How Cody Beals Trains and Races Indoors
video courtesy of @c0ntentcat
Ed. Note: OK, how are YOU all doing? We know that it has been a really tough patch for all of you athletes out there, and know that you're doing your best in difficult circumstances. As hard as things are right now, we're heartened by the groundswell in indoor options we see out there—humans are innovative as always. Read on for Cody Beals' report from his Ironman VR3 Pro Race this past weekend, his thoughts on the format, and more details from his underground training bunker (HE called it a dungeon, not us).
"I like that the emphasis of this series is on engagement and participation, with the competitive aspect being secondary," says Cody Beals, after taking the "most consistent splits" prime and getting across the line first in the pursuit. "I enjoyed my first VR race experience, despite some technical difficulties. I'm pleased with this fitness benchmark coming off some downtime. I hadn't done any intensity in basically a month, so this was a good showing."
Beals is no stranger to indoor training, hailing from the sometimes frozen tundra of Canada, but that doesn't make the forced move indoors any easier for the Wattie Ink. professional triathlete. We asked him how he has been dealing with the continued cancellations or postponements of the race season, and he got back to us with answers and pictures of his indoor training set-up (and his cat, Bean).
How are you responding to the cancellation/postponement of races?
The race cancellations are disappointing and disconcerting, but clearly the right call. As an endurance athlete, I know all about delaying gratification, so putting off competition for a few months isn't that hard. As a professional triathlete, I'm feeling apprehensive about the state of my career. I've been quite open about my finances as a pro triathlete, and I can absorb a season of reduced earnings. I'm more concerned, however, about the longer-term repercussions of this situation. I rely almost entirely on sponsorship and prize money to make a living, so the inability to race and the prospect of a recession could heavily impact my livelihood.
What opportunities are you looking to pursue during this period of not racing?
I self-quarantined for a couple weeks. Stuck at home with many weeks or even months before my next race, I'm taking this opportunity to reset my season. It's frustrating to let go of some of the fitness I worked so hard to build over the off-season, but I'm anticipating racing later into the year than usual. Easing off a little now will set me up physically and psychologically for a peak later in the season. I'm spending extra time with my partner and cat, tackling some projects around the house and reading a lot (currently the Dune series by Frank Herbert). If I get really ambitious, I've been meaning to learn some coding in Python.
What suggestions/techniques/perspectives would you offer to other athletes about having their seasons shortened/changed/curtailed?
Cultivate hobbies outside of your sport! As much as I love triathlon, I've learned that it's not healthy for my entire world to revolve around it. Find some ways to stay active given the restrictions in place, but don't sweat it if your athletic goals are on the back burner for now.