How to Train for a Struggle in Lockdown

Struggle sportive training isn’t all about endless miles and epic elevation. Train smart for our 100 mile + Struggle sportives while staying safe and staying local.  

sportive cycling training plan in lockdown

1. Get Creative with Loops

Have fun mapping out local loops on Strava or Ridewithgps.com. Work out how you can link up all your local hills and try joining together some of your favourite shorter routes.

Ensure you ride safely and don’t take unnecessary risks in order to protect the NHS. 

2. Get Repping

No need to head far off into ‘them there hills’ to train for a hilly Struggle sportive. Pick your nearest long climb and attempt 4 ascents.

No need to ride full gas at this time of year or put stress on your immune system. Instead, attempt each rep as a tempo effort. Practice perfect pacing by aiming for your first rep time to be the same as your last.

Allow yourself plenty of recovery time by rolling slowly down the hill.

3. Explore Zwift

There’s more to Zwift than virtual roads and faux ascents. Try Zwift racing (there’s categories for men and women of all abilities).

You can start a group ride with friends you can’t currently ride alongside. Or how about joining in an organised event.

Downing Cycling, providers of our new Coached Training Plans, run a group ride every Tuesday and Thursday night. Join the Facebook group to find out more or read about their online group rides in this recent Yorkshire Post article.

4. Start a Training Plan in Lockdown

Training plans are a great way to add structure to your week and balance working from home with your cycling.

We’re pleased to welcome Downing Cycling as our new official Struggle training partner. The new training package offers a 12-Week Coached Plan for all ability levels.

It’s a great introduction for anyone interested in working with a cycling coach or keen to follow a training plan personal to their goals, fitness level and availability. 

5. Set up a Stay-Home Cafe Stop

During the first lockdown, in our extremely popular Stay-Home Cafe Stop, we joined together with our followers live on Instagram for a coffee and cake.

Why not meet your cycling mates via Zoom or FaceTime to enjoy your cafe stop with them from your home.

Make sure you’re stocked up with goodies and good coffee. Check out our Struggle Gradient Grind. Our roaster Clubhouse also provides home coffee delivery or, like us, get a coffee subscription to receive a different coffee fortnightly or monthly. 

6. Go to the Garage Gym

All you need for your at-home strength and condition station is your own body weight.

Check out our series of S&C videos with functional fitness expert Byron Spence to ensure you're firing your muscles and moving well to avoid injury.

7. Improve Your Watts Per Kilo

On our hilly Struggle sportives, shedding some excess Xmas weight can be just as beneficial as improving your fitness.

But don’t diet; you need the calories for your training. Instead try filling up on good calories. Try out new healthy recipes and prepare healthy lunches and snacks to avoid grabbing unhealthy convenience foods. 

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Protect the NHS

What’s most important when you’re Struggle training is to follow the Government guidelines to protect yourself, your family, those in your community and your local NHS. Please find the latest guidelines from British Cycling below. 

  • You should only ride alone, with your household/support bubble or one other person.
  • Stay local, ride within your limits and ensure you are self-sufficient.
  • Leave the house to exercise only once each day.
  • Keep a safe distance from others and practice good respiratory hygiene (ie. no spitting, use a tissue).
  • You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of leisure (such as a picnic or a coffee break).
  • You can travel a short distance within your area to exercise if necessary (ie. to access an open space).

We love seeing how your training is going. Share your picture with us on Facebook or Instagram.


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