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.

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.

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

“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. Our current subscription offer is six issues for £6 and you can find us on Apple Newsstand and Amazon.