As an endurance athlete I have practised putting myself in uncomfortable situations, and dealing with the mental and physical challenges that presents. There are many things that you can take away from training for an endurance event that will help you, if you are in lockdown.
An Ironman event is a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and then a 26.2 mile run.
Being resilient, is being able to deal with the things that come up during the event, and there are ways to practise this.
Sometimes things don’t go the way that you planned for in a race, and you need to quickly accept it, and move on. We’re all in a situation now that we didn’t expect or plan for, so the first step is to accept this, and focus on what we CAN do in this situation rather than what we can’t.
2 Control the controllable’s
A lot of what is happening right now is out of our control, we don’t know what things will look like after the lockdown, many of us are worried about our income, and future. There are steps we can take to help, but identifying what it is that we can control, and dealing with that is first step to controlling the controllable’s. You can look after your health and do what you can to slow down the spread of Coronavirus, but you can’t control other peoples actions.
3 Breaking things down into manageable components.
When you look too far ahead in an Ironman race it is easy to get disheartened and start to despair about how far you still have to go, so we practice focussing on small segments of the race. Sometimes you may just focus on putting one foot in front of the other! You can do this on lockdown by breaking up your day into different tasks, and focussing on them to keep your mind from wandering too far into the future.
It goes without saying that you need to pace yourself during an endurance event, but if you are on lockdown it’s important to take a step back, and think about how any stress may be affecting you. Its tempting to join all the fitness classes, and take up new hobbies,. This is a great opportunity to do some of this, but make sure that you don’t overdo it and tire yourself out, we all need to care for ourselves at the moment.
5 Nail your nutrition
In Ironman it’s often said that the 4th discipline is nutrition, and this should be a priority for you too now. In a race situation it can be a matter of finishing, or not finishing. While we’re in this situation we have more stress in our life, so we need to nurture our bodies with healthy food. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible, and stay hydrated, its all good for your immune system.