After Lock Down Week 3

As expected, nothing has changed. The lock down continues and there is no firm date for when it is going to end. But the longer this goes on, so we are told, there is more data available for the experts to make their decisions.
There is also more statistical data, some of which is promising for us fit and lean cyclists.

For example, in the U.K 58% of obese patients who were put on ventilators died, compared with only 44% of those of normal weight. After climbing Box Hill so many times, none of us are very porky!

Jen and Sandy lead the men up Box Hill, closed prior to Olympics June 2012

However the bad news for many of us, is that in the U.K the average critically ill patient is a 60 year old male. Also that past 60 the odds get worse. But at least the odds are better for our lady riders, especially those who have been out with me on our hill training sessions!

But regardless of genetics and gender, the experts’ advice remains that one of the most important things we can do, is to keep exercising in order to boost our immunity. So carrying on from last week, some more things that you can do to increase both your fitness and boost your immune system.

Have you heard of Sarcopenia?
Well it is something worth learning about. Sarcopenia is the medical term for the loss of strength and muscle mass due to aging. Unfortunately cycling and running can’t prevent this. After age 40 (and that includes all of us!), per decade we lose more than 8% of muscle mass and with it, power and strength. By the age of 70 it nearly doubles to 15% per decade. This is the reason why we get slower on our bikes as we get older, and find that each year hills get harder to climb.

Tom tom and I certainly found this 28k climb a bit of a struggle a couple of years ago. Rain, mist and pannier bags didn’t help either!

Research has shown that the most effective way to slow this process down, is to do some form of resistance (strength) training. You could go to the British Cycling web site for ideas, or like them, go to Training Peaks who provide their training plans and other information. So going to the horse’s mouth here is a recommend training session that you can do at home, with or without weights.

See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the-best-strength-exercises-for-cyclists/

Strength training is just as important for our ladies, as detailed here: https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/why-female-athletes-need-to-strength-train/

And for those who prefer to watch You Tube videos, rather than read about strength training, this one from Bicycling .com might be just what you want to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8XXt7bFTmA

So whilst we are in lock down a bit of strength training will be very useful for when next we have to climb up Toys Hill, or any other of our more challenging local hills.

Des