Ready, set, reset: How to prepare for a strong return to racing

Anna Marie Hughes explores how to prepare now for a strong return to racing when the long-awaited moment finally arrives

(Elynor Backstedt)

The Covid-19 lockdown that put a stop to cycling events this year was unprecedented, but forced breaks from competition happen all the time – they’re a fact of life for cyclists. Injury, pregnancy, work pressures – there are many outside forces, planned or unexpected, that can cause a racing hiatus. Many top riders have shown it is possible to come back stronger, so there's no need for you to worry about your return to the start line.

Though the pandemic hit us all, each person’s situation is unique. Perhaps you had Covid-19, or maybe you’ve been furloughed from your job... When it comes to returning to your chosen event later this year, or even early in 2021, you need to reflect on your personal circumstances and what is best for you – with the most important being your health and well-being. By taking care of yourself now, you can come back stronger when the time comes.

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Anna Marie Abram
Fitness Features Editor

I’ve been hooked on bikes ever since the age of 12 and my first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the bright yellow kit of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. For a time, my cycling life centred around racing road and track. 

But that’s since broadened to include multiday two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain I happen to meet - with a two-week bikepacking trip from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia being just the latest.

I still enjoy lining up on a start line, though, racing the British Gravel Championships and finding myself on the podium at the enduro-style gravel event, Gritfest in 2022.

Height: 177cm

Weight: 60–63kg