Covid-19, a race nobody wins alone!

After the first races of 2020 the road was open for a serious springseason for our athletes! With wins, podiums and other excellent performances in road cycling and triathlon races in Spain and Belgium seasonstart was promissing!

Today Belgium is in lockdown untill April 19th. Possibly longer.

Covid-19, coming from China… in which the communist regime kept quiet about it before spreading it all over the world.
Countries such as Italy and Spain got seriously infected first, we have some strong athletes living and racing mostly in Spain. They warned me before my own government did about the seriousness of this virus. It made us go in lockdown concerning all lactate testing and contact with athletes days before our own governement decided to do.
The late responses of several governements in Europe are to call criminal at the very least. In USA the spreading now is only beginning….

This said, to provide background…,means that as all other athletes around the world athletes have no races in sight between March 14th and probably June 1st. Big organisations are cancelling and postponing races wisely to be secure and don’t go bankrupt when not postponing or cancelling in time.
Smaller organisations probably will be held easier/sooner.

March 13th I have sent out an e-mail to our athletes to provide some background information and also to not panic about the covid-19 virus, keep cool and keep sight of what’s ahead and possible. Not on what will not be, that makes no sense at all. Not in the past, not now and not in the future.

Our athletes always work from a macrocycle which we put quite some time in, to gather and to look/find fitting races for that particular athlete.
The bad thing is, that a few days will not happen as planned. The good thing is that 99%of this ‘cycle’ will happen. Every decent physiologist and High performance coach will see the light in this matter. ‘Instagramcoaches and athletes’ will not, they will bump into the mirror.

Don’t think, being an athlete, that Covid-19 strikes you down because a race is not happening. Covid-19 is harming many people in more severe ways physically, psychologically and economically or a combination of these.

Athletes will be in training modus for a longer period, but no athlete has become a worse athlete because of good balanced training. An athlete can become a worse athlete because of racing too much or training badly.

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is macro.jpg

From day1 of Belgium’s lockdown we have seen passing stupid things athletes started doing. Swimming in freezing cold water, riding 400km rides, going to simulate bikeraces with friends through traffic,….
Maybe a 400km ride ‘can’ fit in a training program for some athletes, when well organised in your trainingschedule. Not ‘out of the blue’ as a panicking frog caught in a glass bowl.
This ‘caught-frog-jumping-behaviour’ we can notice with athletes doing suddenly extreme long rides, extremely intensive ‘training’ or other….
We advice our athletes to stay calm, stick to the plan…and race later. Balance in training is key towards performance, both phsyically and mentally.
Even our athletes in total lockdown in Spain and Colombia, where all training is done inside the houses or garden keep their calm, focus and will smack down the hammer hard!

Past week I posted Sergio’s 300m lap in his garden, but many more athletes are being creative right now. Javier (Kona 2019 AG athlete) is running a 95m lap in the parkingbasement of the appartment he lives in in Colombia.
This in contrast with athletes ‘thinking’ they have a tough time because they are in need seeking attention by posting photos of themselves in sufferrooms with wifi, apps, fans, airco, food and all drinks. Those athletes have luxury now in training, no sufferroom ;-). Many more have ‘real’ sufferrooms such as the garden or basement…!


Our athletes/cyclists can keep their cool and look forward, not ‘a’ race is postponed. Season is postponed. But there will be a time after Covid-19. Training smart now, will result in performing better later! Of that I am sure.
There are quite some professionel triathletes who don’t count many racing days throughout a season, that’s never a problem.


In Cycling, the number of racing days is often much higher, but even for cyclists. Think about how you entered past seasons after a good winterprep? Our riders always went for podia from day 1. They will after Covid-19. Of not many things we are sure in these days…of that I am :-)!



On a very positive note:

  • If the Kona world championships will happen in 2020, our athletes already will be represented because some athletes still realised qualifying before this pandemic.
  • In cycling first podiumplaces in Belgium and Spain are already taken.
  • No rider/triathlete can have an excuse of not having enough base and specific preparation towards the races
  • Our athletes who had Corona so far all recovered well, let’s keep it that way and hope medical experts find solutions soon.

My thoughts these days are going out to the people in worse physical conditions such as people with underlying diseases, older people and our athletes or partners of our athletes in medical jobs such as nurses,doctors and many others entering ‘the battlescene’ day by day!
The athlete is at the sideline now, training well, but most of all a supporter of mostly his biggest supporter!





Ciao and keep distance,

Jesse

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