LOCKDOWN! Q&A with Joe Nally (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)

Joe Nally (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) has had to suffer lockdown longer than most of us due to glandular fever and is slowly getting back into training in the hope of some racing in the coming months

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LOCKDOWN! Q&A with Joe Nally (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)

Q: Your last race was?
Joe: It’s been a hell of a long time! I haven’t actually raced since last August. It was a pretty anticlimactic ending to the season doing a local kermesse out in Belgium. My form was nonexistent and carrying on racing wasn’t doing me any good at all so there came a point when it was time to just relax and think about the next season. I hadn’t got round to racing this year by the time everything got cancelled.

Q: With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Joe: For the past few months I’ve been out of action with glandular fever, so there’s no such thing as a typical week of training right now. It’s all about slowly building back to fitness and currently I’m still only doing a few steady rides per week. Every morning I measure my resting heart rate and my heart rate variability to get an idea of how my body is responding, and when things begin to stabilise then I can slowly start introducing more rides to my week. Once I’m back training regularly, I will increase the hours, then eventually I’ll test myself with some more intense efforts. That’s still quite a long way off though!

Q: Are you enjoying using the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Joe: Turbo can be handy as it allows me to monitor everything and not get carried away, so I did a few of my first rides back on it. I’m obviously very keen to get outdoors at the moment but if the weather is terrible, a steady spin on the turbo is much more enjoyable than an easy ride in the pouring rain.

Q: If on the turbo, what’s your favourite distraction – Zwift or some other entertainment?
Joe: I usually just stick on some music or watch some stand up comedy on youtube or netflix. I don’t have the health or fitness to fully enjoy Zwift at the moment, but in the future I imagine I will turn to it for some racing. It’ll be a better, a more low key introduction back into racing than rocking up to a prem having not raced since last summer and having had a few issues since then.

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Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lockdown
Joe: Like I said, I’ve been fighting an illness since late 2019 so I’ve sort of been on lockdown for a few months already. I’ve already had more than a three week stint where I’ve been stuck in the house, simply just due to a lack of energy. It was a huge relief to finally find the energy to get out the house, go to places and see real people, so it’s a pain that I don’t have that option now.

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Joe: The only other thing I’m half decent at alongside cycling is cooking. So I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen to pass the days a bit quicker. I might come out of this a few kilos heavier but my family definitely appreciate it!

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began?
Joe: In mid March, a few days before we went into official lockdown – when most people saw it was coming soon – we had some beautiful sunny days here. I was driving through the village under the bright blue sky, but the car was showing the temperature wasn’t even in double figures and there were crowds of people sat out on the beach soaking up the sun. From my nice, warm seat it was easy to forget we were facing a global crisis and instead feel like I was cruising through paradise. I guess people were just making the most of it while it lasted. Any other year seeing people out on a Scottish beach in the middle of March would be a joke.

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Q: Where do you enjoy riding your Vitus the most in this country or abroad?
Joe: I’ve been lucky enough to live in some amazing places abroad, and there’s so many roads I’d love to go back and ride again. The hills around Lake Garda or the ride from Girona to that amazing coast road would be up near the top of my list. If I could only choose one ride however it would be a sunny day going round the Applecross Peninsula loop up in the North West of Scotland. There isn’t a single part that isn’t stunningly beautiful and it’s been one of my favourites since I was quite young.

Q: What size deep section Prime wheels do you use in training?
Joe: I use the 30mm Baroudeur wheelset which are a great middle ground of weight and strength. They’re lighter than most non disc training wheels and strong enough to handle everything I’ve put them through so far.

Q: What Namedsport Energy products do you use most on a training ride?
Joe: Given that I’m mostly riding 45-60 minutes, water is fuelling me well enough for now. I have tried a few products though and I’m looking forward to finding an excuse to go and eat some more total energy fruit bars. (Fruit tango especially)

Q: What Schwalbe tyres are you using on your training wheels?
Joe: I’m on the Schwalbe Pro One 28s. They’re tubeless which is great peace of mind for everyday training and the extra width makes them super comfy even on some pretty awful roads, of which there are too many round here.

Q: On wintery days, how many Velotec layers do you start a ride with?
Joe: The kit we’ve been given is warm enough that layering up isn’t totally necessary. I get away with just the pro bib tights and long sleeve jersey as well as one of the Megmeister baselayers. On the slightly colder or windier days a gilet and a buff are more than enough to keep you warm.

Good luck to Joe in Scotland during this lockdown period…

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