by James Bale
Lockdown. Restricted access to the outdoors. No events are running. Everything is moving to the end of 2020 or beyond.
Now is not the time to have any structured coaching surely? Well, you’d be wrong - now could not only be the right time to have someone giving you some guidance, but a critically important time to receive advice on how to stay active and healthy as we look towards a massively altered year of training/racing.
Coaching isn’t just for periods in an athlete's training cycle when you’re pushing hard towards your next goal; coaches are not just there to give you the push needed to get faster and understand how to improve performance focused on a peak. A well-engaged coach will help guide you through the difficult times without putting undue stress on the body while fostering a healthy path through the year.
You may have lost access to the pool, be unable to undertake long training rides, or struggle to know how to integrate running into your plan as we all face restrictions on movement. Instead of focusing on the negative with their being no races to train for, your relationship with your coach should allow you to adjust your goals to become something more than merely preparing to execute on race day. Together you should be looking at why you are training and how to adapt to cater to this need. How not to overload the body and how to work sessions in and around the restrictions you are facing.
Right now, everyone you know is under pressure as we try to process the global problem that is much bigger than any of us individually. Thinking and worrying about how the week of training has to look is one thing you can make more manageable by having a good relationship with a coach. It can stop you from making training decisions that could negatively impact your ability to recover and support your immune system.
A coach who understands you, knows your situation, has a regular dialogue with you, and can set sessions based on your exact needs, can remove the fatigue, giving you a road map to come out of this time in the best possible shape. Knowing how to look after yourself now and sensibly keep moving through this crisis means you’ll ready to take on the challenges ahead without having dug yourself a physical and mental hole.
James Bale has been involved with endurance sports for most of his life and is now working with athletes one-on-one to exceed their goals. To get in touch with James or one of our other coaches visit our Expert page.