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Coronavirus:What to do with your cycle training plan?

During this period of uncertainty, it can be difficult to know what to do with your cycle training plan through the coronavirus pandemic. I will give you some basic guidelines that you can put into place with your training. This will keep you fit, healthy and come out the other side stronger than ever.

If like me you have probably gone through an array of emotions from despair, anger, frustration and declining motivation.  Now that the dust has settled, the reality of the extent of this situation has sunk in it is time to focus and adapt.

As I spoke about in my last blog many cycle events have already been cancelled and many more predicted to follow. This doesn’t mean you should stop training as this is a critical time for your mental and physical health. However, there are some crucial changes you need to make to your current cycle training plan.

What to do with your cycle training plan during the coronavirus pandemic?

  • Reduce volume & intensity – With your event being cancelled there is no need to continue with the plan that you are following to peak on that day. I follow a number of highly regarded coaches, along with my own, who all say reduce volume by around 85% and limit intensity. This is a great opportunity to revisit the base phase. This will mean you will come back stronger when your event has been rescheduled.
  • Don’t smash out your biggest training week – In the current situation with being stuck at home and allowed to exercise only once a day the temptation is to ride 6 hours a day. Although there is no specific enforcement on max duration it is advised to keep it to a minimum. This should be around an hour and stay close to the home.  Even if you could ride that amount it will not turn you into a pro within a week. Your training stress needs to be taken into account with your current fitness level. Training is stress and your body can only absorb so much. You may think that you are building fitness but you are putting your body at risk of injury and compromising your immune system. At this time it is more important than ever to remain healthy.
  • Do what you can – As I speak about within the Ride Harder Plan it is important to do what YOU can.  Ignore peer pressure online. This might be a little bit more, a little bit less. Just remember anything is better than nothing and consistency is key

“Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity”

  • Keep the structure – With everybody’s life turned upside down routine has gone out of the window. Even though you may be stuck at home and think you have endless time, it will still pass quickly. You can soon waste hours on social media. I would plan out your days in advance just like what you would do when at work. Create good habits, they will become routine and routine becomes normal.


Now although this is very much general advice on what to do with your cycle training plan and applicable to many it is not individualized. Some will need different advice depending on where they are on their fitness journey. These are trying times, it may last 3 weeks, 3 months or longer but it will pass and we will get through this. The world will be different and in some cases a much better place.

Keep motivated and stay strong.

James Walsgrove

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

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