If you are into any type of endurance sport, triathlon, ultra-marathon, Ironman, then you are already someone who is in-sync with the messages from your body. During this time of uncertainty around the Covid-19 virus it's even more important to listen to what your body is telling you. As a rule you already know that when you are sick you should not be training or competing. This is more important than ever so make sure you stay at home and rest if you are feeling sick.
Can I still go to the gym to train?
At the moment, yes you can. But make sure you are taking extra precautions in order to protect yourself from catching the virus. Being in an enclosed space and in close proximity to other people, it is essential that you are aware of the risks.
This includes making sure you are proactive with hand hygiene when using gym equipment. Wipe down equipment before and after use. Gyms always have cleaning supplies available for this, even though many people just don’t use them.
Practice social distancing when at the gym and try to keep some space between yourself and other people. Choose to use gym equipment which is not adjacent to other users, keeping your distance can help to reduce the risk of infection. If you are feeling under the weather, maybe you have a bit of a cough, then stay at home and avoid populated areas. There are many different exercises that you can use to workout at home without the need for gym equipment.
Start off with exercises that use your own body weight and don’t require weights. These can be exercises like push ups, planks, pull ups (if you have a place top secure a pull up bar), or squats. Focus on the areas of your body that get used most for your sport- If you want weights to go with your exercise and don’t have any try filling up water bottles, or even milk bottles, for added weight. Set up a small circuit in the backyard and get some fresh air while you exercise. Consider looking up YouTube videos on exercises that can be done from home or maybe try something new, there are plenty of different workouts and exercises for you to try.
For correct hand hygiene use alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Otherwise wash your hands with soap and warm water followed by thorough drying. This is obviously important prior to eating and handling food, but also be conscious about trying to reduce the amount that you are touching your face, use a towel for wiping sweat when you are at the gym.
One important tip for training at the gym is to get yourself a water bottle that has a lid. The virus is spread through the air so there are potential risks with open drinks and uncovered food. Make sure the water bottle has a lid that doesn't require you to touch the mouthpiece. This is going to reduce the risk of virus spreading when hydrating during your work-out.
I need to travel to a race. What should I do?
Keep in mind the ever changing situation that surrounds air travel and border restrictions. Most countries now have international travel restrictions in place but if you are still planning to travel domestically then keep up the personal hygiene routine that you were doing at the gym. If you are on public transport in an enclosed space with other people, the transmission of the virus is a lot easier in these conditions. So keep your hands clean, minimize touching your face and touching other people, remember to cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue or the crook of your elbow. Try to be conscious of your actions and how it could affect those around you. Keep an eye on locations that are currently hot spots in your country for the virus, there are Apps available to monitor this.
If you do attend an event or a small race meet keep focused on your personal hand hygiene. Wash your hands before your post-race food, try not to touch your face and make sure you are the only person handling your gear.
After the race minimize direct contact with other people, this includes shaking peoples hands, using someone else's pen or even posing for group photos. Clean your gear before and after the race and have a drink bottle with a lid on it. Without wanting to be anti-social, generally try to avoid gathering places and reduce contact time with other competitors or spectators.
Make sure you are keeping an eye on the race schedules for upcoming events that may be postponed or cancelled, check out competition websites for the latest information. Most of the events being cancelled for 2020 are now being postponed to the 2021 event date instead.
This may be a good opportunity to take some time out at home to rest and recover. Training for endurance sports automatically places a large amount of stress and strain on your body even when you are fit and well, so the importance of keeping healthy with effective recovery cannot be underestimated. Take time to focus on the recovery techniques that work best for your body. For muscle recovery and general soreness relief, Myovolt’s wearable vibration technology is an ideal solution to wear at home, at work or while travelling. Its lightweight, fits most parts of the body and doesn’t restrict your movement so you can carry on with other things whilst the device is doing the recovery work for you. Try out one of the Myovolt Kits to revitalize and recover over-worked legs, arms, shoulders and backs, so if you are forced to stay at home you can still have your sports massage anytime you need it.
The most important thing to remember is if you are feeling unwell, stay at home to rest and recover. We will all be back to training and racing in no time!