The Quick and Easy Guide to Cycling During Lockdown
The idea of this guide is to help you maximise your cycling time, maintain your condition, and to continue to get enjoyment from cycling.
With tighter restrictions in place in the UK and Ireland and with much of the world poised to follow suit, cycling is not just a wonderful thing to do but offers you a way of keeping your mental health intact.
Feel Good Factor
Exercise releases endorphins which make us feel good, and cycling offers a way of getting fresh air giving us a good reason to leave the house. Time on the saddle makes you feel good bringing physical and psychological benefits.
Moreover, exercise relieves stress and helps you cope with pressure. If you have been working hard to get into shape, cycling will help you maintain your current fitness level.
If you enjoy longer rides, sportives, or compete, this guide will help you maintain a high cycling standard. With this in mind, here are suggestions to keep your cycling skills on-point.
Ideas to Keep Cycling Skills Sharp During Lockdown
It is a good idea to cycle as much as you can. The secret is to maximise your time on the saddle for maximum benefit. You no doubt have a busy life with work and family, but getting out on two wheels will bring that much-needed feeling of freedom.
Cycling is Great for Families
If you have a family, why not make cycling a family affair. Children love cycling and it is a very good idea to introduce them to exercise as soon as possible. Your significant other will enjoy family time, especially if the children are having fun. You can combine your family cycling trips with visits to the park allowing your children to play and let off steam.
You and your family’s fitness level will improve, and you will all benefit from a sense of wellbeing.
If you are getting out solo and are a more training orientated cyclist, take a look at our cycling training tips. The exercises and advice will improve various aspects of your cycling and help you structure your time to give you maximum benefit.
Below you can get a taster of the kind of training techniques we are talking about.
Even if you can only get out for half an hour a day, use this time to ride your bike. Even a short period of time will invigorate you and improve your wellbeing.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, no strong cycling without a strong core. Your core’s importance can never be overstated. The stronger it is, the better you carry yourself on the saddle. This is essential for long rides and avoiding injuries.
Pro cyclists spend considerable amounts of training time improving their core strength.
By improving your core, you will find exercise benefits regardless of the activity.
Commuting does not just have to be work-related. If you can, ride to the supermarket to do your food shop, to visit an elderly relative, and wherever you need to be. You will not only get to do one of your favourite things in the world, but you’ll also save money on fuel and or bus, train, and taxi fares. Now is a good opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
You’re Contributing to a Better Climate
Using your bike instead of your car you are making a positive contribution to the environment for a better climate.
You may want to introduce cross-training into your week. Here, rather than cycling, you may want to spend some time running, pilates or yoga, or weight training. All of these activities complement your cycling, and professional riders incorporate them into their training routines.
Legend Sean Kelly advocated running during the first lockdown, stating, ”I do a small bit of running as well. I always do a bit of running anyway when I am away on the Tour de France, when I don’t have my bike. So I’ve just upped my running a bit more now since Paris-Nice.”
For any new exercise talk to a professional first for insightful advice and to avoid injury.
When the weather is harsh turbo training comes into its own. It allows you to ride no matter if it is a snowstorm outside, and you can safely ride at night.
We developed two excellent turbo trainer programs last March, progressing over five weeks. You can find them here:
Both of these programs will help you maintain condition regardless of level.