Shifting Movement: Stacey Riedel
While most of us are experiencing disruption to our regular riding routines, elite athletes are facing great uncertainty around training, travel and racing, all potential threats to their livelihoods and ultimately to their identity as professional cyclists.
We are continuing our commitment to the art and performance of cycling by bringing you some stories directly from our MAAP athletes, on how they are training, staying motivated, staying connected and sharing advice on how they are adapting to the demands of training during social distancing restrictions.
Stacey Riedel is from Adelaide, South Australia and is a member of the MAAP Cannondale CX team, racing the national cyclocross season each year, as well as a handful of crits over summer.
She balances training, racing and travel with working full time as a teacher. We caught up with Stacey to see what changes she's made in the current climate.
What impact has the coronavirus had on you and your racing?
The Aussie National Cyclocross season was my focus this year, with a particular focus on the National Champs race. I have made some big leaps in past seasons, but each year I want to come back and improve upon those.
At this stage, it is looking like there won't be a cyclocross season, which means I won't have a specific goal to work towards, and will reassess in the months to come.
As a primary school teacher who was originally planning to get married on 3 April 2020, my training and riding is pretty minimal at the moment.
I've just been using the same saying I have for years: 'CTC - Control the controllable'.
I know so much of this is out of my control, so I am just ensuring I focus on the things I can control and do them well. Plus, I'm looking at the positives, more time at home, means more time with loved ones, and more time to do the things that normally get put off.
How have you adapted to training under new social distancing regulations?
I have done a few MTB rides, home gym, and solo running in order to keep my social distance, but I will be looking to the indoor trainer and home gym from now on.
I will just work with what I've got. I'm pretty disappointed not to be able to ride my CX bike, but am surprisingly motivated to get on the indoor trainer and still build strength and fitness despite not having races to train for.
How are you staying connected with teammates and friends during this time?
Social media - that's what it's there for, right? It's easy to keep engaged by watching people's stories, and making sure you respond and are checking in with each other.
For me, it's more a matter of disengaging my mind at this stage, as being a teacher is very hectic, rescheduling a wedding is time-consuming and the constant media is exhausting.
I'm trying to do things to help myself relax and not over-think.
However, I fully understand this could change if lockdowns and self-isolations are mandatory in South Australia. I miss visiting my grandparents, not being able to just call in to see them is hard, but hopefully things change for the better soon enough and our normal lives recover quickly. I think it will make us appreciate those moments even more.
Take us through your adapted week of training during COVID-19
My tip at the moment is to unstructure your training, if your normal week looks fully planned, take a break from it. Work out what is important and what you enjoy doing. For me, that’s getting a workout in at my makeshift home gym, with a focus on core and building leg strength.
Cross-training can be a great way to mix things up too, I have been running in the local forests, getting some fresh air and a feeling of freedom. We’re still allowed to leave the house to exercise, so I’ll keep these up until we’re told otherwise. No doubt I will soon be on the indoor trainer sessions on Zwift soon too. These are great for intensity and actually the perfect way to train for a CX race which is typically 1hr long and full gas from start to finish.