Updated: Jun 24
Many of us had big plans for spring and summer 2020: racing, either abroad or closer to home, training camps, dreams of achieving results at qualifying races, building up race experience for bigger races later in the year, and also holidays and trips lined up.
None of us ever dreamt that instead it would be filled with:
Damaged businesses, ...and plenty of uncertainty and unknowns.
We are, however, an adaptable species, and it has been amazing to see the ingenuity, resourcefulness and inventiveness of many during these times. We are primed to make the best out of bad situations, take everything as an opportunity, and to make the most of things. And make the most is certainly what Do3 squad has done!
Despite the struggles and challenges of this time, the Do3 squad athletes have shown grit and determination to keep training and improving. This is shown in the weekly Strava leaderboard with squad members still as dedicated as ever with some impressive training statistics coming out, despite the restrictions that have been imposed. From 6hr turbos to inventive paddling pool swimming and back garden triathlons, the overall weekly miles and minutes accumulated week on week can only be described as nothing but impressive.
Leading by example head coach Dave Knight was quick to set up replacement morning sessions in place of the daily squad swims as soon as the pool closed. These taking place on the bike, using the online platform of Zwift to cycle together and with video chat over Zoom. Whilst some join the ‘meet up’ and ride together others join in the video chat from wherever they are at that time, and some just drop in for a short while whilst out running or dog-walking in the mornings. It’s about keeping everyone together and having a little connection each and every day.
As well as daily bike sessions the squad have also engaged in new virtual Pilates sessions and yoga in the comfort of their own homes, to help stretch off those aching muscles from all the turbo-ing. It’s also been a chance to focus on some aspects of training that often get forgotten, like core strength, stability, balance, flexibility, and finer motor skills.
As lockdown progressed Dave started to turn the Saturday morning bike session into a squad race series, with much success. From 20 min, 20Km and 1hr time trials to the newly created handicapped race allowing everyone to have a shot at the win and create real race tension in the final stages.
As well as training sessions there’s been plenty of knowledge sharing and a chance to learn more about the sport, training, and all manor of other topics with virtual workshops, Q&A sessions with specialists including all things nutrition with linked nutritionist Clair Fudge from the4th discipline and a weekly ‘Ask the Coaches’ session. There’s also been a weekly ‘elevensies’ for general squad chit chat, catch up, and an almost ‘anything goes’ question time. We’ve also been lucky enough to have pro triathlete Nikki Bartlett along before her attempt to take on the virtual Everest challenge, for a very insightful Q&A session including all about racing as a pro and particularly in her role as a guide for PTVI Paralympic triathlon silver medallist Alison Peasgood as she targets the next Paralympics.
Dave also now hosts a live daily briefing, streaming over YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn to update the squad and anyone who is interested about a variety of topics. These include the daily training sessions, announcing the athlete of the week, race results from the weekend, partner information, products and discounts, birthdays, and updates on the lockdown situation with information regarding races, training or other such advice.
As well as Dave’s efforts, other squad members have also taken initiative and been highly active during this time. some starting to lead the morning bike sessions when there have been ‘technical or otherwise’ issues on Dave’s end, and the instigation of a Sunday morning ‘quiz and bike’ from Benn.
Whilst these are unprecedented times, and totally new scenarios we are finding ourselves in the athletes and coaches of Do3 have all pulled together with real squad camaraderie. Whilst we find ourselves restricted in places we can go, people we can see and activities we can participate in, in some ways, the lockdown and restrictions imposed have brought the squad together even more so than before.