We caught up with Chia Bia ambassador Kieran Jackson to see how he is adapting to home life and to get his latest go to homemade snack recipe! If you want more information on Kieran’s training plan, reach out to him directly here
“At the moment of writing this most, if not all races that I had planned to go to this year have been cancelled. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially since I’ve been training with these races in the back of my mind since last November (2019). I had taken a trip to Spain in January for a two week training camp to prepare for the upcoming season and build on the success that I had last year. I was getting excited because I had never been as fit as early as this before, so I was really psyched up for racing. It’s hard but when you see what’s going on around the world right now, it’s not even that important. Racing comes second when something like this happens. Events can happen later on, races can be postponed but people’s health and lives matter more.
I have moved back home to Tramore since my workplace in Dublin has closed because of Covid-19 but I am still able to work from home, which is great. I have taken a turbo trainer, a fan and become an avid user of Zwift, a virtual cycling app where you can choose routes to cycle by connecting your bike to an app on the computer. It definitely beats staring at a blank wall for up to 3 hours! It took me a week to adjust to the new set up, swimming pools are closed and for the first time ever I’ve really missed getting up at 6AM to go for a swim in complete darkness. My training right now is still very structured. My coaches (Eanna & Gavin – HUPHUP) are still writing my programme. After a week went by and Ireland went further into lockdown it was important to set weekly targets for myself and to nail down my routine. Most mornings before breakfast and work I get up to go for a run, whether it’s an actual session or just a jog (within my 2km). This sets up my day and I settle down into working from home until 5PM. That evening I’ll usually get up on the bike, most of my bike sessions range from 90 minutes to 3 hours on a Sunday (all indoors). Every week I’ll have something new to focus on, whether that’s completing a certain distance on Zwift or completing a certain number of miles for the week in running. I’m taking part in the Cycling Ireland Zwift League, it’s a virtual cycling race on Zwift that takes place every Saturday morning. Cycling Ireland choose different routes and distances each week so we’re never racing the same course and it keeps it interesting. I’m currently sitting in about 5th overall out of about three hundred people all over Ireland. There will be 12 races in total with your best 8 scores counting towards the final result. Having a race each week has kept me honest in my training, kept me sleeping well and eating well. Honestly, if I didn’t have something like this keeping me on track every week my routine and diet would be out the window. So find something that keeps you on track on a weekly basis.
One of the main things I’m also focusing on right now is trying to cook a new healthy meal at least once a week, I’m trying something I’ve never done before and I’m not the best cook but it helps add variety to my week and make sure I’m eating well and staying on top of my diet. Check out My Lockdown Snack Recipe below for some tasty but nutritious goodness.
I’m currently training from 15-19 hours a week, I’ve dug out some old dumbbells and I’ve put together some benches out the back garden so that I can get some strength training in and target my swim specific muscles so they don’t switch off, it’s been over a month since I’ve last swam so it’s important now.
I think it’s really important to stay focused during this time, you focus on what you can do on a daily basis and try new things. Keep the negative aspects of what’s going on away. I can still train, I can still stay fit, just in different ways. Now is the time that I build fitness for next year, I just think of it as one more year of solid training before I get to race. I get extra time to train for all these races, bring it on.
At the moment many businesses are struggling and I would really like to thank Chia Bia for their continuous support. It’s a really important time to support local”.
My Lockdown Snack Recipe:
Last week I tried a Banana & Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie recipe to give me something to snack on mid my 3 hour Sunday morning indoor spin. I’ve never made cookies before so this was a tasty achievement! The overall cooking time is somewhere between 15-20minutes.
- 1 ripe banana (mashed)
- 100g porridge oats
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of Nutella
- Pinch of salt
- A teaspoon of Chia, Apple & Cinnamon
- Optional: chocolate chips on top for some added chocolatiness!
Mix all your ingredients together in one bowl, using your hands, take small portions of the mixture and roll them into the size of the cookies that you would like. Place them on a baking tray (add chocolate chips at this stage), stick them in the oven (160°C) for 15/20 minutes, leave them cool and you are ready to eat!