Fitness under lockdown - What now?

In any ordinary April we’d be ramping up the intensity and preparing to hit peak form. What to do with our winter fitness now? Chris Marshall-Bell goes in search of inspiration in this week's issue of Cycling Weekly magazine, dedicated to indoor training.

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

Professional riders around the world have scaled back their training in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, not knowing when they will next be able to test their form in a race. And so should you.

Whether you race on the road, in criteriums, time trials or were simply aiming to make 2020 your fittest year yet, the advice is the same – coaches and pros are unanimous that the circumstances we have all been dealt do not justify heavy training loads between now and when the pandemic is under control.

“Being in top form now does not make sense,” Matt Winston, directeur sportif at Team Sunweb, told CW. “We have told our riders to take their foot off the gas and look to peak in summer.”

Jack Rees, rider and coach at Ribble-Weldtite, suggested that, because racing is unlikely to resume until July or even later, some riders are best advised to take a complete break. “It might be hard, but take 10 days or two weeks off the bike and be prepared to lose the fitness gains you made in the winter.”

WorldTour pros haven’t hung up their wheels, of course, but nor are they going hell for leather in training. John Wakefield, coach for UAE-Team Emirates, explained: We have changed all of our riders’ phase of training, and now most of them are in a pre-preparatory phase, focusing on endurance and strength.”

You can read the full article in the April 9 issue of Cycling Weekly, on sale now. Cycling Weekly magazine is on sale in supermarkets, newsagents and can be ordered online (opens in new tab). Our current subscription offer is six issues for £6 (opens in new tab) and you can find us on Apple Newsstand and Amazon.

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel