Train as much as you like, it’s no secret that hidden gains can be found in your day to day habits and routines. Affected by the lockdown and struggling to get in the cycling training time you do normally? Don’t sweat it. There are still a number of little tweaks and changes you can make to enhance your performance.
Take note of what you’re eating
Whether you’re working at the kitchen table or taking regular screen breaks that often end in you opening the fridge, keep your macros on track by paying extra attention to how often you’re snacking. You might find it helpful to meal prep at the start of the week so that your meals and snacks are perfectly portioned already, or stock up on fruits and vegetables on your trip to the supermarket to ensure you always have some healthy food in. This doesn’t mean going on a strict diet, but with a change in routine it’s important to know how to fuel your training right now.
Make sure you stay hydrated
Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before starting work is starting to feel like the new normal, but downing two or three espressos before logging on to your morning meeting isn’t going to do you any favours. Try starting your day by glugging a big glass of water to immediately hydrate the body, and continue to keep a glass on your desk as a reminder to keep it filled when you find yourself heading towards the kettle.
Staying hydrated throughout your working day will also help out when you come to put those hours in on the Wattbike. Showing up well hydrated will help your body to thermoregulate. Indoor cycling training can get pretty sweaty, and it’s important to replace these lost fluids if you’re looking to perform better and for longer.
Up your resistance training
For a lot of us, a well-stocked home gym is out of the question. However, if you’re looking to up your strength training it’s possible to get in a good workout with minimal exercise equipment. If you’ve got resistance bands or a weight or two you’re already off to a flying start. If not, household items make great substitutes. Tins of food make great dumbbells, a bottle of fabric softener mimics a kettlebell, and tied up tights or stretchy leggings can make a surprisingly good resistance band!
Stretching is a great way to help relieve any built-up tension in your body, which in turn can also do wonders for your mindset. You should be used to stretching, foam rolling or having a quick spin for recovery after a Wattbike session. Try introducing some small movements at your desk, at the end of your working day or during your evening Netflix viewing to alleviate any tension built up during the day.
Allow yourself an early night (or a lie-in)
Work, housework and families demand a lot of our time, but it’s important to try and switch off when we can. Getting a good night’s sleep can aid your performance, and an extra half an hour or so in bed means extra recovery time. We’ll take that!
If you’re struggling to come to terms with what COVID-19 could mean for athletes or worried you might be overtraining at home, check out our conversations with performance psychologist, Dr Mark Bellamy.