Getting in enough training these days takes some ingenuity, but it can still be done.
In the current environment, a “normal” training calendar is nearly impossible while gyms, tennis courts and pools are temporarily closed. Moreover, competition calendars have been disrupted as most events are canceled through early summer.
In response, many athletes have embraced the opportunity to take a generalized approach and build a base of strength and fitness. From heading indoors to expanding the role of body-weight training, here’s how eight SaltStick athletes have adapted their training recently to fit the current environment.
1. Keep training, but stay solo
“My workout plan has remained the same with a simple mind set… I have to keep moving forward. What has changed is moving seven-mile runs or less to my home treadmill. To zone out, I set up a movie on Netflix or music videos, but no news! Additionally, my current training block would have ended with a 100 mile race this weekend, but like all others… it was canceled. What I did to hold myself accountable was sign up for a virtual ultra. I guess I’ll be going at it solo and self supported.”
Joel Olivares, ultrarunner
2. Take time to readjust
“So far, all tennis tournaments have been postponed until June 8. The clay season was up next, but that was completely cancelled. Yesterday, I found out the Olympics have been pushed to 2021, which makes me feel that the tennis season will be pushed longer than June 8. Currently, I am taking a little time off from tennis. I won’t be playing for a while so I want to mentally stay fresh. I am still practicing during the week, just not as intensely since I do not know yet when I will be back so I am using this time to improve my fitness and let my body recover from all the tennis so far this year.”
Giuliana Olmos, professional tennis player
3. Give back to the community
“I’ve been extra motivated to use this time to get after the physical training a bit (especially go for extra runs) and do all the things (like organizing my house) that I wasn’t able to do before because I was too busy trying to get out of the house. I have also been trying to give back to the tennis community (virtually) a bit more during this time. Between making fun videos to lighten the mood on social media and hosting webinars for junior tennis parents, I’ve been pretty busy creating for others! It’s been a great focus for me during this time.”
Danielle Lao, professional tennis player
4. Maintain perspective
“For myself, as a firefighter/EMT/first responder, and avid endurance athlete, this situation has created very unique challenges to my daily life. I think the most challenging sacrifice in my personal life has been the inability to see my two girls, and hug them on a daily basis. This was a tough decision to make, but necessary for the safety of all my friends and family. It’s my responsibility to mitigate and treat this deadly disease, without risking the lives of others.
“As a community, if you call for our services, we will be there to give you the best medical treatment and life-saving measures possible. I will carry out these duties to the best of my abilities as a firefighter EMT. If you call for help, we will show up and give you 100% of everything.
“I know we will bounce back. The gyms will reopen, restaurants will reopen, movies and entertainment will reopen, races will be on. We will be back ready and able to fight again. Train hard, be safe, be cautious, be respectful to your neighbor, and we will be back!”
Brian Hackenburg, firefighter and EMT-A
5. Practice gratitude
“I definitely feel different, although maybe not less ‘motivated,’ but feeling a bit overwhelmed with not being able to go to trails I typically would due to over-crowding. I go out and focus more on my well-being than a true goal right now and try to go during ‘off hours’ where less people may be out as well. I try to remember that I am grateful I can still go out and enjoy the trails and that we don’t know if we will go on a full lockdown soon where that isn’t as easily accessible. Every day I am just grateful I can move outside.”
Bri Sulivan, ultrarunner
6. Improve what you can
“My training schedule has been changed drastically because no fitness centers or gyms are open. I’m doing a lot of at home workouts consisting of mainly bodyweight exercises and a ton of core and abdominal work. Some tennis courts are still opened by my house so I’m able to play every few days to keep the feeling which is a nice luxury given the tough situation.
“I look at this time as a period to take some time off to refresh the body and mind and then look at it as another mini pre-season. A time where I can shore up some of my weaknesses and get my body healthy to start the rest of the season fresh and motivated.”
Kaitlyn Christian, professional tennis player
7. Stay positive
“My next ‘event’ (not a formal race) starts this Saturday on my 81st birthday. I have been running my age in miles in three days ever since I hit 70 years old. Every year in the past it has been a rolling party with a different group of running friends each day. We always have lunch at the halfway point and later a Starbucks break 3/4ths into it. This year looks like mostly solo and no sit down meals or relaxing socializing breaks. I told my usual participants that I could build each of us six-foot diameter Hula Hoops held up by suspenders to maintain proper social distances as we toodle along. So far no takers.”
Doug Malewicki, 81-year-old ultrarunner
8. Prepare to come back even stronger
“My pool is closed indefinitely, so I have been doing a lot of indoor Zwift rides and races on my indoor trainer. I love Zwift. It’s super tough and a great workout. There are no rests during Zwift. I just started doing indoor floor routines that incorporate lunges, squats, situps, push-ups and planks. I never do any of those types of exercises, so I am extremely sore. David Goggins hosted a one-hour live class on squats and lunges on Instagram on Monday and I could barely make it though 20 mins. It was really awesome.”
Michelle Barton, professional ultrarunner