Lock Down Training 2020

In December 2019, the very first case of 19 was found in Wuhan, China. The news spread quickly across the World and within a 2 week period China had shut down all non-essential places. This was labelled as ‘Lockdown’. The Virus then started to spread across many countries with Italy being hit very hard in early 2020. In the UK we had our first positive case in around mid to late February. At first no action was taken, just precautions. As we got into mid to late March everything went downhill. By the 23rd of March all schools were closed, sporting events/training cancelled and we heard that dreaded word for the first time ‘Lockdown’.

At the beginning of the first lockdown everyone was excited, a couple of weeks break from swimming, online schooling, being at home all sounds great right? Wrong. The first 2 weeks were great as I said, but then more news was coming out. Lockdown had gone from 3 weeks to 3 months in a week, then the boredom kicked in. It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t going to school, it was the fact that I didn’t get to do the sport I love. I went from 15 hours training a week to maybe 5. The problem was that I had too much spare time, and with no way to fill it, I started to get lazy and let my fitness drop off. I found it really hard to focus when it seemed like I was wasting my time.

After about 1 month of lockdown, my swim club Teamipswich swimming set up some live workouts to keep everyone’s fitness levels up over a software called Zoom. Now many of you will be familiar with this platform, whether you have used it for work, game night, group socialising, or even for a sporting reason like me. The first few workouts were tough on everybody (having not done a lot for a month) but coaches Zoe and Dave quickly whipped us into shape and did an amazing job with organising these sessions, making sure the links were sent out to everyone via email days before. Also after about two months I started open water training at a place called Tri Farm. Tri farm is an open water swimming/ Triathlon venue with an 800 meter open water loop, perfect for keeping my fitness levels up.

So I have mentioned what I have done swimming related to stay active, but what did I do about my cycling and running? For my cycling Coach Dad had already signed me up for an app called Trainerroad. Now, what is Trainerroad I hear you ask? Trainerroad is an indoor cycling app much like Zwift and Peloton, which you can select from 1000+ workouts to do over certain periods of time to not only increase your maximum power but also to increase your endurance on the bike. The reason I chose to use Trainerroad over other apps is that the layout of it is quick and easy to use and requires no technical skill and because it can make you a set training plan to follow. Another special mention to Coach Dad for always making sure that everything I need to do my workouts is done well in advance and helping me with any questions or bike problems I may have.

Now for my running, it was quite difficult at first because the Wednesday night Jaffa sessions had been cancelled, along with Parkruns as well which made a big contribution towards my training. We ended up having to redesign my whole training plan to work around these problems, but by contacting a few people, researching online, and using Dad’s coaching knowledge we came up with this. Monday = Hill sprints 20s max effort up 70s easy down repeat that 6 times and then the whole thing 3 times. Wednesday = A mixed session which could be anything from very long hill sprints to a hard 5 km run. Saturday= A long steady-paced run somewhere around the 4:30 min kilometre pace depending on how hard the week has been.

All of this continued throughout the first lockdown with next to nothing else happening. Then finally we were free, free from lockdown, free from being stuck indoors, well so I thought. Little did I know that coming out of lockdown meant that some restrictions were eased but not quite how I wanted them to be. The summer holidays went by and nothing. Then it came to our holiday in Thorpeness, That was the best week of the whole year. It was nice to be able to just escape a bit, go for a Walk in the lovely countryside or have an amazing day at the beach, all memories I will treasure forever. The summer ended and school was back, swimming was back, running was back, it started to feel like normal. Now I know you’re probably sitting there saying ‘well you have to follow guidelines and social distance and everything else’ and yes you do, so I suppose it wasn’t normal, but considering I hadn’t had these privileges for months I was taking all I could get.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly, I was gaining back my fitness in the water, socialising (whilst still social distancing) with people while running, and i was really enjoying myself. Then we get to November, and once again we hear that dreaded word ‘Lockdown’, and just like that we were back to square one, well almost apart from schools still being open. But as everyone did, we adapted, we did workouts 2.0 with the swim club, I did training at school in the gym and made do with what we had. The one good thing that came out of this lockdown was that we managed to get our all-new home gym complete. We did though after a month come out of lockdown and go back to that normal not normal, we went on looking forward to Christmas and thinking it would be so much fun. Then the news comes out, they are tightening up on restrictions again. London and Essex go into Tier 4. Then just to top it all off we are now moving into tier 4 and if you didn’t know it’s just like lockdown.

That brings us to now, We are currently still in tier two until Boxing day but we will just have to see how the cookie crumbles and to adapt however we need to. Thank you to everyone who has helped me keep on training and working hard through this difficult time.

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About Ben Howlett 19 Articles
I'm Ben Howlett (aka CheekyBen) I like to swim, bike & run and take part in lots of different events. I want other children to realise they can do the same so I share my experience here.