Train to Race, or Race to Train: Now What?

A woman runs along a path in the mountains.

Whether you were looking to do your first triathlon this summer or you were getting ready to go back to Penticton for the return of Ironman Canada, everything has been put on hold. Full Stop!

Here at Human Powered Racing we have had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel most of our traditional events (The Tri of Compassion is still taking place in a virtual manner and we are still hoping to make SwimRun one of the few events that can proceed as a socially distanced event with fewer than 50 people) If you were signed up for an Ironman event in 2020 I can almost guarantee you that it IS NOT happening. They keep kicking the can down the road and giving options to rescheduled events in the fall, but without adequate testing, limited gatherings and the simple inability to travel for many international athletes I simply don’t see how anything happens for quite some time. As someone who had two events lined up this year I hate to admit this as much as anyone.

For a lot of people their new realities are forcing them to ask a very important question. “Do I train so I can race or do I plan races so I have an excuse to train?” At this particular moment in time you had better find the part of you that loves the process of getting fit and not just the feeling you get when you cross the finish line of a big event. If you are someone that craves that big event or goal it is time to look for other ways to satisfy your hunger for a challenge or that feeling of accomplishment. Luckily there are a number of ways to do this, and we are indeed in an age when technology helps. Whether you are signing up for Ironman’s VR events, racing on Zwift or doing events like the Human Powered Racing Challenges, there are many creative ways to stay engaged and allow you to work towards something.

Heal, Build, Practice

The other important thing to remember is that there WILL be racing again. So why not look at this time as a gift. You have been given almost a full year to work on your weakness’, build aerobic efficiency, get stronger, correct flaws in form and completely heal any lingering injuries. How many of us have gone into a season with a nagging injury that we just try and nurse through racing? If you use this time to your advantage your body should be 100% ready and raring to go.

Yes, COVID sucks and yes 2020 has really put a kink in many plans, but dreams and goals have not been taken away, they have simply been delayed. Be Smart! Take advantage of the situation. Find new motivation for 2020 and know that what you do this year will allow you to meet and in many cases exceed the goals you had set for yourself.