Make faster your new normal: The riders 'locking in' their lockdown gains for 2022

One surprise effect of lockdown was that many cyclists made transformative fitness gains. How can we learn from them to ‘lock in’ the positive changes? Deena Blacking finds out

Boru McCullagh from lockdown gains feature
(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

A few months ago, I turned up to the regular Tuesday morning paceline ride. When I say ‘regular’, it had been a while for me. I hadn’t trained with this group since the pandemic began in March 2020. Just minutes after pulling away, it was clear that I was nowhere near their level anymore. After 15 minutes of pain, I was dropped like a stone. What was going on? How had people that I used to keep up with destroyed me so soundly? 

“The lockdown gains are real,” diagnosed Danni Shrosbee (Team Brother UK-LDN) over coffee afterwards. “This year’s women’s national series was at least a few miles per hour quicker.” Sitting alongside her, Tom Fairley (Stayer Racing) agreed: “Even the men’s Cat 4 races are hitting averages above 45kph!” 

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