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Hello All!

Welcome to my World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge training plan hints and tips.

I am Fabian Cancellara and I am honored and very excited to team up with you to support the global fight against cancer on 4th February.

Don’t worry, we won’t be looking at smashing records or planning to win Paris-Roubaix as I did over my career, but at making sure we are ready and fit to share a nice ride and give all for the cause.

Ready? Maybe not already, have a look at what I will be doing over the next weeks leading to our World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge event…

Ride On!



11-17 JANUARY 2021

It would be wrong to believe that only adding up hours on the bike makes you better on the bike. If you already practice another activity such as skiing, running, swimming or any other sport, I would recommend to get back in rhythm through your favorite one. We will be needing a good cardio and ready to work muscles for our ride, an extra activity can only be good. Let’s start the year in motion!

For the avid cyclists….

Training Phase 1:

  • Aerobic endurance (over 3 weeks)
  • 2 to 4 sessions per week

This is the ‘’fitness cycle’’, you should do moderate intensity workouts.

During this phase, we will seek to build volume to develop endurance qualities.

You can increase the time of your sessions gradually and consistently over the weeks.


18-24 JANUARY 2021

As a professional cyclist during my career, a good preparation was something I was putting a lot of energy and concentration in. Not only it allows you to prepare your body, but also your mind. 

We’ll be looking at removing any stress for the days before the World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge.

That includes,

  • Material: is my bike ready and running?
  • Zwift: Are my turbo trainer and the Zwift system well connected?
  • Recovery: I would advise to put in place a ‘’sleeping guideline’’ at this stage, a good recovery will give you extra power for the big day.
  • Nutrition: No need to skip all the chocolate, but well balanced meals in the pre-ride period will make you feel powerful and… hopefully flying on the bike!

For the avid cyclists….

Training Phase 2:

  • Intensities (over 3 weeks)
  • 2 to 4 sessions per week
You should do 2 workouts per week where you work on developing the ‘’explosive’’ qualities and keep the rest of your workouts at endurance work.

The progress in the exercises must also be gradual:

  • Week 1: 10’ to 15’ Sustained Intensity Exercise (intensity level you can hold 30 ’at most, you must be short of breath and have difficulty carrying on a conversation).
  • Week 2: 3 x 5 ’exercise High Sustained Intensity (Intensity that cannot be held more than 10’ at most) recover 8 ’between sets.
  • Week 3: Exercises 6 x 3 ’Maximum intensity (Maximum intensity that you can hold 5’ at most) recover 5 ’between sets.


25-31 JANUARY 2021

The Solidarity Challenge is getting closer. Time to concentrate.

Route identification: our ride length will be 28.6 Km for an elevation of 131 meters. It should take us about an hour to complete.

Whether outside or on Zwift already, make sure you gradually reach this length of effort on the bike without having to dig too deep in your energy. Don’t panic if you’re not use to it yet, do the better you can and the group synergy and the excitement of the day will help you push your limits. If you on the contrary are used to such exercise, push the ride length already to more than one hour, so you’ll be in top shape to support the cause.

For the avid cyclists….

Training Phase 3:

  • ‘’Sharpening’’ week preceding the target
  • 2 to 3 sessions per week

We’ll be looking at recouping the work done previously to overcompensate and perform even better the day of the World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge.

For this I would invite to reduce your training load compared to previous weeks, keep 2 low intensity endurance rides and one training with short intensities of 30” to maintain a cardiac response for the effort required for the big day.

Example exercise for the session: 8 x 30 ‘’ maximum effort – 30 ’active recovery (just spinning the legs).


01-02 FEBRUARY 2021

And now we’re ready to go! 

What can I add? 

Remember that where ever you stand in your preparation, having fun and sharing together a solidarity experience is the only thing that counts. Don’t over do it a few days before the Solidarity Challenge, get a good recovery the day before, and you’ll be fresh on the virtual start line.

Our hearts will sustain our physical efforts, but more importantly that day, our hearths will be with all the people supporting the global fight against cancer, and this will give us wings anyhow.

Looking forward to joining you, I wish all a good preparation – see you in Watopia for the Magnificient 8 on 4th February!


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