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Khayelitsha runner won't let COVID-19 affect his training program

Sibusiso Madikizela from Khayelitsha gave his take on training during the coronavirus and how to adjust training schedule.

Sibusiso Madikizela. Picture: Under Armour.

CAPE TOWN - Under Armour athlete Sibusiso Madikizela said there were changes in the training programme that included less intensity than usual but keeping fit was the main motivation ahead of race day.

On Thursday, Madikizela from Khayelitsha gave his take on training during the coronavirus and how to adjust training schedule.

He is among four athletes announced by Under Armour for their squad of UA Elite Runners to join their athlete family for 2020 season.

Thalia Charalambous, Nobukhosi Tshuma, Luthando Hejana and Masikizela are the four fast-paced podium-finishers that were selected from over 200 applications received from the quality track, trail and tar runners across the country.

He said the most important thing was to bring the gym lifestyle back down to basics during this difficult time.

"There are changes in the training programme, less intensity than usual but keeping fit is the main motivation so that when race day does come, you are ready to go," said Madikizela.

“As an athlete, we are used to training for months without racing, so it isn't hard as it seems. The difference is we don’t have a timeline as to when the next race will be, which is challenging. We must put our health first and then train so that when competitions do happen, we are ready to go. I advise everyone who is looking for a way to keep healthy to lace up and hit the road during this time."

Meanwhile, Tshuma's dream is to improve her time and qualify for the 2024 Olympics. The 25-year-old, a wife and mother of two kids was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, but is currently based in Johannesburg.

She said there were ways to keep fit during this time because you never know when the pandemic will end.

“In the first month of my training, I’ll be doing based training sessions, which will include easier runs at a lower intensity. We’ll look at doing 150kms a week. It’s easy to feel demotivated to hit the roads during this time, especially since most races have been cancelled, however, staying fit during Coronavirus is very important to me. Athletics South Africa has cancelled all events in the next month, which will be almost two months to the next running event. At this stage, many of whom I train with bring along disinfectant sprays and we ensure we hit the roads, while not getting into contact with other people."