Jenny Holl and five other cyclists are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. The 20-year-old Scot is currently in her third and final year at the Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy rider. This is Jenny’s third entry…
So I actually got to start my race season this year. My 2020 season was eight days long and consisted of two races, with a total distance of 169km and about four and a half hours.
I had been hoping to continue the season on a bit longer than that and had plans to ride both the Manchester and Brisbane rounds of the Six Day Series. I actually got as close as having done my pre-race ride in the morning of the first day of the Manchester Six, rucksack packed, all ready to head straight in for the racing. But then all of a sudden a global pandemic struck and racing was put on the back burner.
Days later I was heading home to Scotland, thinking I’d maybe be here a week or two. I’m still here.
For the moment I’m just focussing on enjoying my time on the bike and getting out the house
While not being able to race at the moment is obviously frustrating, the fact we can still ride outside is an absolute saviour. I think this is possibly already the longest block I’ve had purely dedicated for training in the best part of three years, maybe longer.
Since everyone is stuck at home for the foreseeable future, I figured I would share a few key points for getting through lockdown training.
With no racing in the very near future, I found keeping motivated pretty hard right at the start of lockdown. Whilst pinning a number on might be a way off, I’ve been focussing on other things to keep motivated. Like working on power numbers and just trying to make the most of a training block. It does help that with this sun at the moment I can just pretend I’m on training camp in Mallorca.
Mixing it up
Since we shouldn’t be getting too far from home on rides, doing the same roads repeatedly can get tedious sometimes. I’ve been using Zwift for the first time, which definitely makes the time pass on the turbo. I’ve also been making the most of some weights borrowed from a neighbour to get some gym work in. I even actually went running (slow jogging) a couple of times, although that ended pretty quickly actually. But being able to do a range of training definitely helps keep things exciting.
It’s pretty much always an easterly wind where I live, so the majority of days my first hour is always the same. And while occasionally I do enjoy a general road ride just riding my bike, this one road is almost 25km in a straight line with a headwind, and doing efforts is literally the only way I can mentally get along the road. They’re a great way of just breaking training up, because let’s face it, four hours can drag a little sometimes.
Rest and recovery
Realistically we’re probably still the best part of three months away from racing, and from that point it’s likely to be one full-on season, so even if anyone did manage to be training all out until the season start, they would be absolutely on their knees after not very much racing. We’ve been working in four-week blocks, doing three weeks hard training before taking an ‘off-load’ week with some of the efforts taken out and the duration reduced a little.
Overall, I think the main way to get through training in lockdown is to pace yourself. We don’t know how long lockdown in some form is going to last so for the moment I’m just focussing on enjoying my time on the bike and getting out the house.
Hope everyone is staying safe in these strange times, and remember to wave to your fellow cyclists when passing!
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 22/05/2019 – Cycling – OVO Energy Tour Series – Round 5: Birkenhead – Jenny Holl of Team Breeze
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