long pass ride, my first day with >8 hours on the bike and my first bike packing tour. Experiences that I will probably never forget so quickly! Of course I did not miss the chance to do a 5km test run. I simply noticed how much I had developed and wanted to put this "in writing". Without further ado I organized a friend who served as a pace maker. And whoosh, there came up nervousness and almost a little bit of competition feeling.

All these points have led me personally to the fact that I have practically never had motivation problems or asked myself the question why I do this at all. Sure, this does not mean that I started every interval training with joy 😉. But I know this feeling also at normal times. I also miss the competitions, but I would have missed the training much more if I had not been allowed to do this anymore. So Corona only "stole" the last 5% and fortunately we still have the privilege to move and enjoy nature in its full beauty. And when the competition is coming up again, I will probably enjoy it even more than before!

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