2020 was an interesting season, to say the least. Some of us maybe got lucky racing early in the year, or maybe even getting in some local races in the fall, or possibly even one of the few major events that still did take place. More likely though, there were some disappointments for all of us along the way. The good news is that it is almost time to put 2020 behind us, and while we cannot know exactly what 2021 will bring, we can at least try and be as prepared as possible for whatever does wind up happening.
So now it’s time for most of us to get started on preparing for potential races in 2021. One of the main things to remember is that whether your races happen or not, fitness does not expire. Time spent on getting fitter is never wasted, so keep that in mind when you are looking at a tough training week and struggling a bit with motivation. None of us can predict whether any given race will happen, but we can do our best to be prepared if they do. And even if you don’t get to show it off at the race you had planned, eventually there will be a race, and you will be more than ready.
Maybe the most important step is to get a training plan. For most of us planning went out the window this year and a lot of us wound up just training based on what we felt like, or maybe taking on some new and different challenges. Hopefully this kept you fit and motivated and engaged, but if we are going to race again, it’s good to get back on a training plan and a schedule. Some of us are also likely going to need to be a bit more flexible than usual due to limited pool availability and other potential constraints. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us to roll with the punches and adapt and just do as much as we can and not to get too wrapped up in the things we can’t.
Another thing to consider is to do some races that we might not always do. A lot of athletes tend to spend so much time focused on huge events that involve high volume training and travel that they completely overlook some excellent local events in their own back yards. Even more important is that these are the types of events that are most likely to happen if it is still a challenge to have gatherings with over a thousand people. You’ve really been missing out if you have only been racing Ironman and half ironman events. Sprints and Olympic distance races may not be nearly as long, but if you truly race them, they hurt in an entirely different sort of way and, most importantly, can be a lot of fun. So consider getting a few of these races on your schedule as well if you haven’t already.
Most importantly, enjoy the training itself. Now more than ever we need to enjoy the journey, and be fit for the sake of being fit and not only because we had an Ironman on the schedule. Everything you do in these next few months will prepare you not only for whatever this season brings, but what lies ahead in 2022 and beyond as well. But keep the faith, races have already been happening in a lot of areas and more and more are likely as time goes along. So let’s get back into training and get ready to race.
This post was written by QT2 Level 2 Coach, Molly Zahr.