UCI advice on training during pandemic

I saw this posted on another forum and thought it might be of interest to those on here. The latest UCI Newsletter has guidance for athletes training to reduce the risk of harm to themselves during the outbreak. Certainly worth thinking about to help protect yourselves as well as reduce the chance that you’ll put more strain on local health services. I’ve copied the relevant stuff here with a link to the full newsletter at the end.

Physical training while minimising the susceptibility to infection

The effectiveness of the immune system against viruses is significantly affected after high intensity training sessions, in comparison to a normal training programme.

The training programme should be revised downwards, with a reduction in the workload of approximately 10-15%. As the workload depends on the intensity and duration of the exercises, the main emphasis will be on reducing the duration of the sessions, keeping the same intensity (above all without increasing it). For more specific, intense and relatively short sessions (HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training), the intensity of each exercise will be reduced by 10-15%.

In this period of emergency services overload in hospitals, and the risk of infection in healthcare facilities, prevention of the risk of crash is fundamental. Therefore in countries where confinement is not compulsory or for riders who are not self-isolated, training at home is highly recommended.

Appropriate nutrition to maintain an effective immune system

The composition of the diet and timing of food intake may also help provide protection against infections. The most effective nutritional strategies to maintain robust immune function during physical training are to ingest carbohydrate during exercise, protein after training sessions, and avoid deficiencies of essential micronutrients.

Carbohydrate ingestion (~30-60 g/h) during prolonged training sessions reduces the impact of metabolic stress on several aspects of immune function. During periods at risk of infection, training sessions performed in a fasting or with low-glycogen stores and without carbohydrate ingestion during exercise should be avoided.

Regular protein ingestion in meals throughout the day (~1.2-1.6 g/kg.day) and adequate protein intake soon after training sessions (~20-30 g) is required to attenuate some aspects of post-exercise immune depression and maintain normal immune function.
Given the potential role of vitamin D in regulating immune responses, monitoring the vitamin D status is important for athletes.

Consider including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your regular diet. Red fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, pink grapefruit, etc.), greens (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), purple and blue fruits and vegetables (grapes, blackcurrants, plums, eggplants, etc.), yellow fruits and vegetables (apricots, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, peppers, etc.) are excellent vectors of antioxidant micronutrients such as vitamins A, C and E.

Does sportswear help spread the virus?

The risk of transmitting the new coronavirus from surfaces like clothing is a matter of debate. There is no direct measure of the stability of the new coronavirus on clothing. However, it seems that enveloped viruses, like the new coronavirus, are less stable on porous surfaces like cloth than on non-porous surfaces like plastic, paper and metals.

However, it is advisable to disinfect the clothes used during training, wash them in hot water and use a tumble dryer at high temperature.

Prevent the risk of viral myocarditis

Elite athletes may have an increased risk for viral infection and subsequent myocarditis. In athletes affected by myocarditis, the systemic inflammatory response is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

The first step in preventing the risk of viral myocarditis in athlete is to abstain from intense training sessions in the event of fever, or within 8 days following a flu (fever, chills, myalgia, rhinitis, etc.). In the event of any suspected clinical sign of Covid-19 (i.e. fever, fatigue, dry cough), rest is absolutely imperative, and any intense physical exercise is strictly discouraged.



Pretty much lines up with what CTS is saying.

I’m new to TR, i hope this is the right place to ask. I’ve been cycling/racing for about 10 years, but its been a few years since i had a proper structured training program. I have two kids 1 and 4, and i’ve been riding 3 days a week for the last year or so, a mix of indoor sessions and bunch rides. So i’m not ‘untrained’ but i certainly haven’t been following a structured training program. I’m starting a plan this week, and what I wanted to ask is should i be adjusting the plan in light of the COVID pandemic? I need to increase my training load in order to get on to the program but this is contrary to the advice above.



As a regular rider, it seems like you are carrying reasonable fitness coming in, not straight off the couch. As a newbie on TR, I am assuming you are starting with Sweet Spot Base Low Volume. This bloc doesn’t have a huge amount of intensity that will leave you gassed, so your body should be able to cope with it.

But if you want to lighten things a bit on a precautionary basis in these times, perhaps look at the workout variations for the recommended workouts, and select the “minus” variants. These are intended to work the same energy systems, and provide most of the same benefits, but with slightly less training stress.

I’m surprised they didn’t mention the appropriate sock length for quarantine situations.