The COVID-19 pandemic has brought professional cycling [and many other sporting codes] to a halt. In the coming weeks we will be featuring our ProTouch professional riders and Teams’ support staff, to understand how their lives are continuing amidst the shutdown.
We are currently on Day 41 of South Africa’s Nationwide #Lockdown. This story is about my #LockdownExperience and, although some of our regulations have been lifted, we are still facing a global pandemic and that has not yet flattened the curve.
Amidst these uncertain times – I am pleased that our Federation was successful in submitting a proposal to Government to relax some of the regulations pertaining to outdoor exercise. With the announcement of South Africa’s transition from Level 5 to Level 4, we are “now permitted to exercise outdoors – within 5km from where we reside – and, wearing a mask at all times while outdoors”.
Prior to this pandemic hitting Southern Africa, I was to represent the South African National Team [along with my other ProTouch team mates Jayde Julius and Gustav Basson] at the Continental Championships from 23 – 29 March 2020. Unfortunately, this as well as all our planned international UCI races have been postponed or cancelled until further notice.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE LIKE?
At the beginning of our lockdown, I guess it felt a bit “exciting” in a way? We didn’t really quite know what to expect or, how extreme it would all turn out… Each morning, I would get up at around 8am and have breakfast – this usually consists of oats and some fresh fruit or a bowl of muesli and yoghurt, to get the engine started.
Then I would join friends and teammates on Zwift. We got so good at this, that we even set up online voice chats with synced music playlists! Joining groups for Zwift races, also made the time go by quickly. Depending on the duration of my programme, I stretch and follow a proper recovery routine – either in front of the television [using Normatec boots] or, by having an afternoon nap.
As I was unable to ride outdoors for most of the #Lockdown , I was using my basic indoor trainer and riding some Zwift and Rouvy races. I could still join my team mates for virtual rides and races – which was great to catch up – but, definitely not the same as a normal training ride. Now, that we are permitted to ride outdoors, my training is now returning to normal.
I guess now that I’ve been locked down for 5 weeks, the novelty has worn off a bit and now I am looking to the future and, asking where I want to be with my cycling. The best advice I’ve received is “if you can do anything now, in this particular moment, then do it! Don’t wait until tomorrow or drag things out. Get it done…” I can’t just stop now, I’ve actually got to use this time to improve even more and shift myself into the level above.
I am optimistic that racing will resume at some point this year – and, I still have some work to do – so, I am maintaining my fitness levels for whenever the pandemic subsides.
WHAT IS MOTIVATING ME RIGHT NOW?
My motivation for training right now, is to ensure that I am ready for the rest of the season, when it starts again. As part of the #1 Team in Africa, we have some important goals this year [for our brand and our country] – I am passionate about still seeing our ProTouch Jersey and South African flag on podiums around the world.
This is Part Two of My Story – follow me and my ProTouch Team on our social media channels to keep in touch and follow our journey as Africa’s #1 Continental Team.