We continue our off-season training with Clapham Chasers‘ coach, Tim George.

Hop on your turbo Benchmark 2

The most important thing is to have a test that you can easily do again, and by being indoors you are removing a lot of the variables that can affect cycling outdoors, such as wind and road conditions.

Perform this basic template once every four weeks. You can also record and compare your cadence, heart rate and power output alongside distance. The more information you can gather, the more it can tell you about what your level is, and how you’re progressing.

  • 10 minutes steady warm up.
  • Ride for 5 minutes at best effort; record your distance.
  • 10mins easy pedalling recovery.
  • Ride for 20 minutes at best effort; record distance.
  • Cool down until heart rate lowers.

Find your local Parkrun

A really simple, fun and cost-effective way of measuring your run fitness over the winter months is to participate in your local Parkrun. Benchmark 3

These are free 5km timed runs that take place in parks all over the country every Saturday morning.

Find your local Parkrun at parkrun.org.uk and sign up. Simply attempt the same course over a number of weekends and note your time.

The competitive aspect of running with others will ensure an honest effort and you should hopefully see your times improve as your training elsewhere kicks in. The prospect of coffee and cake afterwards should be enough motivation even on the coldest of mornings.

Make it work for you

Once you know how fast you can go over a set distance, you can use this to inform your training. If, after a hard training phase, you haven’t seen an improvement, consider the type of training you’re doing, the volume, your general lifestyle, and if you’re getting enough rest to make those critical adaptations.

Click here for Part 1