In an effort to control the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia, the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented.
Malaysian riders have been hunkered down in their homes amid the MCO, which cause them being unable to ride outside. However, the MCO did not stop them from riding. Here’s how Waldron Chee is handling the MCO:
Waldron Chee is a professional track cyclist, riding for Cyclology Sabah Racing Team.
How has MCO/PKP affected your riding?
Due to the MCO, we are unable to ride long miles out on the road, and with all the gyms closed down, we are also unable to do our strength session, the same goes to the track facility. Once the news about MCO is announced, we have switched our training system and mode to full indoor training and to maintenance mode. We really want to minimise any outdoor activities and the team even started our own self-quarantine a few days earlier before the government started MCO!
What kind of indoor training have you been doing during this period?
During this MCO period, we are all training on indoor bikes and doing bodyweight exercises to maintain our fitness level, we are not looking to improve our fitness level this few months.
We hop on our bike and ride on Wahoo KICKR and follow with bodyweight exercises in the evening. Most of the sessions we are doing are HIIT and long intervals for example, 2minutes interval at VO2 Max, 15minutes interval at Threshold power, and 2hours endurance intervals. Doing 5-6 hours on the static trainer is just too mentally draining, high and short intervals are sufficient enough to maintain the fitness level.
For our bodyweight exercises, we are using Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) and bags filled with books or a gallon of water to add some feedback. We don’t have our own gym home to lift heavy weights, so we have to think of alternative ways to get the same training stimulus. It is also a good time to focus more on our stability and core work.
How has indoor training helped you during this period?
Other than maintaining our fitness level, doing indoor training also helped us to keep ourselves mentally focused and made sure our body is functioning like how it is supposed to.
There are 2-3 important sessions on the bike that we do, these sessions require us to be fully committed, mentally and physically. During these sessions, we put on our racing mindset to give it 100%, just like how we do during races. We have to make sure our racing mindset is still there especially when there would be no races on the calendar for the next 6 months.
Bodyweight exercise session is also a good alternative to maintain our strength, it might be hard to maintain our strength level without a proper gym but during this period, minimizing any loss is always the goal. Most important of all, doing indoor training helps me burn all of the calories from the unnecessary snacking that is happening quite wildly in my room.
How’s your diet during MCO/PKP?
Without sufficient strength training, I try to increase my daily protein intake to preserve our muscle mass because muscle atrophy or muscle loss is likely to occur without sufficient strength training.
I cook at home most of the time, it is a good time to practice my cooking skills. I ate lots of vegetables as it keeps me full for quite long without having to consume large calories. My teammates and I also tried to do some fun stuff in the kitchen like attempting to do roti canai which eventually doesn’t go as we planned it to, but we have to remember to always have some entertainment and fun especially when staying indoor as it is quite stressful.
Sometimes I divide my lunch into two, saving the other for dinner as I don’t need that much food because my activity level is quite low throughout the day. It’s good for my finances and also to save some space for my automatic unnecessary snacking.
What are your alternative indoor sporting activities during this period?
During this MCO period, there are few new activities that I get to do which is adding a yoga session into my weekly schedule and taking up an online course which I don’t normally do.
I’ve found that doing yoga sessions is really relaxing and good for the body. Without the hectic schedule, I get to do yoga sessions at 8 am via IG Live or on Youtube. Doing yoga sessions in the morning really boosted my body throughout the day. It is also good for flexibility and stability which are essential for cyclists. I aimed to do 2 yoga sessions a week whenever there is a free slot in my training schedule.
I also took up a Social Psychology online course to fill my time. I believe it is important to make full use of our free time and to benefit from it by doing something productive. On the other hand, it is very important not to be too hard on yourself or too serious during these times because these pandemic restrictions are stressful enough, adding training and daily stress won’t be any good.