COLCHESTER United sports scientist Perry Blanchette has revealed a mobile phone fitness app is helping to keep the club’s players in trim for when they eventually return to League Two action.

The U’s players have all been given individual programmes to adhere to while they are waiting for the resumption of the EFL season, after it was suspended until April 30 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Colchester’s players have been unable to train together as normal but are keeping sharp as individuals, with the Strava app helping them record their running and bike drills on a daily basis.

The app provides data on the players’ intensity, pace and distance and helps fitness guru Blanchette provide the relevant feedback, as the U’s squad attempt to keep fit.

Blanchette said: “They all log on before they do their running and they’ve been having group chats every day.

“We know what our goals are and what’s to come.

“They’re fit lads anyway and everyone is on the ball.

“They’ve got the volume of work done and now it’s a case of getting that intensity up, for when they eventually come back.

“Everyone is geared up to commencing the business end of the season.

“It’s a weird feeling; we were so busy with our training schedule and it’ll be weird when we go back, whenever that might be but hopefully playing games in May and June.

“I put together a workout and core programme for all of the boys to do.

“All of the boys have been great and have been following their own individual plans.

“I’ve never had any qualms about the boys following them and they’ve been doing something every day.

“I think they’re all itching to get back to get out of the house to finish what they’ve started this season but also to get away from their family!”

The English professional football season has been put on hold following the coronavirus outbreak, with Colchester’s last game being their 3-0 win at Carlisle United, on March 7.

John McGreal’s side currently lie in sixth spot in League Two, with nine games remaining.

“To come out of a season where we’ve been at full tilt to suddenly stopping has been challenging and now it’s about getting the fitness levels right for when the players come back,” added Blanchette, who is currently in his second season as Colchester’s first team sports scientist and his sixth year at the club.

“It’s been a challenge but I’ve been constantly talking to my peers and other sports scientists.

“In this unique situation, no-one really knows what’s right and what’s wrong.”