The lockdown has forced everyone to stay at home and pause everything they used to do regularly. Pre-pandemic, triathlete Evangeline “Vanj” Endaya, 48, trained every day. When there was an upcoming race, she would swim three times a week, bike three times a week, and run three times a week, but everything changed during the lockdown.
“If the race was long, like a 70.3 or full Ironman distance event, I would start riding on the bike trainer as early as 3 am just to be able to complete the weekday workout before going to the office. Weekends are for long bike rides and runs, usually three hours or longer,” Vanj tells My Pope Philippines.
But since the lockdown, she had to find ways to get creative in training since no one’s allowed to go outside. (Read: We Asked a Fitness Coach: What’s the Best Way to Stay Fit at Home?)
“At the start of the lockdown, I could only ride my trainer in the house. Eventually, I got a treadmill, and recently, we got weights and a bench/rack setup for strength training at home,” she shares.
Joining the Triathlon
Growing up, Vanj wasn’t really very active. She just participated in usual school physical education activities and games kids used to play. In her family, it was only her dad (who was a cyclist and a tennis player) who was active in sports.
Vanj got introduced to triathlon in 2021. At that time, she was a runner, then her running mates invited her to join them on a bike ride. After that, they asked her to swim, and join a race. (Read: Nutritionist-Dietitian Explains Fad Diets, Plant-Based Eating)
“My first triathlon race was at the Animo Triathlon race in Alabang in 2012. I was a complete newbie then and I had no idea what I was doing, but after crossing the finish line, I was hooked!” she says.
While some runners find races or long-distance running boring, Vanj enjoys it. “Races are very exciting! There are so many people running with you, so it’s hard to become bored,” she says.
Training in the New Normal
Nowadays, Vanj still trains every day, but she does it at her home mostly. (Read: 3 Workout Videos on YouTube for Beginners)
During weekdays, she wakes up at 5 am and does a workout which is either swim, bike, run, or strength training before going to work. On weekends, she wakes up earlier and does longer bike rides or runs. These can be outdoors or if it’s on strict quarantine, indoors.
As for her diet, Vanj admits she doesn’t have a strict diet. “I really don’t have a strict diet. I have a balanced diet and just control the portion size. I also drink plenty of water daily. I take multivitamins and collagen,” she shares.
But for those who wish to keep themselves healthy during the pandemic, Vanj has these pieces of advice: “Let’s all stay active during the pandemic! Exercise every day, even for just 15 minutes. It can do wonders for our physical health as well as our mental well-being,” she concludes.