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Triathlon Training Is Not Canceled...This Time

As of midnight tonight the San Francisco Bay Area will be under its second Shelter-In-Place order of the year. But unlike the first in Spring, the risks of the disease are better known and authorities have decided that the benefits of outdoor exercise outweigh the risks of disease spread if done in the correct manner. Good news for those of us that rely on swim, biking and running for our physical and mental health. Here's how you can keep on keeping on during the latest lock down.


Pools as well as even beaches for a time were shuttered during the 1st shelter in place. Since then outdoor pools have reopened with a range of precautions and will remain open during this latest order. At both pools I’ve frequented during this time there’s an online reservation system and a one person per lane limit. Some swimmers have actually thrived with these new systems in place enjoying the guaranteed lane to themselves and also having to commit to a time slot in advance has made them swim more frequently. The drawbacks are you don’t always get to swim for as long as you’d like and there’s no access to coached group masters programs. So you need to find your own workout or have a coach write one for you.


Of course there has been a boom in indoor training but outdoor cycling continues to be allowed also. Cycling is probably the trickiest of the three sports to stay socially distanced in a group setting as there is always a temptation to draft or ride side-by-side at closer than 6ft. Interval or hill repeats seem to be an easier way to keep a group socially distanced as you can stagger the participants and there’s less danger of losing each other. There’s also been some interesting research recently about masks not being as much as a barrier to exercise performance as you might imagine so that could also be an extra layer of protection to consider.


Running can be achieved safely with one or two others outdoors. By now, we’re used to running with some sort of face covering and pulling it over our faces whenever we’re in close proximity to someone else. Group track workouts are also possible. In the ones I coach I tend to use an active jog recovery between intervals to avoid grouping to rest in the same area. If you have the track to yourselves it’s easy to spread across the track lengthways more so than on a narrow trail or path.

So yeah, it needs to be acknowledged that things are sad at the moment and motivation may not be high but staying fit may help you get through this rough patch stronger.

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