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How To Adjust Goals And Deal With Changes - Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching

25 March 2020


For many athletes, season goals and aims are forced to change as a result of the current pandemic. For many this can be an frustrating, even anxious, time. However, adapting your focus can actually have many benefits and it doesn't mean your fitness or your hardwork is wasted. Stu Bowers, one of the performance coaches at Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching, shares his tips and advice on dealing with this uncertain time.

As soon as it became clear just how quick the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak was becoming we got in touch with our riders with some practical tips/things to think about. As it’s turned out we were spot on with the recent Government announcements!

Firstly, if you can and want to - get out and ride. Cycling is an approved exercise at the moment and there’s no better way than to enjoy the sunshine. The roads are quiet so if you’re comfortable with heading out and keep within the Government guidelines then enjoy the fresh air.

2020 Goals

Our seasons, goals and aspirations are having to change so it’s worth re-considering what you want to achieve in the latter part of the summer. You may choose to change tact completely and focus on a different event or discipline. Whatever you chose it’s great to have those goals in mind and help keep focused on the process and outcome of training.

Training Set Up

We were all looking forward to reducing our turbo time but that may need to change depending on circumstances. As such have a review of your set up and if you were planning on changing anything then do that now. Cycle shops are still open and most things are still available online for home delivery, although some products might take slightly longer to come into stock and be delivered. In the cycling world turbo trainers are selling like toilet rolls!

Remember the air temperature will be rising slowly so don’t over look the need for a good fan and for your training area to be well ventilated to help you get through the sessions.

Keep your training set up clean and tidy. We all know about hand hygiene etc but our training set ups can be a bit sweaty. Get into a good pre/post cleaning regime of your bike/mat/turbo. I personally have a bucket of cleaning wipes (one of those buckets with 500 wipes) in the garage and use one after each session. Pay particular attention to contact areas on your bike where your hands have been.

We need to minimise facial contact too so if you don’t already have some, some wrist sweat bands can help clear your face carefully. Have a few so you can rotate them through your clothes washing cycles. If you’re particularly worried about touching your face/eyes then wear your cycling glasses when training swopping out the lenses for clear/yellow ones if you can.

Keep your water bottles really clean too - submerge them in water with some Milton overnight to keep them super clean once a week.

Strength and Conditioning

Gym access is now restricted so if you use one consider what you might need at home instead. Even if it’s a yoga mat or some core apparatus. No excuse not to get some decent core work in at least!


It’s worth considering what you usually use for fuelling and recovery. As such there’s no harm in making sure you have a decent supply of your preferred gels, hydration tablets, protein powders etc just in case things change when it comes to home deliveries / local supplies.

Immune System

Training and racing can take it’s toll on the immune system so keep on top of your usual good practice to keep this in check. Just because the weather is changing don’t back off it at this point in time. Again if there’s something you particularly use then it might be worth getting some supplies in. It’s something we’re conscious of at MBPC and are tailoring our training programmes to take this into account at the moment.

Training Time

If you find you have extra time to train because you’re working from home etc and want to do a bit more then why not - but be careful. You can’t go to pro levels of training without the wheels falling off quickly and you’ll suppress your immune system very quickly. You want to progress your training, not regress it!

Mental Wellbeing

Healthy body = healthy mind! Keeping on top of your training will do you the world of good. It’s a great distraction and staying fit and healthy is a priority right now - both physically and mentally. Stay focused, remember the goals the training will lead to and how strong and fast you’ll be when you get back onto the race season.

If you’d like to learn more about the cycling coaching and triathlon coaching packages that we have available at Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching then visit our website, get in touch and a member of our team would be more than happy to help.


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