As we all adjust to this new, bizarre and at times, quite scary way of life, it’s easy to lose the motivation to stay active and focused on fitness. With the government advice being along the lines of: no car, not far, no gnar (and no PRs) it puts most of our summer goals on hold. Still. There’s ways to stay active, strong and fit even though we can’t hurl ourselves down any Double Black Diamonds (baby!) or smash out any Gran Fondo training rides...
Here are my top tips on staying strong and boredom free during lockdown:
1. Make the most of the government sanctioned outdoors time. Even if the weather is crap. Here in Scotland, lockdown has meant that the sun is splitting the sky. A cruel twist of the lockdown knife. Our team have been making sure that they get their vitamin D. Be it on a walk with the family, an easy bike ride on quiet roads or trails, or a jog away from crowded areas. Even taking half an hour to get your HR up outside can make your day so much better. Get those endorphins on the go.
2. Use lockdown time to work on some strength and conditioning. It might not be easy to do this with kids around, but they might come in useful as weights! Even half an hour of basic circuit exercises every day (which doesn’t eat into your. allowance) can keep your muscles conditioned. Cyclist-friendly exercises include squats, lunges, glute bridges or anything that engages your bottom half. Including some core work like planks, mountain climbers and balance work will also help keep you strong and your mobility good.
3. Yoga. Seriously. We’ve gone all zen. Yoga, or even just a small amount of stretching every day will help keep your muscles in good shape for when we’re allowed to get back out big style. Lower back, hip and leg focused stretches will keep you limber and relaxed. We highly recommend starting your day with a wake up yoga session (free videos are widely available on YouTube) and you’ll get to feel nicely balanced once you’re finished.
4. Indoor trainers FTW
If you own a smart trainer, there are some brilliant platforms available now. Zwift, Rouvy, Traineroad and Sufferfest all provide structured and interactive workouts to keep your mind distracted and your effort focused.
If you’re lucky enough to own a turbo trainer, now is the time to dust it off, get your turbo tire on and get cracking. If you have an analogue trainer, try and structure workouts to a rate of perceived effort (RPE) to get the most out of static training. Using music as an RPM gauge is another good way to make a session interesting. Alternatively, there are some great workouts available online and on GCN.
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t be bothered from time to time. We are all going through massive change right now. With races being moved and cancelled all the time, it’s really hard to remain focused. But doing what you can when you can, will definitely lift your spirits.
Stay safe, we’re all in this together.
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