A Week In The Life Of A Pro Cyclist

BikeTips' resident pro Jessy Carveth gives us an insight into the day-to-day demands of professional cycling

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From the outside, I’m sure the life of a pro cyclist looks pretty dreamy – and in many respects, it is.

Pro cycling has taken me from Canada to my new home in the cyclists’ heaven of Girona in northern Spain. No 9-5 office job, spending long hours doing what we love every day, traveling to dream destinations, and endless coffee stops – what more could you ask for?

As I prepare for my second full season as a professional cyclist, I’m going to give you an inside look into a Week in the Life of a Pro: how we train, how we eat, how we blow off steam.

Is Every Week The Same?

A photo of me riding a bike on a training ride near my base in Girona, Spain.
Leading the way on a training ride near my base in Girona.

No, not every week of the year looks exactly like this. We’re in November currently, which means there is no more road racing this year, and many people are just returning from a few weeks of off-season

It’s important to remember that everyone’s training and week will look different since we all have different goals, timelines, and targets – both personal and set by our teams.

Some things that I do every day – regardless of what my training ride entails – are stretching, foam rolling, and my rehab exercises. These are important for keeping injuries at bay and making sure my body is ready for the following day’s training.

I do daily rehab exercises for my elbow, which I broke just over a year ago, and for my pelvis and hip, which I broke about three months ago. I still have lingering stiffness and soreness from both injuries, so my exercises are there to help minimize these as best as possible.

Being a pro cyclist isn’t just about riding fast and getting the training hours in; it’s a lifestyle and an accumulation of all the little things that allow you to be in prime condition all the time.

So without further ado, let’s dive into a week in the life of a professional cyclist!


On deck today was a three-hour endurance ride.

Although there aren’t any efforts in my rides right now, I still have prescribed power zones that I need to stay within.

I want to stay in Zone 1 or Zone 2 for my endurance rides, so keeping my power under 245 Watts is key for me based on my FTP (Functional Threshold Power).

I usually either ride by myself or in smaller groups, with big group rides only happening occasionally. 

I find this is best for me to make sure I’m still getting a quality ride in, rather than coasting in the wheels all day, but it still gives me the chance to ride with others and work on my technical skills.

Today, I met up with Sam – a fellow Canadian pro also based in Girona – for training since we both had three-hour rides in our schedules. 

Sam and I did a pretty easy ride around a classic route here in Girona since Sam was just coming back from her off-season.

Once we returned from our ride, we had a coffee and a catch-up at Espresso Mafia, where we also ate some amazing cinnamon rolls.

After our coffee stop, I got home and ready for the rest of the day. I usually spend my afternoons writing for BikeTips, and that’s how I filled my Monday afternoon.

After finishing up my work, I went to the grocery store to get some food before heading home to make dinner in line with my cycling diet – tonight’s offering was a chicken burger and salad.

After dinner, I headed to the gym for a strength sessionMy strength sessions usually last an hour and aren’t too strenuous because of my injury history. Right now, the priority is activation in the glute muscles and plyometrics to begin loading my hip again.

Before bed, I do my daily non-negotiable stretching, rolling, and rehab exercises. Once that was all finished, there was just time for a quick Netflix session, then bed.


I ride a black road bike up a steep incline behind two fellow professional cyclists on a training ride in Girona.
The incline increases as I follow training mates on the famous Girona coastal loop.

I woke up slightly earlier this morning at around 8 a.m. so I could clean my bike before my ride. I like to clean my bike at least once per week, plus after any dirty or rainy rides.

After cleaning my bike, I ate breakfast at home before meeting with fellow pros Franzi, Tristan, and Barney for our training ride.

We rolled out at 10 a.m. to do one of the most popular rides in Girona, a “coastie” loop around the rocky cliffs and beaches of Catalonia. This route is famous here, especially during fall and winter since it’s a bit warmer on the coast.

We had a nice and easy ride out to the coast, where we had a coffee and sandwich stop in the sun before heading out for the second half of the ride.

On the way back, the guys pushed the pace a bit more on the climbs, which was a nice challenge. 

When I ride in small groups, I try to ride with people who are better than I am.

I’m still right at the start of my career as a professional cyclist. Being so young in the sport, it’s a good way for me to push myself fitness-wise, but it also is a great learning opportunity since it gives me a chance to observe different habits or things they do.

After the ride, I had lunch at home and then headed to a cafe with Sam to work.

After working a few hours, I went home to make some dinner – pasta with meatballs – before doing the nightly non-negotiables (stretching, foam rolling, injury rehad.

I spent some time talking with family back home before heading to bed around 10:30 p.m.


Riding in a large group as I prepared for a cycling race.

I had a two-hour recovery ride in my training schedule today, which I planned to do with a few friends around 9 a.m.

However, it was not meant to be.

I brought my bike downstairs to clean before the ride that morning, but everything went pear-shaped when I noticed my back tire was flat and my gears were playing up.

I told my friends I wouldn’t make it to the ride and headed to the mechanic to work his magic.

With my bike back in fighting condition, I met with Sam around noon to finally get my recovery ride in. We had a nice, easy two-hour spin and stopped at La Fabrica for lunch afterward since we got back later than normal.

I got some work done at home that afternoon before meeting up with Finn and Karl for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. 

Dinner out is a real treat as it isn’t something we do very often, and it was extra nice that day since I didn’t get to ride with them in the morning because of my mechanical difficulties.


Pausing outside a bakery on our training ride.

Today, I took Sam, Finn, and Karl on a three-and-a-half-hour endurance ride around one of my favorite loops in Girona. It is a nice 90 km training loop with two bigger climbs and lots of elevation gain throughout.

It’s also one of my favorites because it passes the Haribo factory about 60k in, so there’s always a nice little snack stop.

Once we got back from the ride, we all rolled over to La Fabrica for lunch, which has got to be one of the best lunch spots in town.

I got back home and then met Sam at a cafe to get some work done together.

After a few productive hours, I went to the grocery store to get some food for supper, which ended up being burrito bowls! 

After supper, I went to do my strength at the gym. Day two of the program is quite similar to day one, but is more focused on single leg landings and exercises.

It was the nightly non-negotiables and then an early night to bed since I was a bit tired.

Riding with Ide Schelling on a training ride around Girona, Spain.


This morning, I had another endurance ride in the plan, this time three hours. I met up with my friend Ide, who just got back into Girona, for the ride.

It was a really nice ride where we discovered some new roads, snuck in some nice gravel roads, and enjoyed exploring areas we had not been to before.

We returned from our ride and had a quick coffee before I headed home to prepare for another afternoon of work.

I went out to a cafe for a few hours, but it was a shorter day at work since I had a physio and massage appointment.

Because of my recent injury – a broken pelvis and hip – I still go to the physio to help with the surrounding muscles and soft tissues that were also affected.

I still experience some imbalances when riding, so certain areas get tighter quicker than normal. Getting those areas massaged really helps out.

After my appointment, I made some supper – and for once didn’t do any rolling or stretching since I just got back from physio and massage.


A large group of cyclists during a training ride around Girona.
A rare large-group ride during training in Girona.

Today, I had another endurance ride in the training plan, but there was a group ride at The Service Course that Sam and I wanted to go to.

The ride was quite big and had about 25-30 riders. I don’t tend to prefer bigger group rides because I find sitting on the wheels all day doesn’t give me the training quality I am looking for.

However, with this group ride, I stayed either at the front or second wheel so I could still maintain a consistent power output. 

The ride was a great change of routine, and we did another classic route around Girona called the “Hincapie Loop”, which features the Els Angles climb.

Once we returned from the ride, we chatted with some of the other riders. Sam and I then headed to grab a quick sandwich for lunch. I got home and cleaned my bike, then got a couple hours of work in.

I got the non-negotiable stretches and rehab done before heading to bed early to get some extra sleep.

A Week In The Life Of A Pro Cyclist 1


On this final day of the week, I had a four-hour endurance ride. I went out for this ride by myself, which was a welcome change after riding most of the week with others.

I went up the Sant Hilari, which is a long but gradual climb in the area, but the real reason I love it is the descent. The downhill flows really nicely and has a spectacular view, one of the best in the area.

Once I got back from my ride, I met up with my friend Finn for coffee and a chat. We then got a few hours of work done together.

After that, I went home to cook dinner, which was another round of pasta. I hit the non-negotiables, switched on Netflix, and eventually drifted off.

Cycling on a descent during a group training ride around Girona.

My Training Week In Numbers

  • Training Time: 25 hours (23 hours riding + 2 hours strength training)
  • Distance: 610 km
  • Elevation Gain: 7,051 meters

So we’ve made it to the end of a week in my life as a pro cyclist.

As you can see, it definitely has its perks. I get to ride my bike every day with friends under the Spanish sun, have endless cafe and lunch stops, and don’t have to sit in an office building five days a week.

But, as you can also see, it’s not that glamorous either. 

It’s very much the same thing day in and day out, and when your job relies on your body being in prime condition, it becomes a 24/7 lifestyle. And keeping your body in tip-top shape requires a lot of effort. 

Dealing with the long-term consequences of major injuries, being on top of nutrition, and ensuring we get a good night’s sleep are just some of the aspects that aren’t always considered when looking at our “dreamy” job.

In the end, every career has its benefits and drawbacks, and I feel very lucky to live the life I am living, as countless people wish to be in my position.

Is there anything else you want insight into about the life of a pro cyclist? Drop me a question in the comments below!

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Jessy is a Canadian professional cyclist racing for UCI Continental Team Pro-Noctis - 200 Degrees Coffee - Hargreaves Contracting. She was a latecomer to biking, taking up the sport following her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition. However, her early promise saw her rapidly ascend the Canadian cycling ranks, before being lured across to the big leagues in Europe. Jessy is currently based in the Spanish town of Girona, a renowned training hotspot for professional cyclists.

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