10 days into our 21-day lockdown and we hope you are coping!
For some of our international athletes, scenarios are a bit different (depending on where you are in the world), but the basics are pretty similar….we’re all trying our best to cope with the situation we have each been given. Be that working and staying behind closed doors at home, or being classified an essential service provider and continuing your work as ‘normally’ as possible. We think you are all doing your best to take the required safety precautions, but more importantly, we hope that you have a support system around you that you are engaging with, contributing to and finding comfort in.
Having chatted to a fair number of athletes this past week, and then looking at completed files on TP, it would seem that some have been rather enthusiastic and have put their trainers to good use :-)
We think there are many who are questioning our “1h30” max trainer time suggestion in our last post - and we must confess that we folded under some competitive pressure this past weekend to push the limits to a 2hr session on Saturday. I won’t go into detail, but needless to say, we won’t be doing it again, unless special circumstances call for it ;-)
While you (the athlete) are the ultimate decision-maker in terms of how you complete a workout and whether you extend it over-and-above your scheduled time or intensity, we would like to think that our experience and expertise may encourage you to heed our thoughts.
Just some words of caution, and some suggestions:
• While longer and more intense workouts may not necessarily predispose you to contracting COVID-19, they do take a bigger physical & mental toll on the body. Pedalling continually for 2hrs at a time, Zwifting or doing intervals, is tough. No time to free-wheel and no time to look at the scenery. You are engaged in a focused physical activity, which no doubt gives an endorphin release and feel-good-factor, but there is a point at which it becomes too much.
• As coaches, we have put some ‘limits’ in place for special reasons, understanding that there is a very real element of competition and ‘who can do more’ each week. Being able to compare your stats on the many social platforms out there, means your sense of achievement is largely driven by whatever everyone else is doing, not particularly by just getting a green box on TrainingPeaks. Please beware of falling into this trap. You’re going to overtrain and send yourself into physical burnout long before this COVID-19 world we are living in returns to a new normal.
• With the potential of quarantine being extended, it means motivation for indoor training needs to remain high. Solid 60 - 90min sessions are practical and achievable, without creating inhibiting stress on the body, and keeping the mind fresh to tackle other tasks in your day (especially if you are working, or have kids to attend to).
• For athletes that are more experienced in training for stage races like Epic or Ultra 1-day events, working in some days of doing split sessions is acceptable. This would be similar to what triathletes do in fitting in training for 3 disciplines, and works well in terms of allowing the body some recovery between workouts, and optimising mitochondrial activity (your energy power-houses).
• There are a few organisations who have put forward some target ‘events’ to enter and complete during this quarantine period - if you find something that interests you and you’d like to consider, keep in mind, that just like the outdoor events, these goals need some planning.
• White Inc will have Group Rides on Zwift on a Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. If you like, we can suggest doing a couple of these to break the monotony of pure interval sessions, but not too many, too often. If you are keen to connect, our Zwift Companion username is Nic@studio White(Inc). Sometimes these rides can be harder than what you’d like depending on who you are riding with, terrain, and type of equipment other riders are using (no jokes). If you join a Zwift group, try stick to the goal of your scheduled ride. No shame in getting dropped if the ride becomes too intense. There are a few other platforms that people are using indoors, Rouvy, RGT, Tacx, etc, so getting some variation on certain days to the structured workouts is possible, please keep in mind the intensity of the day's planned session and how it may fit into your schedule.
• We need to remind ourselves that we are not in a 21-day stage race (although many have likened this lockdown to a Tour de France). We must ensure longevity in our training because those events that got cancelled….they will come to fruition again…..and we need to be on the springboard ready to jump….not in free-fall hitting the water.
• This all takes discipline and a sense of clarity in moving forward once this chaos dies down.
• For those that are doing the workouts merely to stay fit and sane, making sure those boxes are ticked in green in TrainingPeaks is a great way of maintaining commitment and drive. Achieving small goals consistently translates into expanding horizons with countless possibilities on the other side of COVID-19!
Train smart and take care :-)