Lockdown has been harder than I thought it would be. Mentally I’m not used to being at home for such a period, working or not. It’s been taking its toll, but the wife and I are working through it together.

We both noticed that the first few weeks of this situation our weight was heading the wrong way. There have been little to no offers on in supermarkets the last weeks due to the current climate. This means it’s just as cost-effective to buy convenience rather than healthy, and this is exactly what we did.

A little over a week ago we both agreed we needed to do something. We can’t come out of this hellish time heavier than we went in. Since then Wifey has been joining the virtual Slimming World meetings and she has stuck to plan really well. I, however, am not following Slimming World, I’m calorie counting. I find it works a little better while cycling, and cycling I have done this last week!

The food we’ve been eating has been nice. It’s been a really good turn around to go from the convenience to the healthier “from scratch” options. Eating better is making us feel better, it goes hand in hand. You eat bad, you feel bad. This means that right now we’re good.

As well as eating well, I’ve been cycling – a lot. I’m not comfortable with going outside on the bike right now. The last thing I want is to have some sort of mechanical I can’t fix on the road and have to call the wife and kids out. It’s a risk we don’t need at the moment. This means that my turbo trainer has been feeling the brunt of my cycling. Most days over the last couple of weeks I have been riding the virtual world of Zwift and it’s becoming addictive. It’s not a bad addiction to have though.

I finished the Tour of Watopia a little while back. Now the Tour for All has started, which gives rides at differing capabilities. Usually, I’d pick the shortest/easiest route. Not now, I’m heading towards the longer and more difficult routes. I’m feeling good about my progress recently, especially fitness. So much so that at the weekend at ticked off my first target for the 2020 – to ride 100km (a metric century).

Riding 100km for the first time can be daunting, especially out on the road where you’re either planning stops at a cafe or two for food/drink or taking all the food/drink you need with you from the off. I didn’t have this worry as I completed the ride on the turbo trainer. What swayed me to actually do it? I wanted badges, achievement badges in Zwift for completing different routes and other things.

What achievements did I get? I got a few. I based my 100km ride on the 4.2km lap of the Volcano. Doing it here got me the following three badges; Warmed Up (5 laps of the Volcano circuit), Hothead (10 laps of the Volcano circuit) and On Fire! (25 laps of the Volcano circuit). As well as these badges, I got the 100 Clicks badge (100km ride) as well as levelling up from level 13 to level 15.

It was hard physically and mentally. But I had the option of watching something while riding (other than Zwift). Using my two-screen setup running from my laptop, I’m able to Zwift while watching a TV program or film. During my 100km ride, I caught up on one of my favourite shows and started watching a film (which I later finished). It made the time go by that bit quicker and took my mind away from what I was doing.

Even 3 days on from this, I still can’t believe I completed the ride. Hopefully, this lockdown will be lifted enough by August so I can ride a real 100km outside. The plan is at the start of August to ride to the in-laws, making it a little longer than the current 80km to make it 100km. Then I can say I’ve really ridden it.

For now, though, my focus with cycling will be strength training and base training. I’m going to try to get a bit quicker to make cycle commuting really work for me. This along with a controlled diet should see me lose plenty of more weight at the same time as getting fitter. I also have a couple of new recipes to add to the blog, so keep a lookout for them.

Keep safe folks!