A Week In The Life Of Olympic Medallist Lizzie Deignan

Having a strict and consistent training regime is essential to competing at the highest level of cycling, as Lizzie Deignan knows all too well. Olympic medallist and Cycleplan ambassador Lizzie gives us a day-by-day breakdown of her week in training. It’s clear from this diary why she’s been at the pinnacle of cycling for so long!

Monday: 3h30, 93km, 1569m

Today, I rode with a group, as part of a general aerobic endurance workout. We rode on a hilly route and I spent most of the time in the wheels. At the start of a training bock, I always have in mind the following day’s training, so I don’t usually overdo it on the first day.

Tuesday: 3h20, 90km, 1412m

Today, I did a ride that I usually use as a preparation ride for a big race. Today’s cyclists use power meters and other methods to measure our performance, but I still like to use the old-fashioned method of riding the same climb over again. I was happy with how my sensations and speed felt on the climbs, compared to how I have felt in the past. I pushed on when I felt strong but there were no specific intervals.

Wednesday: 3h40, 92km, 1959m

I finished the three-day block with another endurance ride. I did this ride solo and pushed hard on all the climbs. I came home empty knowing that I would have a rest day tomorrow.

Thursday: Rest Day

Today, I had a full day off from the bike. Some riders like to do ‘active’ recovery and will go for an easy ride. I very rarely do this, as I find I recuperate better with complete rest. I normally do easy rides the day after a race or a big day of travel. I spent the day with my daughter and my husband.

Friday: 4h, 102km, 1955m

Today’s training involved a general endurance ride with my friend Tiffany Cromwell. Tiff is also a professional cyclist and we will often train together. We got ‘lost’ on today’s ride, as we often do when riding together! When I’m on an endurance ride, it helps to set off without a route in mind and see if we can find new roads, as this breaks up the repetitiveness of training. We arrived home with almost 2000m of climbing, so it was a solid day’s work!

Saturday: 2h50, 80km, 1067m

I started out with a group, but I felt that the speed in the wheels was too slow, so I turned off to do my own thing. Some days sitting in the wheels and being ‘towed’ around is ok, but it can also be a waste of valuable training time, hence why I often train alone. I didn’t do any specific efforts today, it was just about spending time on the bike.

Sunday: 4h, 102km, 1821m

I finished the week with another endurance ride. I am still in the phase of training where I am working on my tolerance to hours on the bike. Again, I didn’t do any specific efforts but training around Nice I find that the rides can often be intense without consciously trying to plan an interval. I was very tired at the end of today’s ride and ready for another rest day!

Total: 21h30, 560km, 9784m

Training has been going well and I am really pleased with my current level of fitness. I have an idea in mind of when I would like to start racing, but for the moment I am holding back on intervals to ensure my base fitness is as good as it can be.

I have just returned from Gran Canaria, where I spent two weeks riding in the sunshine and heat. This was an ideal location to put in the miles and I feel like I have come home stronger.

I will begin to introduce some more specific work outs into my training programme now that I feel my body is ready for it. The Women’s World Tour has started, and I am beginning to feel excited about joining my team mates and racing again!