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The Virtual World

Updated: May 1, 2020

How are we staying motivated to race?  

| A D A P T A T I O N |

Have fun, be safe, stay motivated... But keep it all in balanace.


Josh here.

This, along with the recent video upload is a slightly delayed reflection of the virtual duathlon I 'competed' in the other weekend, however I feel still a relevant one.

As a way of background, the duathlon started at 9am and included a 2.42k (1.5m) run from your front door, measured on your GPS watch, 15km bike on a specified Zwift course that you'd previously set up and left in preparation for your return from the first run, and then repeat the run. You were to pause / lap the watch after each run and then submit your splits, total elapsed time and finish time, i.e. 40 minutes or 9:40am ...

What is this virtual world?

Whilst we aren't able to be 'face to face' in person, there are various ways of attempting interact from afar.

We've seen multiple ways of doing this in all professions. In the most basic forms, phone calls... Which has now progressed into Webinars, Quizzes (many quizzes), online tutorials, video calls etc.

For sport, or more specifically cycling, if it wasn't already huge, we've seen the rise of platforms like Zwift. I for one didn't have it before hand... I'm just about a month in to using it and I don't know how I coped on the static trainer before hand. I know I wouldn't be anywhere near as motivated to get on the bike if it wasn't for that particular virtual world... there is now three of them within zwift by the way due to increased popularity.

But its also given us the opportunity to re-think how we race and train. Come up with new and inventive ways of doing things. Interact with others socially whilst being unsocial. I've had 5 hour rides whereby I'm riding with my normal squad, whilst on a video chat and time goes by equally as quick as being outdoors... (its still no replacement for the experience of being on the roads, but the fan attempts to provide some wind simulation).

What is the purpose of the video and the virtual duathlon?

This aim of the video was to give an insight into one of the ways that we as triathletes are dealing with the current lack of 'real world racing' and staying motivated. But also a bit of background as to what we are doing in light of our change of situation. The commentary and video aim to highlight some of our adaptations but also how the duathlon worked as an event.

It was great of Guernsey Tri to put on the event. It was a good opportunity to stay involved with the tri scene without actually having to be there... so for athletes abroad it could definitely be something to consider for the future if other events have to be cancelled due to adverse weather or just to get athletes with a lack of access to races involved.

Is it worth it?

In short, Yes.

With the lack of racing at the moment it was a good opportunity to put yourself on a start line (of sorts) and put down a solid effort with some of the simulated pressures of a real race, which is what I and I think a lot of people can benefit from at this time.

It was also great fun! Just knowing others were doing and experiencing the same thing was surprisingly motivating!

It is however important to be aware that whilst this sort of racing is a lot of fun and it IS motivating and stimulating... we shouldn't get carried away with racing. It is equally important to keep on top of training in preparation for when the REAL racing begins.

Until next time.



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