This is a blog post I started writing just after Christmas and never got around to finishing. There couldn’t be a better time to go back to it.
I think most people thrive on routine. No where is this more evident than showing up at the pool on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and seeing the same people going through the same routines. It is not limited to the pool either, I see the same people coming into my local coffee shop around the same time everyday. How do I know this is their routine? I guess I share them.
I like to think that most of my routines are healthy ones. I have developed them over many years. There was a time when I retired from racing professionally that I wanted to break all of my old routines and start new ones. I thought that I needed a clean break from training and racing after doing it for so many years. What I didn’t realize is that my routines and habits were what grounded me and gave me purpose and a connection to those around me who shared my passions and way of life.
This is why I find the holiday season (insert pandemic season) tough in many ways. While the 2 weeks that comes up at the end of December gives us all a chance to catch up with family, friends and loved ones, it can also throw our regular daily and weekly routines right out of whack. With both Christmas and New Years falling on a Wednesday this past year I found it very tough to stick to a usual routine for two weeks. The current situation we find ourselves in is making things even worse since we can’t spend time with friends and family and can’t even go to our gyms and pools (never mind the cloud of a health emergency we are all living under).
So, what is the solution? As we are only a week into this I am still trying to figure that one out, but one of the things I am trying to do is stick to a weekly routine that somewhat mirrors what I did before “social distancing” and “self isolation” were household terms.
Swimming is out at the moment, but there are plenty of at home strength, core and band workouts that are great and may actually help your swimming when a return to the pools or lakes is possible. Simply do these exercises on the same day that you once went to the pool.
Being able to bike and run outside is still an option, it is jut not an option to do on the road as a big group or at The Loft spin studio. To combat this there are plenty of online training platforms that you can use (Zwift, Peloton Bikes etc.) At Human Powered Racing we have set up a Zoom Ride with the team on Tuesday and Thursday evenings so we can get still get together as group (even if only virtually).
Running provides a great chance to get out by yourself for a little “mediation in motion”. At a time when a lot of families are cooped up together in close quarters, the chance to get out for a run on your own might be a welcome reprieve. There is no reason that this can’t be done on your usual run days if you followed a weekly schedule or program.
The situation that the world finds itself in is going to test us. When you are being tested or stressed it is always nice to fall back on some of your regular routines that give you comfort and make the world around you seem familiar. As we move towards a situation where we become more isolated, locked down and unable to follow these routines things might get tougher, but for the time being wake up everyday with a plan that closely mirrors how you would normally carry on. With a little luck and adherence to what the experts are telling us, we will hopefully be on the other side of this soon.