It began with advice and now it’s an order. Millions of Britons are now under lockdown, but for some, lockdown is even more of a challenge. For semi-professional triathlete Owen Wilkinson, one such challenge is only being allowed to train once a day.
A typical day for Wilkinson would usually consist of six training sessions a day: running, swimming, cycling, HIIT training, weight training and abdominal exercises. However, with the new government rules as a result of COVID-19, he is having to adapt his vigorous training schedule.
“yes coronavirus stops us, but the world class athletes are the ones that can adapt the fastest”
Owen Wilkinson, GB Youth Triathlete
Seventeen-year-old Owen Wilkinson has been training for three years to get into the Super Series. This is a national league made for the top 50 triathletes in the country.
The closure of leisure pools and gyms across the country was the first hindrance to Owen’s training. As they began to close, the ability to hammer out a morning swimming session became an impossibility, and qualifying for the Super Series became much more of a challenge.
Owen stated: “Although many other triathletes will also experience the lack of available facilities, as a younger member of the triathlete community, building up stamina and strength is key to qualifying and the current closures as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are only making this a greater challenge.”
It is clear that Owen, and many others within the professional sporting community, are faced with many new obstacles, only making their already incredibly challenging training routines harder.
Is exercise allowed?
People are still allowed to go outside for exercise – including walking, running or cycling.
However, this can only be done on your own, or with the people you live with.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove says this should be your “standard length” of exercise and only once a day.
The UK was met with the news that only one form of exercise was allowed per day on Monday 23rd March. This has meant that Owen is starting to get creative. He has utilised his hobby in engineering and DIY to create a swimming table constructed from exercise
bands, a table and and a mattress and will continue to train incredibly hard while following the government’s guidelines. A standout comment from Owen was: “Yes coronavirus stops us, but the world-class athletes are the ones that can adapt the fastest.”
Owen has cut down to one run a day, which he has extended to around 15km. He has also changed his HITT session to fit in his garden.
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