As Spring finally arrives after our long winter (and a really long April), we all look forward to being outside and active. This year, things are a bit different, so we wanted to offer some advice on responsible training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past several weeks, Manitobans have made sacrifices and worked diligently to limit the virus spread, such that our active cases dropped to around 60 for the past week. You can find the latest news and announcement on the Province of Manitoba COVID-19 Update Page, which is updated daily.
At present and during phase one of the Provincial plan for Restoring Safe Services, the restrictions with a direct impact on training are the closure of fitness facilities and athletic clubs, as well as the restriction on group gatherings to no more than 10 people… but a group of 8 riders pacing around a busy park isn’t going to be well-received by anyone these days, so where do we find the right balance?
We know the safest option we have and the biggest impact we can make in the fight to flatten the curve is to train at home and train alone. But we also recognize that many of our members use training as a social activity or to balance other stresses in our daily lives, and there have been more than a few of those lately.
Triathlon Manitoba asks our sanctioned clubs and member athletes to do whatever they can to limit their exposure this summer.
- If you’re able to train at home and alone, that is greatly appreciated. This is as much as anyone can do to help the fight.
- If you train outside, there is really no way to exercise with zero risk – one run on Wellington Crescent can confirm this. Be cautious, be courteous and leave as much space for others as you can when passing safely or stopped. You may also wish to wear a mask over your face, be conscious of how you breathe when passing others and avoid spitting, etc.
- If your mental health needs something more, the current government restrictions don’t prohibit riding with another person. But if you do choose to ride or run with others, please continue to social distance even within that group and keep the group as small and as consistent as possible – be a bubble, where your friend(s) only trains with you and you only train with them.
We’re hopeful that with continued diligence, Manitoba’s active cases will continue to fall and the related restrictions may allow for more in future – especially when our ultimate hope is to still have local races this summer. Please do what you can to help keep things moving in the right direction!!
One other request that we’ve received is to limit the use of Birds Hill Park. The Park office contacted us after weekend traffic was up considerably, asking that we reach out to our members. If the Birds Hill and other parks continue to see traffic too high to allow effective social distancing, it’s possible those parks could be closed. Manitoba Cycling Association has received a similar request from the community of Grande Pointe.
Please search out the quiet areas to ride that are closest to you – feel free to e-mail our office if you need help finding the best roads in your area. If you must ride at Birds Hill, Grande Pointe or another Provincial Park, perhaps consider parking outside the park or community, so at least we avoid crowding their parking areas and creating areas where it would be difficult to socially distance.