After a lockdown-imposed hiatus, spirits were high as the Glendowie cycling club were finally able to kick off the second leg of the MitoQ NZ Tour, despite being battered by wind, rain and a fair few punctures. Watch the video below to see the full journey.
Initially planning to complete the three-day second leg of the MitoQ NZ Tour in May (the tour sees a group of friends cycle the length of New Zealand in separate stages), the team of eight cyclists were forced to put things on hold after New Zealand went into a four-week lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once New Zealand’s lockdown lifted, they were raring to get going, starting in Auckland where they finished leg one, and cycling 270km through lush green countryside to finish in the North Island town of Mangakino.
Training In Isolation
Keeping active is challenging at the best of times, let alone in isolation, but despite this the team kept up their fitness and endurance levels by adapting their training. “The lockdown period was challenging for sure in terms of limited time – we couldn’t meet up and cycle together,” says Tour organizer Paul Millet. “Some of the guys went on Zwift and did spin training. I got out and just did local circuits, but you couldn’t go very far. To keep the fitness up required dedication and a target. If we didn’t have a target for this MitoQ next stage, I think a few of us would have just lapsed a bit.”
The team also continued their MitoQ supplementation, with the knowledge that MitoQ has benefits to endurance, recovery and physical performance. For the last ten months, we’ve been trialling MitoQ on a number of endurance athletes and monitoring them – recording improvements in VO2 max, HRV (heart rate variability) and shortened recovery periods after intense physical training. MitoQ NZ Tour team member Mike Sullivan says that MitoQ helps him to get going the next day, even after an intense riding session the day prior.
“Certainly after a long ride, you wake up in the morning recovered well. 100 km’s yesterday and I felt absolutely perfect this morning. I can honestly say I’ve never ridden 100 km’s and woken up in the morning without feeling a bit tired. So, I’m really happy.”
With the recovery taken care of by MitoQ, there was just one major battle for the cyclists to face: the weather. Strong winds, heavy rain and low temperatures combined to create very tough riding conditions and cause a fair few punctures.
Despite facing the challenges that come with cycling in wet, foggy, miserable conditions, the team dug deep and powered through. After a hearty home cooked meal, a beer and a couple of hours thawing out by the fire, Paul Millet was able to reflect not only on the experience of the past 72 hours but also on the last six months.
“So I’ve been taking MitoQ since January. And quite soon after that I noticed that I was able to recover a lot quicker, I was sleeping better and I was concentrating more at work. To be honest, you kind of get used to that. And you get used to being able to bounce back. And you just take it for granted almost until you push yourself again.”