Contests postponed or canceled, the world “closed” for more than a year, causing many amateurs, semi-professional athletes to struggle to maintain motivation, discipline and volume of practice.

“It has been a strange feeling, from the habit of running in the same group every weekend for more than five years, to not seeing anyone for most of the past year,” said British semi-professional Stephen Adjaidoo of change of self after a year of Covid-19.

Since its worldwide outbreak in March 2020, the pandemic has done just that – replacing the steady rhythm of people’s lives with a quiet emptiness. Many people are confused at first, wondering what to do. They don’t realize what they’re attached to until it’s gone.

The pandemic caused fans to shrink back, struggling to maintain their training habits to wait for the day to return to normal life.  Pictured is a moment Stephen Adjaidoo recorded along the road cycling alone.  Photo: Strava

The pandemic caused the fans to shrink back, struggling to maintain their practice habits to wait for the day to return to a normal life. Pictured is a moment Stephen Adjaidoo recorded along the road cycling alone. Image: Strava

When the world around becomes chaotic, community sports activities become difficult to perform. Athletes feel the most when they lose the precious things in life, even though it’s hard for outsiders to feel. There are tournaments, canceled races, group training sessions are gone, coffees after completing exercises to encourage each other are also gone. Compared to other losses in this world in more than a year through Covid-19, that is not worth mentioning. But changes in life – athletes’ practice still brings a lot of damage.

Why would a person keep cycling early in the morning? Why do we push ourselves to our limits and go further to break time barriers? Take a look at how sport has changed for everyone over the past 12 months. What did it teach each person? Why do we move our body? Hear from the athletes themselves sharing their sports experience during Covid.

Workout at home

In March 2020, the world was “closed”. For many people, life also shrinks. Everything is compressed into the space of a house, an apartment, when every government asks people to stay at home as much as possible. The living room is used as a temporary gym. Outdoor sports activities come with masks and no companions.

Carla Alfonso is a neuroscientist with a master’s degree in Sports Psychology from Barcelona, ​​Spain. She spends her social distancing time at home, dreaming of bike adventures and working out by pedaling in place, on rollers.

“The hardest time was the first quarantine month in Spain, from March to April 2020. The reason why I do sports is the opportunity to go outdoors, disconnected from work – study. and share the experience with everyone. But all of this was suddenly affected by the pandemic. My challenge is to find other motivations, reorient myself and change the expectations and goals for the groups. tournaments, to continue pursuing sports, “she said.

Relaxing bike rides are now just a dream for Carla Alfonso.  Photo: Strava

Relaxing bike rides are now just a dream for Carla Alfonso. Image: Strava

Stephen Adjaidoo is the founder of LDN Brunch Club, an executive group based in London and senior project manager for the National Health Service (NHS). He spends his isolated time doing exercise at home and cycling indoors.

“It was only when all the races were postponed or canceled did I realize how I organized my life – training, rest … – revolving around races,” Adjaidoo said. “If it weren’t for this during the pandemic, I’d have lost some of the habits I had before. At that point, if I wanted to run a marathon in the spring or fall, I knew when I should start training and when I should start running. relax”.

Latoya Snell is a sponsored athlete to train in New York, USA. She is also a content creator and founder of the food and exercise blog Running Fat Chef. During the time of social distancing, she has called on social networks, raising more than $ 20,000 to support organizations that support the black community.

“Just a few months during the Covid-19 pandemic, I lost 13 people around me and had some other health problems, my spirit was really affected. In a way, my love for Being outdoors has become a constant struggle.I love being active, but the sudden change to the new normal – wearing a mask and being encouraged to stay at home – has changed my mind a bit. As someone who likes to be outdoors, I limit my exposure by creating my own gym in the living room, sometimes moving to the front yard and bedroom.”

Aline Carvalho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a production engineer at a logistics company. She is an amateur athlete for nearly 20 years and has participated in 18 marathons. “Having to practice indoors is a huge challenge. You have mainly to create a new habit. The fake freedom of being indoors and being able to exercise at any time makes you more disciplined. In order to overcome the feeling of being lazy and stagnant, it took me a while to adjust my schedule to wake up, sleep, exercise, study, “she said.

Aline has to practice more cycling to support her while waiting for her life to return to normal.  Photo: Strava

Aline has to practice more cycling to supplement while waiting for life to return to normal. Image: Strava

Frédéric Paupert is a former judo fighter. He had a heart surgery last summer and is recovering at his home in Paris, France with three children and a partner. “I am a coach and have to set an example for others. Fitness is a part of life. I had atrial fibrillation in May 2020. For two weeks after surgery, I did not do any sports, I didn’t even ride a car I bought an electric car Until July, I continued to cycle and lift weights.I still do exercise, but cannot maintain the same intensity I had in the beginning. August to fully return to physical activity, while maintaining a strict diet,” he said.

Adaptation set

In 2020, there are very few sporting events held. Even group practice was not possible. Athletes must find new motivations and adjust their training accordingly.

Clélia Edouard of Saint Germain en Laye, France is a communications specialist and personal trainer (PT). She spends time doing exercises at home to train #StrongLadiesClub but she is a founder.

“I used this break to practice other skills, especially muscle building and strength training,” says Clélia. “Every day, I wake up with a specific goal and a predefined exercise. At least you don’t need to think about it and get into action. Practice and practice, you will improve. . With every improvement, you get a little more motivated.”

Clelia uses progress through exercise as motivation to maintain discipline during social distancing.

Clelia makes progress through motivational exercises to maintain discipline during times of social separation.

Maria Donadeu of Barcelona, ​​Spain is a cyclist and runner. She has been in the sports and digital industry for 12 years and spends her time working out at home, targeting mountain adventures.

“One of my discoveries this year is meditation – the joy of silence and emptying the mind. Take 15 minutes a day to stop worrying and even motivate you. Here It’s a very good muscle relaxation exercise. I turn on soothing music, or an instructional podcast and try to focus on myself, relax.”

Yassine Diboun is an athlete, coach and co-owner of a gym in Portland, USA. “This interruption of training showed me how much I miss it and how important it is to my health,” he said. “Furthermore, I am fortunate to find a way out at trail runs, not only good for my physical health but also for my emotional and mental health. Going into the forest is a blessing of salvation. I, especially in the past year. But I still miss my teammates’ hugs. “

Thanks to the social distance, Diboun found a new passion in trail tracks, although he still remembers the feeling of running with his teammates like before Covid-19.  Photo: Strava / Diboun

Thanks to the social distance, Diboun found a new passion in trail tracks, although he still remembers the feeling of running with his teammates like before Covid-19. Image: Strava / Diboun

Yui Ueda in Tokyo, Japan quit being an elementary school teacher in April 2020 and found cycling as a new hobby to change the training regime. “I realize how sport helps balance my life and work. I feel better when exercising. I try to get my work done and housework efficiently to make sure I have time to exercise.” , this former teacher said.

Debora Taylor of Sao Paulo, Brazil is a marathoner and mother of three. She is the founder of PRJCT RUN – a street running group. “My biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of going out. After months at home without understanding what the virus was, I slowly returned, completely out of rhythm and unable to maintain my old weight. Stress is constantly happening and I need to do something to keep my mind stable Running, finally my therapy Even when it comes to the obstacle of wearing a mask, running helps me maintain my mental health mine”.

Kiki Randell in the US is a track and field athlete, fitness enthusiast and the mother of a 5-year-old baby. She once won cancer and loves outdoor adventures. For her, normal is difficult to encourage, but still a rewarding experience. “What I appreciate after this year’s experience is that there are different ways to face challenges and find achievements in the simplest of things,” said Randell. my door “.

Minh Hoang – information technology engineer, semi-professional runner based in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, France – sees the new normal during Covid-19 as an opportunity to increase training volume. “Before the pandemic, I could only run three times a week at most, often taking advantage of my lunch break to practice with some colleagues, and then a few months later to attend a race,” said the 1982-born runner. “Since social distancing, I’ve been working from home and started exercising more, about five to six times a week. Having to run alone is a whole new, more challenging, more tiring experience. In return, I I had the opportunity to enjoy more of the fresh air on the riverside running track near my house.My physical stats have all improved markedly over the past year.But anyway, I still miss the feeling of excitement. before each competition and the excitement of striding against everyone after crossing the starting line.”

Minh Hoang and his runners still yearn for the feeling of competing in competitions, instead of training alone like a year ago.  Photo: Strava / Hoang Minh

Minh Hoang and his runners still yearn for the feeling of competing in competitions, instead of training alone like a year ago. Image: Strava / Hoang Minh

Mani Arthur in London, UK is a cyclist and founder of the Black Crab Network (BCN) – Europe’s largest cycling community for black racers. Instead of cycling offline like before Covid-19, Mani organized races on Zwift – an online cycling app – to create connections for BCN members, while waiting to be back on the real track.

“What I miss the most is the competition. I remember going to the club, talking to other players, chatting during the race. The only thing I appreciate when having to socialize is that I have a little time. time to relax, “said the head of BCN.

Xuan Thang synthetic

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