Training in a Pandemic

I love reading dystopian novels but I never thought that I might be living in one.  The coronavirus has focused my concern on my family, my community and my businesses.  In the process, I have pondered where training fits into this equation in a time of potential crisis.  Here are my thoughts:

  • My training for my health is now my focus.  I know through repeated blood tests that I tend to have a low white blood cell count during challenging training blocks (this is normal for some endurance athletes).  People with low white blood cell counts do not do well with the Coronavirus.  I need to decrease my volume/intensity a bit to prepare my body to fight the virus if and when I get it.  And I would suggest that you monitor your training and fatigue to optimize your health in a pandemic.
  • My race plan is on hold. My first one was canceled yesterday. I like to plan my season in advance.  I am not registering in advance except to support local events. I am okay with them canceling and keeping my money.  I support them now in the hope that the race will return in the next year or two.
  • My love of racing continues.  Most races will be canceled if social distancing is implemented.  Is the training worthless? Hell no! I hope to bank the fitness for when racing is possible again.
  • My swimming may be is on hold.  All cited evidence reports that chlorine does kill the coronavirus. The rest of the gym is notorious for germ contamination.  I will continue to swim for the time being but I am prepared to stop at some point. Indiana and our nation, has been unable to test more than a scant percentage of our population. I hate missing training however it is a small step I can take to help protect the most at risk.
  • My running team, Gate 9 Running Crew, will continue.  We meet outdoors and I will ask people to spread out a bit more and resist the urge to show up when feeling unwell.  We will stop high fives, fist bumps and any other physical forms of touching.  Get your mind out of the gutter. Appropriate forms of touching only.
  • My home pain cave will be a refuge for my mental health.  If you don’t have a home pain cave, consider putting one together now.  I can do everything but swim. 
  • Yesterday, my first coach, Gordo Byrn, tweeted about training right now: “Cut everything in half and assume you’re going to need your immune system to battle future infection. Very little fitness cost and a big benefit to our immune systems.” Great advice.
  • Here is a study that may be helpful: Recommendations to Maintain Immune Health in Athletes

I hope that none of these changes will be necessary long term.  I am focused on being helpful to my community and avoiding being a burden.  Taking care of my health and training in a responsible way is the first step.

I hope you and yours remain strong and healthy in the coming months.  Make good choices and I look forward to racing you soon.  

No easy way.  

PS  I post the Gate 9 Running Crew workouts I design every Tuesday and Thursday morning on FB.  This is a private page, however, I will open it up to anyone that reads this blog. Just look for it on FB and ask to join. 

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