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Stay Home Stories: George Bennett

Stay Home Stories: George Bennett

In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about their lives and current activities now there is no racing until further notice.

Stay Home Story with George Bennett

How are you?

I am doing well. We are locked inside here in Andorra and we can’t go anywhere. So my girlfriend and I and close friends who are living in the same apartment building are making the best of the situation.

What do your workouts and training look like at the moment?
Lately, I am not really training to get fit for a race as we can’t train outside. But I try to maintain my fitness level as good as I can on Tacx rollers racing on Zwift. Having something to do on the bike stops me thinking too much about it all and stops me watching the clock so the rides are good for my mental health as well. It works to release some energy and get through the days. As soon as we know when we can start racing again I’ll pick up the intensity in my training again.

How do you get on with your days?

After waking up in the morning, I spent most of the morning communicating with people at home in New Zealand, trying to keep up with the situation back there. After that I hit some form of training and spend the afternoons on the guitar or reading. Next to that my girlfriend Caitlin is pretty busy as well with painting shoes. She has lots of orders to fill. I am also working on a new exciting project with a friend that is coming out soon. So stay tuned. Our days pass rather quickly.

Such a long period without racing also has an effect on you mentally. How do you motivate yourself?
I participate in virtual racing on Zwift. That itself is already more motivating than just turning the pedals for a few hours. I do one or sometimes two races a day. We live at 2000 meter altitude in Andorra and things are pretty though out here. So Zwift is ideal to get through the day and it is also quite entertaining. It is a good way to maintain your fitness level and not shoot too many mental bullets.

Do you watch a lot of series or movies at the moment?
I am not a big fan of the TV. I am trying to avoid it as much as possible. I grew up in New Zealand and we played a lot outside. However, when I am watching TV I am into a few Netflix series. I am watching the Horror serie Stranger Things and I am also into the Spanish serie La Casa de Papel. Next to that I am a big sports fan so I have tuned into a few historic games from the past.

Which songs do you play on your playlist by default?
I am a big music fan. I listen to a wide range of music. I guess largely classic rock from the mid 60’s onwards, but I spend a lot of time listening to New Zealand bands, even some reggae and a fair bit of old school hip hop. I guess it depends on how much I have to hurt myself on the bike or how much I want to relax off it!

Do you have any tips for people to stay fit?
I would recommend to avoid long training sessions indoors because they can be really tough on the head. The best thing people can do is to set yourself a goal. I would recommend to join either a Zwift race or start doing some short, sharp sessions on Tacx in which you focus on interval sessions and power efforts. Try to do this two or three times a week. When we are allowed to go outside you can go for long rides on the bike again.

With good training also comes healthy food. What is your favourite dish?
My girlfriend Caitlin is a great cook and I try to help where I can. In general I will go for a burger, but also a vegetable lasagne is very delicious.

What other sports do you like?

I am a fan of all sorts of sports but cricket and rugby in particular. Cricket and rugby are very popular at home in New Zealand and they have been a big part of growing up. When I can, I still do a lot of mountain biking and enduro riding but I am a bit more cautious these days than I used to be.

What is your favourite game?
Poker, I use to love playing with the boys in Girona and Andorra but under the current stay at home rules I’ve taken it online!

Which apps on your phone are running in overtime?

Zwift companion, Whatsapp (video calling) and Instagram. There is a lot of funny stuff going around on Instagram nowadays. Now people have lots of time on their hands they get really creative.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Red wine and choclate. I am no expert on either but they are two things that help out in hard times.

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