Change of Pace

Being a socially responsible athlete in the covid-19 period lets you protect lives and allows you to switch things up.

CHEW YIHENG BY | UPDATED 1 MONTH AGO

Photos Unsplash 

With how things are going at the moment and with no clear end in sight, it’s hard to keep a positive mindset and maintain that same fiery determination we all once had. The clock is ticking and we’re fast heading into mid-April, but the situation is still threading the fine line between stability and volatility. We decided to summarize some key thoughts we have and share it with everyone during this trying time. Things may look bleak – but together as one multi-sport community we can overcome this!

Responsible Athlete

The travel lockdowns, the work from home measures, the closed locations – the list goes on and on – but these advisories and restrictions aren’t going to work if there are still people trying to get out and about in our semi-lockdown situation. All it takes is an individual to flout the rules and the virus will find a way to make its way around our island. In a democratic nation like ours – we are blessed with the power of choice and rights as citizens – but it’s due time we all come to realize how crucial it is for us to shift our mindset from an individualistic (albeit family centric) one to that of the greater public good.

As sportsmen / women we should be role models for the society - strong advocates of discipline and teamwork. Take responsibility if you’re sick and keep yourself at home, reduce the need to travel out (just one person a household to get groceries or food for starters) and practice good health and hygiene. Let’s stagger our training timings if possible – even if we’re from the same household. The notable “peak” hours at common routes are 5 – 7pm so why not swap it out to an early morning or lunch run / ride? It’s a team sport now and we’re all on the same side. So, if we want to emerge as the winning team against COVID-19, let’s all stand united, act responsibly and work towards flattening that curve.

The Community, Online

Gone are the days of group runs and rides, team potlucks and post training dinners (at least for a while longer). But that doesn’t mean you’re all alone during this period of time. There are a wide range of online platforms (Skype, zoom etc.) in this modern age that allow you to interact (and workout) with your coach and training buddies. With the pace of life brought to a jog, it also presents a great opportunity to really sit down and have a proper chat with your coaches / mentors and about form, technique and season goals. Learn more about topics and areas you previously didn’t have time go into detail in and make full use of the resources out there on the web - Did we mention the many virtual education platforms that are offering free courses now – the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill or pick up an old hobby you left parked away in the storeroom from years back. For those looking to get their daily lives on track – make it point to get yourself on a structured online program or set up regular e-training sessions a week with your mates (suffering in a bunch always makes it more bearable doesn’t it) to get some regime in. The community never went anywhere – it’s all still here for you – 24 / 7 – just online!

Just make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection ;)

Be Innov-Active

With the heightened measures and tightening of public area access by the authorities (which are all but necessary given the large numbers still out and about), we are conscious that an increasing number of our community aren’t able to go outside as they would like. To make matters worse – Singapore as a city state doesn’t exactly boasts “great outdoors” like our counterparts in Europe etc. many of us are constrained to the area of our high-rise apartments. However, it is in such difficult times where human ingenuity and innovation blooms and there are actually many different ways to shake up your usual training routine. As a triathlete it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to limit your training to just Swimming, Biking and Running. You don’t necessarily need all the tri gadget and gizmos (read smart trainer, treadmill etc.). During this period of indoor training one can turn to body weight strength exercises, a High Intensity Interval Training (Routine) or even the stairwell! Work on areas that are usually neglected or skipped during normal training – like flexibility and range of motion. The challenges are endless and in this space of time it will make you not just physically but also mentally stronger as an individual. Hey - what’s 42km when you’ve done 42 sets of your block staircase?

As athletes, we adapt, so when the time comes, we can make the most of a renewed appreciation for the outdoors. 

Focus on What Truly Matters

It’s during difficult times like these that the things we value most take on even more significance. Our usual social community, being able to move freely and explore the outdoors. Despite all the challenges that this pandemic brings, it also presents the perfect (and rare) opportunity to put all of what we usually do on the backseat and really take time to assess and re-evaluate what truly matters in our lives. Let’s all be socially responsible and make the safety and health of our families and communities the first priority – only then can we truly preserve what we love and cherish when all this has cleared.

Stay Safe & Heathy everyone!
TRIBAL Singapore



CHEW YIHENG

Former Water Polo player Yi Heng never liked running, but caught the endurance bug after being introduced to triathlon. He has since gone on to head the Nanyang Technological University Triathlon team as well as compete in many events abroad such as the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and ITU Multi-sport World Cup under the national triathlon squad. 2020 marks his 8th year. The full-time Design Engineer is also one of the founders of the Iron Project charity movement and an active coach for TRIBAL Singapore (@triathlon.singapore), having a strong passion for guiding others towards their triathlon goals.

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