Pre-season with Mikayla Harvey


New recruit Mikayla Harvey talked with the team about spending her pre-season in Europe instead of at home in New Zealand, and what building up to the season looks like for her. Read Mikayla’s answers below.

When did you have your off season and how long was it?

“My off season started in October. I spent the first few weeks finishing my university papers and moving apartments from Gavirate to Varese, both in the north of Italy. I spent some time in the gym and getting used to my new city. Usually, my off season I would go hiking and doing lots of outdoor activities in New Zealand! I was planning on traveling in Italy but lockdown meant I have been limited to the local area around Varese.”

What’s your weekly program been since you started training again?  

“I started back training in the first week of November. This was also when we went into lockdown in my area in Italy and I was not allowed to leave Varese and my training was restricted to my local community. After more than a month training up and down one mountain, I realised professional athletes were actually able to leave their community area for training! At least I got loads of climbing in; on most days I did around 2000m climbing up the same mountain.”

“Due to the lockdown I invested in some home gym equipment and I have been doing two to four gym workouts per week. I also do yoga or stretching/rehabilitation every day. I eased into training with basic endurance rides and a lot of strength and cadence drills. Over the weeks my coach added some intensity with some tempo efforts. This was my basic training during my first block back.”

“Gym training has been very helpful during my pre-season training. Cycling is such a one-dimensional sport. I personally believe in a very holistic approach to training, and I want to be a strong and well-rounded athlete. My gym sessions are a full body workout, this helps me become more diverse and prevents injuries from occurring during the season. Alongside gym I also really believe in yoga. Specially to help ground me and balance my body. I also find yoga very meditative and spiritual, so it really helps to calm my mind, body, and soul!”

“Then, in Italy, we hit the depths of winter and training outside got a lot more difficult. I tried to do most endurance rides outside. However, I began doing some more high intensity training sessions on my indoor Tacx Neo 2 trainer. These sessions would last for one to two hours and focus on quality over quantity. As the intensity of training increased on the bike, I dropped to two gym sessions a week but maintained yoga most days.”

Have you been doing any cross training activities?

“I started back running during my break. My coach wanted me to ease into it and start off with 15 minutes and slowly build into longer runs. I love running and got carried away! I started doing hour long runs without slowly building back into it and started getting foot pain. Nothing major but it forced me to stop running. So, I learnt my lesson to listen to my coach!”

“I started back swimming but only managed two sessions before the pools were closed due to restrictions. I really enjoy the water and I believe it really helps with active recovery!”  

“Non-sport related, I like drawing in my spare time, going out for coffee and playing in the snow!”

Which activities will you maintain once the racing season starts?

“During the season I will continue to do body weight gym sessions. I also use bands which are useful when travelling. The intensity of the gym training will be a lot lower while racing, however it is something I really want to maintain during the season. I will also continue with yoga—my yoga mat always travels with me!”