With most of the world in lockdown we thought we would share some insights into how to stay fit and in a positive mental space till our training and racing can resume as normal.
Everyone has put in a great deal of effort and sacrifice over the Christmas period and start of the new year to be in the best shape possible. Now is the time to maintain that form as much as possible, and for the few who had an interrupted start to the season, you now have the good fortune of being able to make up for the missed training.
Focus is the key, and looking at the bigger picture now is the time everyone can focus on their weaknesses.
Here's a typical week of training for those looking to maintain reasonable fitness during lockdown.
Note: ensure you consult your doctor prior to undertaking an exercise regime and stop immediately if you should experience negative symptoms such as angina.
Once you get back to 'normal' you should be able to spring back into great form without too much work.
|Monday||Rest or light core gym or zone 1 riding (easy hour)|
|Tuesday||VO2 once per week
Warm up thoroughly
6 sec sprint (standing start) 54 sec. recovery
6 sec sprint (rolling start) 174 sec. recovery
15 sec sprint 3min45sec recovery
30 sec sprint 5min30sec recovery
1min sprint 6min recovery
5min hard effort 5min recovery
|Wednesday||Gym work - follow strength program|
|Thursday||2 x 18mins and 1 x 20mins
10 min warm up
Then 2 sets of 18mins of alternate 90rpm/60rpm as follows:
All in zone 3 (about 80% of threshold - don't go into threshold zone)
5 min recovery between sets. This was a favourite at Team Sky.
Finish it off with 1 x 20 min 90% FTP at cadence 90rpm with zone 6 surges of 10-15 seconds every 4 min.
1 x 60min Z2/low tempo. Include 8 x 10 sec max sprints.
5 min easy
Then 2 x 20 min at 90% FTP, cadence 90rpm with zone 5 surges every 4 min. 20min rest between intervals.
4 x 5 SE @sub threshold HR + 1 x5 min 110-120 % FTP
1 x 15 min z 1/2/3 as warm up
4 x 5min (4min 50rpm z3 + 30sec 110rpm z5)
Recovery is 5 min
them 1 x 5 min 95-105% FTP
5 min rest
20 min zone 3 at cadence 100rpm.
|Gym work||Squats , calf raises, Piston squats. Press ups. Sit ups, side plank ,front plank, medicine ball balance|
We checked in with a few current professionals to see how they're coping with the European lockdowns.
Scott is doing mostly light training, opting to stay a bit fresher and having three days off each week. This allows him to maintain fitness, but also maintain freshness for when his hard training recommences. An example week for Scott:
Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - 3hrs Endurance + 1hr GYM - leg strength & core
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - 3:30hrs SE efforts (7x 3min / 2min rest)
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - 2:30hrs Sprint session (8x 20sec max) + 1hr GYM - leg strength & core
Sunday - 2:30hrs Low carb (40mins in low tempo zone)
Zac is now working as a Sports Director at Israel Cycling Academy and shares his athletes' goals during the lockdown:
$quot;Depends their personality. For example, if someone wants to smash it now and that'll alleviate stress then they should do that. If someone needs to save up the reserves so they have bullets for their return to outside training, then they are spending the time doing what they want. I personally reckon structure isn't bad. I think the key thing is direction. So a bit of work on what riders might be missing, or strengthen their strength. Everyone is just doing what's needed to maintain or move forward till things return to normal.$quot;
We are in a strange time at the moment. It is a pretty new experience to most of us. Take the time to add things to your daily and weekly routine that put you in a positive mindset. Spend time communicating with family and friends - we're all in this together.
Remember, exercise is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and helps build a positive mindset and healthy body. Whether you're stuck indoors or able to get outside, do your best to get active every day.
Lastly, take the extra precautions with your health and hygiene. Use hand sanitiser frequently, wash your hands frequently, don't touch things others might have handled, and stay at home whenever possible.