Over the past few weeks, "normality" has been redefined for so many of us. It's impacted life in a huge number of ways, including how athletes are able to train (especially with no racing for the foreseeable future). So we've been checking in with our professional athletes to see what they've been up to and how they've been adapting their training.
Keep an eye on our Instagram Stories as we're handing the reins over each week to a different member of the team.
- SLEEP: still important even if we aren't training as much, there's still a lot going on, and a lot of stress. It's still key to get lots of sleep, for your health and immune system but also for your mental power too, and ensuring you survive living with family at home for more than usual! ha ha!
- ROUTINE: try to keep some form of routine, even with uncertainty and it feels like 2020 has just thrown itself out of the window. I set my schedule for the day the night before, setting out what I want to do and achieve and the times in the day, and I find this helps me to keep structure and the sense I'm still getting somewhere.
- IT'S GOOD TO TALK: the old BT ad (circa 1990s), but it's true and even more so at the moment. We maybe physically distancing but we don't need to social distance. Pick up the phone, Skype, FaceTime, heck there are enough mediums out there and every man in the world is now posting their Zoom meetings and chats. But it's actually really important. Something we took for granted of the social interaction in the street, the cafe be it with strangers or meeting up with friends. Travelling the world to see family and people we know and want to spend time with. It's important to still keep those connections. Also everyone will manage the coming weeks and months in different ways. We will all go up and down, and you never know when a phone call or video message from you, will brighten their day, and also make you feel a load better afterwards too.
- SOCIAL DISTANCE: Yes, yes why do I say this, we all know the 2m rule. This time I mean on social media. With perhaps for some more time on their hands and normal habits and activities taken out of the plan, we can find ourselves spending even more time on social media. What training are others doing; what they have a pool? As well as being bombarded by the latest strength exercise we can do at home, or the next good thing to bake (if you can get the ingredients). It's also then overwhelming with all the news about Covid19 and I find I get more downhearted when I read more and more. So it's a good time to limit even more the time you spend on social media. Put the phone down (apart from when you are adhering to the point about "it's good to talk" - even watch a film, or lose yourself in a book. Actually do the exercises you are reading about online. Learn a new skill, a language or painting, drawing, or even just get out if you can to go for a walk (obviously within in guidelines and rules and appreciate this isn't as easy for some people depending where they live). Write a letter to a friend overseas (apart from NZ where they have stopped mail arriving), volunteer or help some of your neighbours if they need shopping or other jobs done. Play with the kids, play with the dog. Just don't get drawn into everything that's going on on social media... remember it never necessarily reflects true life.
- SMILE: We are going to be ok. It's good. As I've seen many people say "Our Grandparents were asked to go to war to fight, we are being asked to sit on the sofa." But just take the time to smile. I do this in races in dark patches and it's amazing the subconscious effect it has in raising your mood and feelings. Smile read something funny, watch something funny. Ring a friend and laugh, belly laugh out loud. Go out into the street and dance and sing (as long as you keep 2m apart ;-) But relax and SMILE. we are going to be ok.
Fenella is keeping safe at home with family in Wiltshire. You can follow her at @fenella.alicia on Instagram.
Here are her thoughts on how to stay in the moment whilst things are unsettled:
- Outline your week, but plan each day at a time. I like to sit down in the evening or morning and give myself a few training task and time but also one mundane normal job, i.e. clean the bathroom, Make a cake. Make you feel good and accomplished by the end of the day.
- I like to write down one thing a day that I'm really looking forward to. 'That last rep feeling' 'calling my mate Becky' 'making a cake'
- This is a stressful uncertain time for everyone and therefore not the time to be putting your body under loads of pressure, exhaustion, stress. Therefore I would avoid too many high intensity work outs. Keep in steady and long or around or below threshold. Also keeps us healthy, happy and able to up the volume a bit. Save the spicy sexy stuff for when you have a race date.
- Make that outside time feel like a new experience. Be like a big kid and look around, jump in puddles, kick the leaves, look up and ask questions, doodle around, go fast/slow. Wear your favourite outfit because. Really who gives a shit!!
Usually by now Tom would be well into race season. Instead he's working hard at home in the Midlands. Catch Tom at @tom_davis1995 on Instagram.
He's got some tips on training and life in general:
- Make sure that you have a structure to your training, Long steady rides on the turbo are not only boring, but you get far more benefit from some structured intervals so make your time on the turbo count
- With no pools being open, make the most of what you can. Ive been doing some band type strength work to make sure that I'm still maintaining strength, and I've been working hard to strengthen the core as that is essential in all sport
- Focus on what you can do. I've recently moved from Loughborough, back home, so for me there are a lot of changes at the moment, so I've been conscious of accepting what i can do, and realising that in the long term, a bit more time with family will hopefully gain brownie points when it comes round to time to train fully again
- Make time to chill out. It's all too easy to spend all our time scrolling social media, Make a point to put the phone down, and chill out. It's rare we get time to mentally switch off, so thats something I've really been making a conscious effort to do
We'll be checking in with a few more of the team over the coming days and weeks so stay tuned!