As many workplaces close across the country and the nation begins working from home, now is the perfect time to take advantage of a bad situation to help improve your cycling.
One of the great things about riding a bike is that you can do it solo, so there is minimal risk of contracting or passing on the COVID-19 virus. When out riding, use appropriate social distancing as suggested by the Government.
It’s important to stay active, to keep moving and maintain physical and mental health.
Most of us normally ride before or after work and need to allow extra time to get home, shower and change after riding before getting to work. However, if the home is now your workplace, you could consider riding at different times.
Rather than sitting at a desk and eating lunch in front of your computer, be sure to get up, go for a walk or even go for a short spin on the road, trail or on a trainer. When was the last time that you rode on a set of rollers? They work great for a multi-skilled workout and take very little effort to set up. You might just have them nailed in a few short sessions and won't have to worry about FTP and peak power. Video yourself and challenge your riding group to a virtual roller skills session.
So many of us are all too familiar with riding in a bunch, the social element of riding is great and what brings us together. However, there’s a certain charm to heading off and exploring the open road by yourself. Some of the best rides we’ve had have been when we have no idea where we are going, and have left the Garmin at home.
If you do ride in a group, keep the group smaller, maintain the appropriate social distance between you and your riding buddies, keep helmets and gloves off the table at the cafe and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. Always follow the latest guidelines found at the Australian Government Department of Health website.
One of the downsides to working from home is you can remain in a very static position. It’s always great to improve your range of motion by regularly stretching each day.
There’s a wealth of routines online to assist with stretching but we love this one from our friends at Premax, which features dual Olympian and 2019 world champion Steph Morton!
We are all guilty of not doing enough to support our on-bike activities, so using your extra (non-commuting) time in the morning to improve your strength and flexibility is a potential bonus. Some basic things you could do are lunges, squats, skipping with a rope and really work on developing that core with everyone’s favourite, planking.
Check out this video from dual Olympian and four-time world champion Kaarle McCulloch & Premax.
Keeping your brain active and engaged at a time like this is vital. As we are out of the office, the majority of us don’t have the same social stimulation that we get by chatting in the office over our regular 11am decaf soy latte with a twist of lemon.
Some simple brain exercises you can do on a daily basis are crossword puzzles, sudokus or even basic hand-eye coordination exercises such as bouncing a ball against a wall for five mins a day can help you when you do get back to riding and racing with your club.
As part of Brain Awareness Week, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) released a free Exercise & Mental Health eBook to learn more about the effects of physical activity on mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Before we know it, racing will be back on, so why not use this opportunity to brush up on your racing tactics? SBS On Demand has a back catalogue of most of the classics, so take a master class from the best in the world.