Lockdown Q&A: Lexi Brown (Cycle Capital Team Noord Holland)

A really interesting Lockdown Q&A with Lexi Brown who is based in the Netherlands working full time as the Senior Media Manger for adidas Europe and also supports The Cyclists Alliance 

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Lockdown Q&A: Lexi Brown (Cycle Capital Team Noord Holland)

Brought to you by trainSharp

A really interesting Lockdown Q&A with Lexi Brown (Cycle Capital Team Noord Holland) who is based in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) working working full time as the Senior Media Manger for adidas Europe and also supports The Cyclists Alliance with their administration and communications strategy.

Q: Your last race was and how did it go you?
Lexi: My first race for the 2020 road season was meant to be Drentse Acht van Westerveld, but it was cancelled 48 hours beforehand.  So, I guess my last race was the Atlas Mountain Race in February 2020. Unfortunately, we had to scratch about 500 Km into the race (on Day 4) as my partner had suffered 14+ punctures and we were all out of spares and patches.

We fixed the bikes up at a nearby town and continued pedaling to the finish line, but we were officially out of the race. Before that, I gave cyclocross a go for the first time, competing in the Amsterdam Cross Competition which was so much fun and did wonders for my bike handling! Officially, my last race of 2019 was Rás na mBan, a 6-stage road race in Kilkenny, Ireland (below). This was a fantastic learning experience and even got my first experience of being in a breakaway!

Q: With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Lexi: I am averaging about 13-15 hours a week currently, focusing on building my 10 min power and also incorporating Zwift races.

Q: How long have you worked with trainSharp, how has your training changed and what are the best things about having a coach?
Lexi: I started working with trainSharp at the end of 2018. Before this point, I didn’t do any structured training and I was often over-training as I rode 60km to work and back most days and spent most weekends riding with friends (mostly guys, so always hanging on!).

In the summer of 2018, I gave the Canyon//SRAM Zwift Academy a go and they reached out to me to understand my racing experience to consider me for the semi-finals. At this point, I had zero experience apart from the odd local club criterium race! It made me realise that I hadn’t even embarked into the world of competitive cycling, so I reached out to trainSharp for an initial call and the journey started from there!

Having a coach has really allowed me to work towards specific races in the season, work on personal goals to develop areas that I am weak in and just generally have someone to reach out to and ask questions when I need support.

Q: Is the coaching just about numbers and efforts or other parts of the training/racing?
Lexi: I do find the data very interesting and I do like training, as I find it very satisfying when you complete sessions or hit PBs. I’ve also recently been trying to log how I feel and general performance alongside my menstrual cycle. It’s not something I can find much information about so I am trying to understand how my body reacts during my cycle and then maybe in the future, we align training sessions to my specific cycle.

Q. Enjoying the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Lexi: I love the indoor trainer and will admit that I am a Zwift addict. This year I joined the Wahoo LeCol Team and received a Wahoo KICKR and Headwind Unit which has significantly improved the indoor experience. I mainly use the indoor trainer for two types of training; firstly to complete interval workouts because it allows me to focus solely on the effort rather than worrying about safety out on the road and secondly to race!

Racing on Zwift is nothing like racing on the road, the races really push me way out of my comfort zone, it is a physical and mental battle to not give up but it has given me access to test myself against the women globally, both professionally and at an amateur level.  It also has the added benefit of being able to complete a quality session in a very short space of time, which is ideal considering I am working full-time!
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Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lockdown?
Lexi: I can’t really complain about anything at the moment as I was lucky enough to fit in both a three week training holiday in the New Year in Denia, Spain and Rocacorba cycling in Banyoles Spain and then I participated in the pairs category for the self-supported Atlas Mountain self-supported Race in Morocco!

Right now I still have a job and I am still able to train both outdoors (once a day) and indoors (as much as I like!).  The lock down has made me realise how much I love variety in my training as I will often get the train to ride somewhere different or get some hills. I had planned some ‘fun’ races this year including the Dirty Reiver a 200km gravel race in Northumberland but luckily, these events have been rescheduled to later in the year rather than being cancelled! Instead, I am adding variety by including some yoga and core sessions now that I don’t have to commute to work!

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Lexi: The sunshine! The crazy wind and rain have finally stopped in the Netherlands so I would much prefer to get out on the bike all day – work actually forces me to recover!

Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and why what is the best thing about it?
Lexi: I have two bikes; my Canyon Ultimate for road and my 3T Exploro for everything else; trails, gravel, cyclocross! I think they get used pretty evenly as I like to keep variety in my training and cycling adventures. I did have a plan to learn to MTB this year, but I think that might be postponed until 2021 – more time to save up for a dream bike!

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began
Lexi: A girl SUP (stand up paddleboarding) down the canals in Amsterdam, I suppose it is isolated exercise… !

Q: Finally, where you do you enjoy riding the most in this country or abroad?
Lexi: This is so hard to answer, and I still have so many places I’d like to discover. We try and escape to remote places to leave the city behind us and a highlight for me last year was taking our 3T exploro’s to the Cairngorms in Scotland. We had some tough hike-a-bike sections, but the terrain forced us to slow down and take in the outstanding beauty of the National Park. Luckily, we were treated with beautiful single-track through typical Scottish Glens, windy estate gravel trails that led us to isolated Lochs and of course some good Scottish grub to keep us fueled.

If you want to be coached by trainSharp then please email paul@trainsharp.co.uk

Brought to you by trainSharp

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