My COVID experience PART 2 - Darren Lee
CicloZone founder and CEO Darren Lee follows up his first post-COVID vaccination blog to talk to us about his health and fitness journey after contracting COVID over the winter.Read post
When I was younger, riding a bike was all about the competition all about the race and all about training in any way to become a more powerful cyclist and ride faster. I never thought about getting old - as well all do when we are 20. But all too quickly life catches up with you - the years come and go and before you know it you're looking at your 30th then your 40th and then your 50th year looming over the horizon. Apart from the grey hair and reading glasses, I didn’t really notice my age in the way it seemed to be affecting some of my non cycling friends... and it was obvious that the way I cycled and trained to cycle was the reason I didn't seem to age in the same way a lot of my friends did.
It turns out that the training methodology and principles I had adhered to so strictly in my youth were now paying me back with interest in my middle age: My energy levels, my mobility, my lack of injury, my lack of pain was, at first, just a talking point in the pub. But later, it had my friends questioning me about how they could achieve what I was achieving and my answer was simple: They needed to start to cycle, but do it with an understanding of what is actually happening physiologically when rotating a pedal at different intensities and different speeds.
A lot of my friends did this, joined me on the bike, and the change was remarkable both in physical strength and weight loss but, more importantly, mobility and general functionality.
I was already teaching power zone training in my indoor cycle classes for Keiser all over the world but I knew it was the virtual on demand digital world of cycling that would allow me to take my training to a huge audience.
I saw on one side Zwift - a competitive power-based platform for cyclists. Avatar based and gamefied, this platform certainly appealed to the weekend warriors tucked away in their basements and garages. On the other side, Peloton - with more hair flicks and would-be 'fitness influencers' than you can shake a stick at, but instructor-led and music-based, so not all bad. What i wanted though was a hybrid of the two. I am a massive instructor advocate and therefore instructor-led classes were definitely the way to go but the sessions needed to contain the science behind profiles that I knew would give the results the people were looking for when riding their bike at home or in their studios.
By giving my profiles a Ciclozone Output Level%, based on intensity and the cadence required to deliver that intensity, I could give a rider a goal to aim for in the session and metric analytics to gauge their progress..... and because every session had a different COL%, we could now recommend a higher COL class for your next ride if you were successful in your last, or a slightly lower intensity session if you struggled to hit your last COL level. Simple, effective and most of all fun. Couple this with LIVE classes and a connected community riding, I knew that CicloZone could be the one platform to really educate anyone to get more from their bike sessions.
For me, this is exactly how i approached my own training throughout my career, and it served me very well. I see no reason why it shouldn’t represent the next level in virtual cycle training. This is my vision, this is my vocation... this really is my life... and I look forward to riding with every single one of you very soon.
Let’s just get in the Zone..... and stay there.