Sycling Snippets

Written by a friend of Bobby Nefdt's and cycling World Record Holder, Wimpie van der Merwe

13. Training advice for the Lock-down period

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – The Orthostatic test CORONA - Day 5 I believe it is easy to set up a cycling training regime and put it on paper, but it could not be worth the paper it is written on because it does not take into consideration how the body responds to what is suggested. Your body is your best coach if you know how to listen to it. Therefore, listen to vital signs to know where you are in your conditioning. Unfortunately, highly motivated people, in their striving for the goal, don’t listen to their bodies well and do too much too soon, just as unmotivated people would do too little training, having an alibi for not training. You need a more accurate way to determine the body’s response. One of the easiest and reliable ways is by measuring heartbeat. By following a simple routine, called an orthostatic test, every morning, taking you about three minutes, optimal training results will be ensured.

By looking at the supplied graph you can do your own calculations:

• On awakening lie for a few moments to wake properly. That will stabilise heartbeat especially if you woke with a start or with a nightmare.

• Resting pulse (RP1). Take your pulse for a minute.

• Knee bends. Every day, at the same rate, get out of bed and do 15 deep knee bends.

• Peak pulse rate (PR). Immediately take your pulse for 15 seconds.

• Resting pulse (RP2). Immediately start taking your pulse again 1 minute after you stopped the knee bends.


By making the following simple calculations you can determine what condition you are in:

a. The difference between RP1 and RP2 tells you how recuperated your body is. If both are the same, you have absorbed your previous training sufficiently and may repeat the next session with the same intensity. If RP2 is less than RP1, normally up to 4 beats difference, you have recuperated completely or your previous session had an insufficient load in intensity or volume. Depending on the difference, you can go bananas. If the difference is 2 beats more, take it slightly easier. If the difference is up to 4 more, only do a light session, or what we shall call active rest. If you are 4 or more beats higher, watch out, you may have the first indications of a run-down system, contracting some viral infection. It may too be an indicator of the lack of sleep, nutrients or dehydration. As soon as these indicators have been tended to, heartbeat turns to normal, sometimes even during the same day.

b. The difference between RP1 and PR will give you an indication of your level of conditioning, i.e. the ability to do the same work more efficiently or tell you something of the size of your heart, whereas the difference in RP’s will tell you a story on absorbing and coping with training. The fitter you become the lower PR should go. Doing your knee bend routine at the same tempo, will give you readings unique only to you. Keeping a record of what you do in training and monitoring your physiological response this way, will tell you what works best for you.

c. The relationship between PR1 and RP2 will tell you how your fitness is changing, i.e. how fast you recuperate to normal. You may have a situation of someone who through training has lowered his RP, but has a high RP2. This will be a fit, but tired person.