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Facebook workouts: Staying motivated and resetting goals through COVID-19

Coach Clint Lien explains how he's staying in touch with the athletes from Mercury Rising Triathlon during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook spin sessions, swim cord videos and run workout suggestions are just a few of the ways Clint Lien is staying in touch with the athletes he coaches (and others) at Mercury Rising Triathlon.

by Clint Lien

During this time – the need to stay connected with my athletes has grown. Working with them to reset goals and maintain motivation and discipline is especially important. This thing is going to pass and I know those athletes will feel much better if they’re able to maintain as much of their fitness as possible through it. They’ll also get through it better by remaining healthy. Athletes need to shift to being process oriented over goal oriented at this time (as they should at all times).

So, over a year ago, I attempted to create an on-line presence for Mercury Rising. My vision was to create a platform for athletes who lived in isolated communities, or simply didn’t have the option of being able to train with others for whatever reason.  It turns out this is an incredibly challenging and technical task. I didn’t have the resources to do it right, so I used what resources I had and misplaced my faith … I ended up with nothing.

Still determined, I created a closed Facebook page and began streaming my indoor spin sessions. That was working okay, but certainly wasn’t without it’s challenges. You can not believe how difficult it was to put internet access in my garage without putting out a massive amount of money. And, on top of it, Facebook hits you for playing music (copyright) even if you’re doing it in a closed group of twenty people and it’s playing in the background. Doing a spin without music is like eating a cake without icing – it’s not cake!  It’s a muffin!

When the pandemic arrived I cancelled all group sessions. But I continue doing the spins and streaming them. I have made the Facebook page public and I’m inviting anyone who wants to spin to join us. We spin three times a week. I’m also posting run workout suggestions that anyone can do. I also finished a short clip on the use of swim cords as I’m not 100 percent happy with the videos currently on-line.

But, behind the scenes, I’ve decided to continue to pursue my goal of creating a website dedicated to on-line training. To that end, I’m trying to self-teach myself how to make my own website by using YouTube videos.  Nothing comes easy in this field. It’s constantly evolving and getting reliable information is incredibly challenging. I’ve made good gains, and am confident I’ll be able to reveal a basic site that covers what I want at a minimal level. If I’m able to do that in a timely manner I’ll be opening that site to everyone at no charge as long as the isolation is in place.

Anyone who might want to jump in on a spin or get a workout idea can find Virtual Mercury Rising Triathlon on Facebook.

Clint Lien is a regular contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada. He lives in Victoria, BC and is the head coach of Mercury Rising Triathlon.