Training Through Covid-19 Social Distancing

 
After returning home from Florida, where I was begining to gain momentum during a second pre-season training camp, I had to re-adjust. 

The sharp contrast of living with so many people then being alone was jolting.  But it's a reality I'm not a stranger to.  One of the challenges of an athletic career for an adult-athlete is going back and forth between a very solitary, egotistical lifestyle, and one with a lot of social stimulation, sharing and compromises.  The other major ajustment was: shiting gears in training.  The gyms are closed. Pools are closed.  Athletic therapy services are not availble.  Motivation however, is as present as ever.  (We'll discuss that later.)  I just had to figure out some ways to funnel it into something productive...

Here's how I am dealing:

1. I follow a daily training plan on TrainingPeaks.  When training tasks are set out for the day, I feel like I have structure and organzation.  Plus, finishing a workout makes it change colour in the TrainingPeaks calendar, which helps my progress feel measureable in a really simple way.  My coach, Chris Rozdilsky (from PowerWatts and Premier Performance training centre in Montréal) follows the data that is uploaded each day, and helps me readjust the plan if needed.  We're people, not machines. Sometimes the plan has to be adjust to how our bodies are responding...! If you don't have a coach, get one (I can recommend some. Message me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/lex_albrecht).  You can also use TrainingPeaks for free: www.trainingpeaks.com 

2. Zwift.  Because as much as I love riding the E-Motion Rollers Smart Trainer inside (I use it even during the summer under regular circumstances), feeling stuck by my lonesome in a small urban condo feels lonesome and grim over time.  Zwifting in Watopia gives me the option to interact with friends and other riders between intervals, or during longer endurance rides.  My friend and physiologist Guy Thibault (who I co-wrote two articles with recently: Relayer avec classe and Relais cyclistes) has even made me a personal workout using the methodology behind his 3-2-1 Go training app.  It's fun to have the visual cues on Zwift at the beginning and end of each interval.  
 
3. Interval training plans make indoor training sessions more intense, more effecient and sometimes even more fun than training outside. I  usually go oldschool: using a sheet of paper, instead of looking up a workout on a virtual cycling platform.  I make each interval set a different colour.  Analayzing the data in TrainingPeaks afterwards is pretty cool.
Lex Albrecht professional cyclist, cycling workout, intervals, training plan, cycling coach

4. Strength training is possible, without a gym!  I use my trusty ab wheel (this ab roller was a Christmas gift from 15 years ago. It's been around the world!) exercise bands, the yoga block, and 5 and 15 lb weights for core workouts, upper body exercises, and leg day routines for cycling.  

Ab wheel, core strength, abdominal exercises, six pack workout, abs diet, ab wheel

5. Streaming yoga and mobility classes has been my go-to while racing around the world, for years.  There's something about totally disconnecting and being led through a yoga or mobility class that is soothing.  I use www.doyogawithme.com for free classes, I stream from Wanderlust yoga studio in Montréal with Zoom.  Charles Castonguay has been posting mobility classes on Facebook.  He leads myofascial release techniques and self-massage methods.  They only require my Travel Roller and acupressure balls.  I used to just roll all over this stuff... which was good. But following an intentional program and learning new moves is surprisingly rewarding.
 
Home gym, mobility exercises, ab wheel, fitness, professional cyclist, exercises for cyclists, shoulder exercises
 
Streaming workout, Charles Castonguay, travel roller, foam rolling, yoga class, mobility exercises, stretching for cyclists, stretches for cyclists, Lex Albrecht
 
6. When I don't feel like doing it... I don't. 

Sometimes I lose motivation when fatigue sneaks up on me.  Plus it's normal to not feel feeling the drive to crush a workout at home, again, under Covid-19 confinement. In those cases, it's okay to lay off. 

Because when the heart and the soul aren't there, the legs have to push extra hard to pedal us through all on their own... The moments we put that type of demand on them should be used very sparingly.  Often, taking a break will do more good than any sweat-fest could ever accomplish.  Balance is key, friends.  I'll share more on motivation soon!

Happy confinement.  It's not every day that we can save the world from our living rooms ;).  Let's enjoy it, fellow heros.

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Bike selfie. I do this sometimes to see what my face looks like when I feel this happy. Just to check. Lol. #AdventureSeeker #senabluetooth #girlswhoride #motorcyclelife #motorcyclehelmets
Rode my bicycle to pick up the motorcycle because today was NEW TIRE AND FRESH OIL DAY for the big bike! Thanks @lavalmotoqc :). * @senabluetooth #rideconnected #senabluetooth @2x2cycles #motorcyclesofinstagram #senar1 #senar1smartcyclinghelmet #2x2cycles #2x2cyclesbikerack
Connect and ride! #RideConnected #SenaBluetooth #SenaR1evo #cyclinggirl #cyclist #senahelmet #girlswhoride #safetyfirst #cyclingtechnology #bikehelmet #coolhelmet #helmetsarecool
Oh you know, just pushing the pistons off road, and loving it. Kinda want to try a #gravelbike and see what the deal is... any tips? #fromwhereIride #roadslikethese #rideconnected #adventureseeker #senaadventure #senar1 #senar1helmet #cyclinggirl #bikelife #bikeride #bikegirl #girlswhoride #lifebehindbars #montrealcycling #montrealcyclists
I MADE MY OWN #HORCHATA! And I made it with maple syrup from Québec. And it's DELICIOUS. And I think it could win the #maplesyrup recipe challenge! Please give it a vote by clicking the link in my bio! (The video showing how to make the recipe - 4 ingredients and a few minutes - is on my YouTube channel and the latest blog on www.lexalbrecht.com). THANKS FOR VOTING FOR MY CANADIAN HORCHATA! #erable #erableduquebec #érable maplesyruprecipes #veganrecipes #horchatarecipe #homemadehorchata #vitamixrecipe
New quarantine reflex: stock up on the good stuff. @eightouncecoffee has a whole bunch of #thirdwavecoffee roasters' products available online right now. Pretty fun to shop for them all in one place! Current stock: @detourcoffee, and pulling shots with the #Leverpresso. #CAFN8me #coffee #coffeebeans #thirdwavecoffee #espresso #leverpressocoffee #portablecoffeemaker #manualespresso #manualespressomachine #detourcoffee #detourroasters #th3rdwave
I was on my bike and this girl was playing her violin at the riverside. I like to think she was enjoying doing her thing, as much as I was enjoying doing mine. #fromwhereiride #cyclinglife #cyclistlife #ruralroads #riverside #violin #violinist #violinistsofinstagram #musicinnature #springtime
New battery day. I love that I can change my @4iiiicom's battery myself, that it takes the same size as my kitchen scale and my bathroom scale, and that the trusty dolla store sells them. Easy to find, easy to do. That leaves efforts for other stuff! #4iiii #4iiiipowermeter #4iiiiprecision #4iiiipodiiiium #4iiiicom #4iiiiambassador #4iiiinnovations #4iiii_powermeter #cyclistsofinstagram #cyclist #cyclinggirl #powermeter #powermetertraining #poweredby4iiii
I am a gently-hit-two-birds-with-one-stone kinda girl. For example, I almost always do something while brushing my teeth, and I also try to pick my mid-ride pee-break spots wisely : where there's something interesting to look at, that I might otherwise never get to see. Like this stuff. #aglife #cyclistlife #rurallife #farmlife #quebec #canada #fromwhereiride #fromwhereimictate
Good thing I had some #homegym tools on hand other than exercise bands (those darn things keep snapping like there's no tomorrow). I like my #workout tools like I like my strength and stability for riding and running: SOLID. #elasticbandproblems #cyclistlife #homegym #coreworkout #corestrength #corestrengthening #corestrengthtraining #corestrengtheningexercises
Socially distanced group riding formation. (Le Roi du Parc et sa blonde ont le droit aux selfies rapprochés.) I love riding my BIKE. I love riding my bike in great places even more. I love riding my bike in great places, with great people even more than that! #livingthedream #rideconnected #adventureseeker #senar1 #senabluetooth #fromwhereIride #Garneau
I ran out of prepared meals on the weekend. It was a mess. No, I was a mess, on the couch post-training, waiting for the lunch fairy to show up. She didn't. The freezer is stocked again. Problem solved. #cyclistproblems #cyclistsolutions #athletelife #mealprep #mealprepideas #mealprepping #inmyfreezer #freezermeals #freezerstash #freezercooking #freezerfriendly

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