LOCKDOWN! With Alice Lethbridge

A star in time trials and road races, Alice Lethbridge tells us about how she is coping with Lockdown in Britain

LOCKDOWN! With Alice Lethbridge

Alice Lethbridge rides for Weston-Homes-Torelli-Assure in road races, Drag2Zero for CTT Time Trial events and is also part of Kingston Wheelers for training and is on the club committee. Here is the Q & A with Alice… (thank you!)

Your last race was?
Alice: I did a crit at Hog Hill in January. I was meant to go and race Les Samyn Dames as my first race with the Torelli team at the start of March but I was wiped out on the sofa for three days with a virus ☹

With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Alice: My coach has put me back in base phase and I’m just doing my normal training which tends to be 1hr to 1hr 40 turbo sessions in the week plus 3-4 hour rides at weekends.

Normally I’d go with some of the men from the KWCC race team at the weekend and I’m missing the company but I’m also fairly used to long solo rides from when I was training for long distance TTs.

The main difference with the training in the week is that I’m doing it on my lunch break instead of at 5am and I’m finding that hugely beneficial. Also, as I’m working at home, if the weather is nice I’m often going out for a little easy sunset spin as I’d normally commute to work after training.  Last week I added in some ZSwifting for the first time – more on that later!!

Enjoying the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Alice: I turbo all year round for my structured efforts so I’m used to it. Where I live, there’s just too many motorists on the road who dislike cyclists so I find it really hard to do intervals outside unless I go into Richmond Park before work at around 6am.

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If on the turbo, what’s your favourite distraction – Zwift or some other entertainment?
Alice: For the last 5 years I’ve just been using trainer road and watching the little graph and normally listening to the radio.

I might use the recovery blocks to catch up on emails or read something on the internet as otherwise I do get a bit bored! If I’m doing an easy turbo session, I might put the TV on. I signed up to Zwift 10 days ago, after saying last year I’d never go on it. I wanted to try the BC TT though.

A friend told me all that mattered was how hard you push the pedals, but I then found out different bikes make you faster and I will admit I got a bit bored last week stuck at home with the dull weather and climbed from level 2 to 11 in 5 days so I could get a better bike!

What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lock Down
Alice: I don’t normally spend much time at home so that’s the hardest bit I guess. I’m really missing riding with friends, I’m missing seeing friends at work and the kids I teach, I’m missing being able to see my family and I’m missing chatting to all the people I would normally see when I compete or volunteer at races.

Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Alice: The last two weeks have actually been really busy with work so I haven’t had much time for anything else really. We’ve been running remote lessons in the day and then I’ve spent the evenings marking the work students have submitted and editing resources so that the students that don’t have computer access to log on at ‘normal’ lesson time can catch up and teach themselves.

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Having to ride solo – new or used to it?
Alice: I’m used to it from all the TT training. I prefer riding in a group though.

What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began
Alice: Me on Zwift! I’ve managed to make so many newbie errors in a week too – accidentally chose Alpe du Zwift on recovery day (I looked at distance but not elevation – I believe another female racer did the same thing the same day!), chose a TT bike for a group ride, then tried to do cadence intervals in a group ride and annoyed someone for not accepting his offer to draft, then got DQ’d from my first race as apparently I was meant to enter the ‘As’ even though it was a men’s race and that’s what the pros do! It’s ok to fill time whilst bored at home but I am very much looking forward to proper racing being back on.

Finally, at home or still having to work? 
Alice: Working from home which is great because I don’t have to get up at 4.30 or 5am but I didn’t sign up to teach to sit in front a computer all day and I really don’t enjoy that bit.

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