New Zealand’s Red Traffic Light System

Under New Zealand’s Red Traffic Light system a large number of events are being cancelled for Public Health reasons. Here are my thoughts on how to manage your training to keep your motivation high whilst we get through the Omicron crisis.

Unfortunately there are a number of events here in New Zealand that have been cancelled in the last week with the government’s announcement that the entire country is moving to the Red Traffic Light system.

Some events have been cancelled outright – Challenge Wanaka, Tarawera Ultra; some events are working on holding aspects of their event – Coast to Coast; some events are still considering options – Ironman NZ, Buller Marathon; some events are still being held but with some changes to ensure they meet the public health guidelines – Old Ghost Ultra, Swim the Lighthouse.

What To Do If Your Event Is Cancelled?

You’ve trained hard and prepared well. You’ve built fitness and got faster. It’s all been a waste. It’s all for nothing.


Chuck On Some Speed Work OR Some Other Focused Block Of Training

Most of the events have been cancelled have still got a few more weeks before they were scheduled to be held anyway. How about you finish you training off with a focused block of speed work for four weeks and see if you can get a PB for a certain distance.

It doesn’t need to be the same as what you are training for. Maybe you are a triathlete and you are preparing for Ironman NZ* or Challenge Wanaka. You might say “buggar it…lets see if I can bang out a 10km PB” by adding a 4 week block of dedicated run training (*at time of writing Ironman hasn’t been cancelled and is considering their options). Maybe you are a Coast to Coast athlete you might have a focused block of Kayak training to enhance your kayak and white water skills, just having fun on the water but getting better as a result. Maybe you are training for the Buller Marathon and decide that you will focus on running a fast 5km. You have after all got a solid aerobic base by this point of your build up.

Focus On A Key Distance or Metric To Enhance

You could choose a key distance or metric to focus on for a set period. Whether you challenge yourself to run a Faster 5km over the next 4 weeks, or swim a faster Iron-distance swim (2.4 miles/3.8km) over the next 12 weeks or Boost your FTP over the next 6 weeks if you are a cyclist. If you are a triathlete you might like to consider having multiple goals across the three disciplines.

Go Virtual

Racing virtually can be a lot of fun and challenging. Whether on Zwift or some other platform where you compete live against other athletes in a traditional first across the line format or if it is more a virtual challenge platform such as IronmanVR or a Strava Challenge.

The Lionel Sanders Method

Last year with the death of a number of major events. Lionel Sanders spent 4 weeks training for a Sprint triathlon, before spending the next 4 weeks training for an Olympic distance triathlon, then the following 4 weeks preparing for a 70.3 before the next 4 weeks leading into an Iron-distance event. Some of these were “lockdown events” where he did the swim in a pool then rode from the pool and ran his own event. Nothing stopping you doing the same.

Maybe you are a runner, you could spend the first 4 weeks focusing on 5km, then the next 4 weeks focusing on enhancing your 10km performance, then your ½ marathon and then the last block focusing on a marathon. Hopefully by the time you get to the last block there is an actual event being held that you can participate in.

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