community,

My friends know they don’t have to ask me twice to enter an event, so I was the first to respond to a request to join one of them in a women’s only triathlon next month. To be honest, I jumped at the chance because it means I can finally put all of the running I have been doing over the past seven months into practise. It also gives me a fitness goal for the next six weeks leading into the festive season. The distances are all quite doable for a novice as well – a 200 metre swim in a pool, an eight kilometre bike ride and a two-kilometre run. And gauging by the event feedback on social media, we are not the only ones who have been craving the return of events. I have said many times that entering an event is a great way to stay motivated and committed to training. But this year has been like no other and I know many people who have struggled to maintain constant motivation with nothing to aim for. And while we are still holding our breath as far as upcoming events are concerned, it is great to see them reappearing. I did my first triathlon around 10 years ago as part of a team with a colleague. The next year I plucked up the courage to do the whole thing. The beauty of the triathlon event is that it caters for the novice to the professional. You can get a team together and do the leg that you are most comfortable with. Or if you are able to swim, ride and run, you can put them altogether for an added challenge. During periods of lockdown this year, we saw increased numbers of people getting back on their bikes or running around their neighbourhoods. But sustaining that activity is harder once some sense of normalcy returns. I definitely noticed the shift from being in lockdown and seemingly having extra hours in the day to exercise because our afternoons and weekends were commitment-free. Once winter sport, and now summer sport, was back and our weekly schedule started to fill back up, it has become harder to always find the time to exercise. That might be where a goal or commitment could come in. In the Hunter region, a few events have been able to get going again. H Events successfully ran the Wollombi Wild Ride in September and the Maitland River Run over weekend. This weekend the Quarry Mining Maitland Triathlon is on at Morperth and event director Paul Humphreys told me entries had been up on last year despite a 350-competitor cap, indicating I might not be the only one who has missed having events on the 2020 calendar. 20-40 minutes Option 1: 10 minutes running/walking intervals of 1min harder followed by 1min easier. Repeat with skipping, cycling, swimming or rowing. Option 2: 20min strength circuit of 40 seconds working then 20 sec rest. Squats, dead lifts with row, push-ups, shoulder press, plank. Repeat three times. Option 3: Add option 1 and 2 together. Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]

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