How to stay fit and mentally strong during lockdown?

Trained for an event that’s been postponed? Cycling Coach Mark Holloway gives us his tips and advice on how to stay fit and mentally strong during lockdown.

Your spring event might have been postponed or even cancelled – but there are ways to help cope during this time.

Mark Holloway, a coach at Transition Cycle Coaching has given us his tips on staying mentally and physically strong during this period of unease and wait.

The first thing and most crucial is to follow the Government guidelines. At the time of going to press – included leaving the house once a day for a form of exercise, which includes cycling. (Find out more here)

So how do we proceed if we had trained for events that have been postponed?

Mark said it is all about looking at this from two angles – the mental and the physical.

Mental Perspective

Mark said: “With everything that is going on it is very easy to fall into the victim mindset of woe is me. What you need to do is put yourself in your future shoes 12 weeks from now, take a look back from then and say to yourself “Did I utilise that time well?”. 

What you don’t want to do is look back on that 12 weeks and think that you have wasted your time or even worse, done nothing. Think about how you’d feel if you looked back and realised you had wasted all that winter training by not doing anything for this block of 12 weeks? So there is always time to go on the turbo or use your one ride a day effectively.”

Physical perspective.

“Now you’re probably one of two types of rider. The first is the one that has got the training right over the last few months and has arrived at the early-season absolutely flying and raring to take on your challenges. The second type of rider is someone whose training may not have gone entirely according to plan. You may have been taken ill, you may have had a crash, or the training just hasn’t worked. You might even have had to take time out of training and therefore you’re not quite in the position you wanted to be in for your event this season. 

If you are the first rider in this position, and you’re absolutely flying, then the first thing you should be looking at doing is taking a short rest. It could be a week or two as you’ve probably peaked your form and now you need to come back down in order to build up again for when the racing or events start up again. Now if you’re flying and you’re in the position that you wanted to be in the lead up to the events, then you already know what you need to do and the lead-in time to get to that place. 

“At the moment we don’t know when the racing or event schedule will start back up, but when it does, you need to count back from those events and start that build phase again. 

“For those riders whose training hasn’t gone quite according to plan, then this now gives you an ideal opportunity to re-establish new training patterns and re-focus on the new event schedule when it finally lands. Look back at your training and figure out the reasons why it hasn’t worked, but also pick out some of the things that have worked in that period too. By identifying these things that have worked for you, you can incorporate more of those into your training schedule and ditch the stuff that didn’t work. By trying something different you will get different results.

“In a nutshell, take the time to rest if you need it, and try to be adaptable just to maintain some fitness. It’s not until we get the go-ahead for event schedules that we can really look at getting full training plans back together.”

What’s key in this period of uncertainty is keeping our minds positive and our bodies active. With more time on our hands we have more time to better ourselves. If you’re struggling with where to start, our old friends Google, YouTube and Instagram are full of at-home workout ideas and equipment improvisation ideas!

Take care of yourselves and each other and when the time comes… Race on!!

Not sure what the latest guidelines are for Cycling outdoors? We run through the official do’s and don’ts here

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