“I’m absolutely delighted to be back with Bell Howley this year even though our season has been completely wiped out by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
I started the year heading out to La Manga, Spain for three months of winter training. The heat, sun and the roads made training so much more consistent and more importantly mentally enjoyable. Many positives came from my time in Spain and I was so excited for the season to start. My first race came earlier than expected which then cut my time in Spain short by two to three weeks.
I headed home to get ready to set off to Florida, USA for the first race of what was going to be a very important season as it was Paralympic year and I needed the points. Something which also made this race even more exciting was that it was going to be the first time ever in the history of Para-Triathlon that there was prize money available for podium places. Now many of you maybe thinking surely not, but yes, as Paralympic athletes in Para-Triathlon we don’t get prize money unlike the ‘ablebodied’ elite athletes at any races. We don’t even get it at the World Championships, so this was a huge stepping stone to hopefully make it a regular occurrence.
Within a day or so after arriving back home I soon got the news that I wasn’t going to be able to travel to the United States due to the COVID-19 breakout and with all the travel restrictions it just made it impossible. A few days later the ITU (International Triathlon Union) started to postpone many of the upcoming events on the calendar which then led into the rest of the season being cancelled.
Statements have been released and all the athletes receive regular memos which keep us all in the loop on what’s going on and when they’re hoping to get some races back up and running.
With everything that’s happened with the season being cancelled, I’d have thought it may have affected me mentally a lot more than it has done. I was able to accept it pretty early on, and the coming to terms with it, has given me the opportunity to focus on training hard throughout the year. It could work hugely in my favour because as soon as the racing starts again in 2021, and the Paralympic Qualification window reopens I should be massively fitter, faster and stronger and will be able to compete with the top half of the field.
For the time-being I’m concentrating on bike and race chair within my training, and trying to keep mentally heathy and just enjoy the time I can spend with my family and the few friends I can see.”
Follow Josh on Instagram @joshlandmann.