2 Weeks of Self-Isolation in an Apartment – A Review

I had a great idea to celebrate Nicky’s birthday in March: let’s go to the covid-19 epicentre of NYC! Of course, I didn’t know at the time of booking that there would be a pandemic and even when we took the flight from Melbourne to New York on 5 March, the Corona Virus was still something that was only impacting a few locations around the world.

Fast forward to 16 March and word got through to us that we would be facing two weeks of self-isolation upon our return to Melbourne! My plans of building on my USA running block with a return to some big kilometres in the pool and on the bike in preparation for Ironman Australia in May were out the window, with doubts on when racing would return anyway.

So, here is a review of how I survived the 14 days locked up in our 2 bed 2 bath 1 balcony apartment, physically and mentally. This is not meant to provide advice or suggestions but primarily a rundown on the routine I developed that helped me get through the sentence.

  1. Wake up (no alarm)

The highlight of the isolation period was this: being able to wake naturally for two weeks without the usual alarm ending my sleep. I found I was waking at daybreak which now seems like the time we should always wake up (if only!)

  1. Stretching

I have always stretched on a daily basis, usually only after a training session and for the muscles most used in the activity. I was desperate to maintain the physicality in my day with limited exercise options, so commenced a stretching session each morning.

  1. Meditation

I guessed that regardless of what entertaining(?) activities I could build into my day, spending 14 of them in an apartment 24/7 would be tough on my mind. I have previously struggled with implementing a meditation routine but doing it daily really helped keep me positive, regardless of the restrictions we faced.

  1. Foam-rolling

This was not something new, I’ve been doing it on a daily basis for over a year and have found it great for working on my shoulder and chest flexibility that tends to get hammered by spending too many hours each day with laptop work.

  1. Breakfast

With groceries being regularly brought around by family and friends, every meal was something to look forward to each day.

  1. Shower

You’ve got to keep clean.

  1. Work

Owning an online coaching business, I was grateful to be able to continue to work and assist my team of athletes during the Corona Virus restrictions.

  1. Bike rollers

I was fortunate to be able to borrow a set of bike rollers during the isolation (thanks Spiro!) to maintain some aerobic fitness while also working on my bike handling and pedalling skills. I can confirm that after 14 days of 1 hour on the rollers, I have never pedalled so smoothly once I was back out on the road. I’m now in the market for my own set of bike rollers!

  1. Another Shower
  1. More stretching

Focusing on quads, glutes, ITB, hip flexors (the key cycling muscles)

  1. Lunch
  1. Work
  1. Rebounder session

Provided a bit of aerobic exercise as well as working the lower legs a bit in the absence of a jump rope or being able to run. Also one of the best things you can do to get your lymphatic system moving.

  1. Dinner
  1. Movie, web-surfing or reading
  1. Bed

That was the routine for 14 days straight. I tell people that the time actually went quickly, and it seemed less than two weeks, which really surprised me. It wasn’t all easy and I really missed spending my usual 3 to 4 hours outside – the balcony was a blessing and I was spending much of my work time out there, but the view was getting a little stale by the end!

So, this approach worked well for me, to the extent that I’ve continued some of the new routines now we’re able to get outside. Early morning stretching and meditation has become an ongoing daily ritual while I continue the foam-rolling, as well as now loving being able to get outside to swim in the bay (whilst the temperature is bearable heading into Melbourne’s winter), ride on the road with a friend and run on the local tracks.

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