In these unprecedented times, with no prospect of racing for the coming weeks and months, and restrictions on how much time we can exercise outside, many of us have had to rethink our training programme and adjust our goals for 2020.
Just because our first races are off, doesn’t mean to say our training needs to stop. There are still plenty of options for running and cycling. At the moment, we can still go outside and most of us have turbo trainers. With Zwift available, and many triathlon clubs still offering a variety of sessions on Zoom, there really isn’t an excuse to be losing fitness – unless, of course, you are ill.
The one thing we can’t do, obviously, is swimming and official advice has been to avoid swimming outside, even if you live close to a body of water. If you can’t justify an Endless Pool, you could buy a big paddling pool with a Bungee cord for around £300 if you have room in your garden, although these are now in short supply!
However, assuming that is not an option, the only alternative right now is strength and conditioning work. For swimming, obviously upper body and core strength is essential, but you also need nice hip and ankle mobility and stability, as well as power, and a full body workout will help maintain the gains you made in the pool over winter.
Try to think of this time as the off season – a chance to work on your weaknesses on land and build a solid and resilient foundation for the main season, whenever that may be.
Here is a one-hour bodyweight circuit of 12 exercises you can do to help you during this time. Take 45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest. Do at least three rounds, and you can play with the rest if you need more or less eg 50 seconds on, 10 off, or 30s on and 30s rest. Make sure you warm up and cool down as well.
1. Squat jumps – maintain good form and sink into a soft landing for each one
2. Swimmers – lying on your front, alternate lifting your opposite hand an leg. Kick from the glute and keep your shoulder blades down.
3. Crab bridge and alternate reach
4. Plyo lunges – alternating jumping lunges. Remove the jump aspect if needed.
5. Inchworm – a slow walkout into plank with straight legs if possible – keep your hips and pelvis as stable as you can and walk your feet back to your hands. Keep going!
6. Push ups – add or remove elevation of feet it to make these harder
7. Tricep dips – make sure you really use your triceps and you’re not just moving your bum up and down.
8. Bicycles – core exercise – twist from your obliques, not your shoulders.
9. Burpees – you know you want to. Add a push up at the bottom if you can.
10. Reverse plank – like a normal plank but on your back instead of your front.
11. Dynamic Side Plank – left. This is a normal side plank with hip dips thrown in
12. Dynamic side plank – right.
Photo Credit: Ed Smith Photography