In association with Wiggle.

Cycling has become more popular than ever, with some people reluctant to return to public transport and spaces being restricted. So if you’re back at work, or simply want to get fitter during the summer, our plan can help you!

As the British workforce eases back to normal, reports of gridlocked roads and fewer train seats are rife. And there’s little sign of it easing, with the government saying that public transport will be running at just 10 per cent for the foreseeable future. But there’s a silver lining: greener, healthier methods of travel such as cycling are starting to increase. The way in which bicycle travel will benefit the environment is clear – more cycling means fewer greenhouse gases – but the boon it might have on public health could be just as great. ‘Cycling provides a low-impact aerobic workout that is great for your heart, brain and blood vessels. It also triggers the release of feel-good endorphins,’ says Paul Elcock, cycling coach for Meglio. ‘Cycle to work and you’ll be kickstarting your metabolism, burning calories (around 400 calories per hour of gentle cycling), reducing anxiety and improving creative thinking.’ It’s the ideal tonic for a day at the office.

Cycling experts Wiggle gives some tips on getting started:

1) Choose a comfortable bike: aggressive racing and mountain bikes can take some getting used to.

2) Get the right kit: a quality helmet, shorts, and gloves can hugely improve your ride.

3) Enjoy yourself: soak-up your new surroundings and join the inspiring cycling community!

Get kitted out…

Cycling kit from Kandesent

Kandesent Glam Cycling Shorts (£110). These are breathable with flat seams and superb seat padding. KANDESENT is built by women for women, working with female talent to produce the range. Made in Europe, thereby minimising transport miles, the high-quality garments are made from recycled materials where possible and the company aim for no single-use plastics to be used in the supply chain, making them an eco choice, too.

Cycling kit from Smith

Smith Portal (£90). This luxe helmet will keep you cool when you’re cycling hard.

Cycling kit from Elops B’twin Elops 500 Electric Bike (£699.99). The electric function on this bike will give you a helping hand up tough hills. Cycling kit from dhb

dhb R2.0 Road Helmet (£50). Streamlined, compact, well ventilated, this helmet is high-performing and comfortable.

Cycling kit from PendletonPendleton Ashwell Hybrid Bike (£380). The step-through design of this stylish bike makes it perfect for nervous riders.

Cycling kit from MegmeisterMegmeister Woven Jersey (£119.99). Regenerated polyester and dyed yarns make it eco-friendly.

Cycling kit from Ei8htRunning late? Ei8ht Energy drink (£4.99 for two sachets) has been proven in a study to increase the pace of cyclists. The unique combination of natural ingredients creates molecules that capture oxygen, retain it, then deliver it to your body to improve your energy output. Nifty!

Couch to 30K

Nervous about cycling? Follow this plan from Paul Elcock to improve your confidence, fitness and bike control.

Week 1

Monday: Rest or cross train

Tuesday: 15-30 minutes at a low intensity. Build bike confidence by changing gears and getting a feel for braking (note which brake controls the front and rear wheels).

Wednesday: Rest or cross train.

Thursday: 30 minutes at a low intensity. Aim for an intensity that enables you to hold a conversation.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 30-45 minutes at a low intensity. Aim for around 10k on a flat route. A hilly route of this distance will take longer.

Sunday: Rest or cross train.

TOP TIP: Set up your bike or let your local bike shop do it. Focus on adjusting the saddle height and making sure you have control of the handlebars and brakes.

Week 2

Monday: Rest or cross train.

Tuesday: 35 minutes at a low intensity. If you feel you can and want to do more, slightly increase the duration rather than pushing yourself harder.

Wednesday: Rest or cross train.

Thursday: 40 minutes at a low intensity. Try and add a little more distance or time to the ride you completed on Tuesday.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 45-60 minutes at a low intensity. Aim for 15k+. If there’s a tough hill or traffic roundabout you’re not confident enough to manage, pre-plan to walk that section.

Sunday: Rest or cross train.

TOP TIP: Find a quiet stretch of road and practice taking one hand off the handlebars (training for signalling). Focus on keeping pedalling, staying relaxed and looking ahead.

Week 3

Monday: Rest or cross train.

Tuesday: 45 minutes, cycled as:
15 mins easy
2 x (5 mins faster leg speed in same gear, then 5 mins easy)
15 mins easy.

Wednesday: Rest or cross train.

Thursday: 45 minutes, cycled as:
15 mins easy
2 x (5 mins with an increase of 1-2 gears harder, with slower leg speed, then 5 mins easy)
15 mins easy.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 60-80 minutes at a low intensity. Add 5k+ to last week’s ride. Practice pedalling speeds and gears on your route, to get a feel for the control you have of the effort. Remember to resort back to easy cycling for the majority of the ride.

Sunday: Rest or cross train.

TOP TIP: Try to maintain a strong core when in a harder gear or higher leg speed – the legs should be doing the work; the upper body shouldn’t rock from side to side.

Week 4

Monday: Rest or cross train.

Tuesday: 55 minutes, cycled as:
15 mins easy
3 x (5 mins faster leg speed same gear, then 5 mins easy)
15 mins easy.

Wednesday: Rest or cross train.

Thursday: 55 minutes, cycled as:
15 mins easy
3 x (5 mins with an increase of 1-2 gears harder, with lower leg speed, then 5 mins easy)
15 mins easy.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: 90 minutes+ at a low intensity. You’re ready to complete your 30k ride if you wish to do so! Take your time and enjoy it.

Sunday: Rest or cross train.

TOP TIP: It’s wise to practice your full commute at least once during this week, so you know the roads, the junctions and time it takes you to commute in.

Post-ride poses

Try these stretches after your ride to gently ease tension and reduce next-day aching muscles.

Knee-to-chest

This unlocks tightness in your lower back and lightly stretches glutes and hamstrings. Lie face-up, outstretch your left leg, and clasp your right knee with both hands, gently hugging it into your tummy. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Extended child’s pose

Gently stretches the entire back as well as the shoulders, hips, and inner thighs. Kneel down and fold forwards until your forehead rests on the floor. Straighten your arms in front, pressing palms into the mat. Hold for 15-30 seconds.