BikeRadar Podcast | Ride strong in 2021

Want to get fitter and faster in 2021? We're talking to the experts

Male cyclist sprinting on the Canyon Aeroad aero road bike

Getting fitter and faster on the bike is the goal of many cyclists, especially when the combined efforts of the festive season and dreary weather mean we’re often far from our peak physical condition at this time of year.


We’re no different here at BikeRadar, so we’ve been chatting to three experts to get the low-down on how to ride strong in 2021.

We’ve spoken to strength and conditioning trainer Ben Plenge, cycling coach Tom Bell and chef Alan Murchison. All five episodes are available now – you can listen below.

So make sure you tune-in if you want to ride strong in 2021. You can also subscribe to the BikeRadar Podcast via Apple or Spotify, or just search for us on your preferred podcast provider.

Episode 5 – What to eat to become a stronger cyclist

In the final episode of our Ride Strong series, BikeRadar’s content director, Rob Spedding, talks to Michelin-starred chef Alan Murchison.

Alan, an extremely strong cyclist in this own right, with a ten-mile time trial personal best of 18 minutes and 36 seconds, is the founder of Performance Chef and an author. His second book, The Cycling Chef: Recipes for Getting Lean and Fuelling the Machine, will be published on 4 March.

Alan talks us through his nutrition philosophy, the fundamentals of fuelling for cycling and his advice for becoming a stronger cyclist.

Episode 4 – How to build a training plan

Professional coach and elite mountain bike racer Tom Bell returns to talk about how a training plan can help you achieve your cycling goals this year.

Following on from the previous episode on fitness testing (below), Tom reveals the secrets to setting goals, planning training blocks and what to do if you don’t have much time to train.

We also talk about common pitfalls to avoid and how get yourself back on track in the event of any setbacks.

For more information on Tom and his coaching business, High North Performance, check out or subscribe to Tom’s YouTube channel.

Episode 3 – Why you should do a fitness test to kickstart your training

In this episode, we talk to Tom Bell, a professional coach and elite mountain bike racer, about why you should be testing your fitness regularly, and how you can go about doing it.

We go through all the kit you’ll need (and what to do if you don’t have any of it), as well as some of the key performance metrics that you should consider measuring and what they can tell you.

At the end of the show, we’ll also set you a little bit of homework.

For more information on Tom and his coaching business, High North Performance, check out or subscribe to Tom’s YouTube channel.

Episode 2 – How to get strong for cycling

We talk again to Ben Plenge from The Strength Factory about practical ways in which you can improve your strength to benefit your riding.

We cover gym memberships, practical things you can do at home, using a personal trainer and the importance of recovery.

You can check out episode one below, for more on why strength and conditioning is so important to riders. We’ve also got advice on the best strength and conditioning exercises for cyclists.

Episode 1 – Why strength and conditioning is so important

In episode one, we talk to Ben Plenge, a strength and conditioning trainer from Bristol, whose clients range from everyday riders up to World Cup and EWS racers and pros, including Wyn Masters and Vero Sandler.

In this episode, Ben talks us through why strength and conditioning training is so important if you’re looking to improve on-bike performance.

While Ben’s work focuses on mountain bikers, there’s plenty of relevant information for our road-riding listeners too.

Ben Plenge riding.
Ben Plenge works with everyone from weekend warriors to World Cup pros. He’s handy on a bike himself too.

For more information on Ben and his training services, check out The Strength Factory or his social media pages on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Ben’s fitness programmes include a Bodyweight Strength Programme and a Complete MTB Programme.

Otherwise, don’t forget to head to the BikeRadar Podcast page to browse through our full archive of episodes. Thanks for listening!