Balancing work and training
As an athlete balancing my time is something I have always had to pay attention to; through school, multiple exams and now with work.
After college, my focus was 100% on cycling with COVID impacting my ability to get any part-time work for most of 2020.This allowed me to train and recover perfectly every day translating to an exponential improvement in my results.
Slowly introducing a job at Montezuma’s Chocolates was easy enough as I worked the evening shifts to ensure I could balance my training with work commitments more easily.
In October 2022, I made a decision to start a career with Black Vanilla and quickly realised lots of things would have to change, in particular my training schedule.
I am very fortunate that BV supports my ambitions allowing me to work part time, in the afternoons. This flexibility leaves me with mornings free to train before grabbing some lunch, a quick cup of tea and getting started in the office.
This winter was definitely a challenge, having a smaller window of time with the darker mornings and evenings, I had less time in the morning to complete my rides, gym sessions and runs. Most of the time in sideways island winds before the sun came up!
It really challenged my motivation to train some days and I realised that is okay too, it can’t always be glorious sunshine and cafe rides with friends.
In all honesty, the first month of balancing work and training was a bit messy. Lots of missed alarms, falling asleep at 8pm and eating anything and everything to keep myself going – a mid-afternoon hot chocolate was my saviour.
Thankfully, after getting through the hard days of winter the lighter, longer days allow me to train in safer and more enjoyable conditions. Being more productive I am starting to see incremental improvements on and off the bike.
Recently, I took some of my annual leave and headed to the mountains in Girona, northern Spain for a week of hard training with some friends. Most people probably return from their holidays feeling relaxed and energised, whilst it was a great week, I returned with some awkward tan lines and a lot of fatigue!
Using that week to train and recover as a full-time athlete was hugely beneficial for my physical condition. The down time was also great for me mentally after a full on few months adjusting to a new routine.
The terrain in Girona is far different from Guernsey coast roads, with long climbs and dreamy descents it was the perfect place to put in the work. Most days I rode upwards of four hours covering 60-70 miles, this consistency in endurance is a form of training I thrive on and have struggled to fit in throughout winter.
With a solid platform now in place I am continuing to build upon this whilst currently up in the Yorkshire Dales. The training is tough with some stunning and brutal rides. Having the flexibility to work remotely for BV has made a huge difference – I am making strides in my training and also building a career off the bike.
As my form starts to build and I begin to feel stronger the timing could not be better. I have many adventures on the horizon starting with some mountain bike National events over the next few weeks and then for a big goal of the season I am heading to Poland for a UCI Gravel race!