Cycling is a sport that requires a certain level of endurance, especially when attempting longer rides. But there’s a lot more involved in getting ready for a longer ride than just cycling more often. It’s easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of training for and completing longer rides, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have a goal of doing longer rides, here are different areas you will want to focus on in order to be successful:
Improving strength is something that all cyclists should focus on, especially if you want to complete longer rides. Strength training isn’t something you need to do every day to benefit from. In fact, you can do strength-building exercises every other day. You want to focus much of your attention on your leg muscles, since they are the ones mainly used in cycling. The stronger your legs, the more endurance you will have. If you don’t have access to a gym and their leg machines, don’t worry, squats and lunges are great for building leg muscles, especially if done with dumbbells in hand.
Stretching and mobility training is an important part of all sports, including cycling. Stretching helps to avoid stiffness and improve flexibility. You want to focus on stretching your legs, hamstrings, and glutes, but full body stretches are helpful as well. You want your entire body to be loose during a long ride.
When training for longer rides, you want to include interval rides in your training to build the endurance you’re looking for. Interval rides consist of riding hard for a set amount of time, maybe 3 or 4 minutes, and then resting for an equal amount of time. Thirty to sixty minutes of interval rides is ideal. Doing interval rides along with your other rides will help to build the endurance you need to complete a long ride.
Duration or Mileage of Current Rides
In addition to interval rides, you want to increase the length of your current rides gradually. If you typically ride for 90 minutes, tack on additional time every week. If you usually ride for 10 miles, try for 12. Don’t be too ambitious. While you might want to add another 30 minutes or 5 miles during your first week of training, start smaller. Let your body, as well as your mind, get used to longer rides in small increments. Setting realistic goals is important when you have a big goal such as longer rides.
New Cycling Routes
If you always ride the same routes, you aren’t providing your body and mind with new stimuli. You want to challenge yourself with new routes that may be more or less hilly, so that your body doesn’t adapt to the one route you always ride. Changing up your route will also keep you from getting bored. New scenery can boost motivation during training. You can even use a service such as TrainingPeaks to help you track your performance, which will help you successfully work toward your goal of a longer ride.
When training for longer rides, it’s important to set realistic goals and a realistic timeline. Being able to successfully complete a longer ride in just a few weeks probably isn’t feasible, but if you plan 8-10 weeks out, you will have enough time to build strength and endurance.Share this post: