Updated 22 December 2020

Paddy Doran cycling Blog

Follow Government Guidelines on Covid

Christmas is a time when amateur cyclists have some extra time for training and there are also opportunities for parties and more socialising than usual.

It’s also a time when colds and flus are prevalent in the general population.

These are just a few things that I have noticed about Christmas and training from a coach’s perspective.

Cyclists should try to improve fitness and stay healthy while still enjoying the festive season. So how do you do it all?

1: Social life

The immune system is usually reduced for a number of hours following intensive or high volume training. Going into a roomful of people with your immune system compromised from heavy training is probably the easiest way to pick up colds.

So just avoid training or train very easily on days that parties and nights out are planned.

Far better to miss one days training than a week or more off the bike from illness.

Follow Government Guidelines on Covid


Get reasonable amounts of sleep according to how you train. Of course you can wake up early to see what Santa brings you on Christmas morning!!

3: Nutrition

Fuel your training sessions correctly. If doing long and or intensive sessions they need to be fuelled with carbohydrate to support immune function.

Treat yourself, use the mammies Christmas cake and pudding as snacks for some of the sessions. Life is short, you will be squeezing energy gels into your mouth in a lineout soon enough.

Here’s some other great tips from Crionna  Performance Nutritionist Fuel and Perform

4: Hydrate

Hydrate well during sessions. This can sometimes be overlooked in the cold weather.

However with the great cycling gear available now the cyclist can still be losing fluids through sweating even in the cold weather.

Turbo training can also result in large fluid losses. So, use a good fan and well aired room for your turbo training and have drinks available.

5 Keep a Balance on Training loads

Elite cyclists

Elite athletes.  This time of year is a great opportunity for extra training. If you are an elite athlete aiming for early season results?.

Some of the Christmas festivities might have to be moderated to allow for a large amount of training.

Club Cyclists

Enjoy your training, use the available time well without overdoing things. The holiday is an opportunity to get some extra days training carried out in local cycling groups

. However do not increase the amount of training or training days by too much as this can also put undue stress on the immune system

Two lines cycling


Minor Illnesses

NOTE: If you are a cyclist who gets a lot of minor colds it’s often a sign that your training, rest, nutrition and life balance needs to be looked at.

A good coach should be able to help you make changes if required. consider having a training and lifestyle Analysis


The first stop with anything medical should be the family doctor or local sports Doctor.

Stay Safe. Follow Government Guidelines on Covid

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