Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor has revealed the in-house 5k challenge that the players use to stay competitive, and has selected the three likely to win it.

The Parkhead stars are having to keep their fitness in tip-top condition without the use of the Lennoxtown facilities. Government guidelines state that the public should only travel to work if they can’t work indoors.

But it appears as though the Celtic players are doing just fine in that regard. As well as making sure they’re in the best possible condition for when they’re needed once again, the Hoops players all compete in a 5k challenge as part of their conditioning work.

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Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McGregor has touched on it in his interview with the Celtic View, as well as picking who his favourites are to win it:

“As part of our conditioning programme, we do a 5k challenge between us all and see who gets the fastest time. It helps to keep that competitive edge between the boys. We have a lot of other stuff we do every day and then once a week we all challenge each other with a 5k race. We can do it on either a running machine or outside, as long as we record our heart-rate and all the other data to submit.

“There are quite a few of the boys that will be close in competition. Broony will be up there, Greg Taylor will probably be up there too, I think. Maybe Jonny Hayes as well – he’s quite good at long distance stuff as well.

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“I think it’ll be quite tight between a group of boys at the top so it’ll be interesting to see the scores.”

Taylor a surprise contender?

There are absolutely no surprises in both Scott Brown and Jonny Hayes being favourites. Both men have proven in the past to have limitless energy.

Taylor, however, is quite a surprise. Not one of the fastest in the group, the Celtic full-back has yet to really prove himself to have the same fitness levels as a Brown, McGregor, or James Forrest. But clearly he has the traits to outlast many in the squad going by these comments from McGregor.

It’s interesting to hear Forrest’s name not getting a mention either. Given he plays almost every week for Neil Lennon’s men, you would expect him to be well in the mix when it comes to long-distance exercises.

Greg Taylor is a favourite for Celtic's 5k challenge

Greg Taylor is a favourite for Celtic’s 5k challenge (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

However, it would hardly surprise you if the favourite himself was McGregor. A real box-to-box player, the midfielder players more minutes than any other player in the world during the course of 2019 (BBC). He’s followed that up by reaching 50 appearances this season, and it’s only March (Transfermarkt).

In any case, for supporters, it’s great to see that the players aren’t slouching around and waiting on the football starting up again. It’s vital they keep themselves in good condition in case they’re needed again in surprising circumstances.

Whenever the football does resume, we should have a fit bunch who are raring to get started again.

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