For many endurance athletes, workouts haven’t changed a whole lot. As long as we can still hit the road for a nice long solo run or ride, we get to keep our fitness and sanity. Even when forced indoors, many of us have long since made our peace with the treadmill or bike trainer. For those who have yet to embrace the suck of indoor training, here are a few tips to help you stay fit and motivated during the age of social distancing and quarantine.
First of all, if you are sick, don’t work out. If you have “below the neck” symptoms such as coughing, rest up and save the workout for when you feel better. Health is priority numero uno these days. Working out when sick is likely to just prolong your symptoms. Also make sure to stay well hydrated. Just because you’re working out indoors doesn’t mean that you aren’t sweating. Depending on the temperature and humidity inside your home you may even be sweating more.
Bike Trainer– You don’t have to have a fancy, computerized indoor trainer to get an effective workout. A “dumb trainer” like the Cycleops Fluid2 can help you build cycling fitness as well and are quite a bit cheaper than the ones that work with programs like Zwift. If you are just starting out in your season, work on building your base with some easy sessions. Sometimes it’s nice to just crank up Netflix and zone out. For a more structured cycling workout you can check out Peloton who is offering all of their workouts for free for 90 days. To really start improving your cycling fitness, try some VO2 max intervals. Here’s a fairly short and sweet one for the early season.
Easy Cycling Fitness Routine
- 10 minute warm up, easy spin
- 10 minute build up to about 75% of your max effort
- Then repeat the following 3 times
- 4 minutes at the hardest effort you can sustain for 4 minutes (or 105% FTP)
- 4 minutes easy
- 10 minutes easy cooldown
Treadmill– Netflix is your friend here too. I find that speedwork and treadmills go well together. My theory is that the misery of speedwork and the misery of being on a treadmill cancel each other out (at least that’s what I tell myself). Here’s a little speed session to make things interesting.
Easy Treadmill Speedwork Routine
- 1 mile easy warm up
- Then repeat the following 2 times
- .75 mile moderate or marathon pace
- .25 mile 10k pace
- .5 mile moderate pace
- .5 mile 5k pace
- 1 mile cool down
Strength – YouTube has loads of excellent strength training circuits that can be performed at home with just bodyweight or some basic equipment. While sport-specific training is ideal, there is nothing wrong with using any solid strength building plan when you have no races on the horizon. Here is a basic bodyweight strength workout that you can do right this very minute if you wanted to.
Easy Bodyweight Strength Workout
- Warm up with a quick 5 minute jog, spin or jump rope session
- Perform this circuit 3 times :
- 15 Pushups (fine to do them on your knees if regular ones are too challenging)
- 25 air squats (Tip: can hold a dumbbell to your chest for added resistance)
- 15 triceps dips using a chair (keep booty close to edge of chair)
- 30 second plank
- 10 burpees
Engage in Virtual Fitness Communities for Contests + Rewards
Feeling lonely or unmotivated? There are lots of fun workout challenges popping up on social media. (Check out ours on Instagram). Many popular race series are also launching virtual events. Keep an eye on your favorite local race directors’ social feeds to see if you can support them. You can even qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship via virtual race if that’s your jam. Ironman will launch their VR series April 1.
Try to stick to a consistent schedule for your workouts. It’ll help you get into a routine and feel more in control of your day. Who knows, maybe we’ll all come out of this fitter than ever before. Stay healthy friends. We’ll see you back out on the road soon.