5 Ways to Improve your Cycling Endurance and Stamina
You probably ask why you should train to improve cycling endurance if riding a bicycle is just a recreational activity for you. Actually cycling itself, even at low intensity, is a great cardio exercise that helps to burn calories and build up physical energy.
However, if you would like to step up the game, riding long-distance trips on weekend or even traveling the world with your bicycle, it is apparently essential to prepare for good muscular endurance and long-lasting stamina. This article will represent efficient ways to make you a stronger cyclist.
Endurance vs Stamina
First of all, let's find out what is the differences between endurance and stamina - two terms that people tend to interchange equally. There are quite many interesting opinions towards these two concepts, and LiveStrong wrote a great article about this.
In my opinion, both describe one's ability to withstand physical hardship for an extended period of time. However, the difference stays in the action's intensity. While stamina implies a measurement for the ability your body can perform at maximum capacity, endurance is involved with moderate level of intensity.
If you have any other ideas on how endurance and stamina, feel free to discuss in the comment section below.
How to Improve Your Cycling Stamina and Endurance
Training tips below will help you to deliberately build up your power for a long ride. It is not a rocket science, so you need to keep practicing frequently to maximize the results.
First of all, you need to be aware of your fitness level and then set a realistic target of what you want to achieve.
For example, you are a recreational bicycle rider and want to aim for 10 mile ride without stopping in between on your last legs. Or are you a bicycle who commute 20 miles everyday to work and now want to step up the game with more intense rides such as 40-50 miles?
Understand at which level you are and where to head next will help to determine intensity of your training.
Next, you moderately increase the length of your rides over time. I'd recommend to raise up distance and speed by just around 10% each week. It is a realistic number that generally fits riders of all levels. Of course, you can adjust upon your own preferences, depending on your level.
Keep up with the training regularly, at least 2 to 3 times per week. The frequency also decides how quickly your progress accelerates. However, don't push yourself too much by exercising for many hours everyday (unless you are a professional competitor). Allow your body to rest and recover throughout the week.
Interval training is one of methods popularly used nowadays for building up endurance. You can combine this method into your training routines for achieving ultimate results. For instance, set 40 minutes for a cycling round, which includes 5 minutes for warm-up and the last 5 minutes for cool-down. Divide the rest of 30 minutes for 3-stage rounds and repeat 2 times:
- Pedal for 8 minutes at 50-60% of your max rate
- Pedal at your max rate for another 5 minutes
- Pedal easy for 2 minutes
Another tip which works efficiently for me is train with other cyclists. It helps me to get more motivated as well as to receive great advice from the more experienced.
Besides physical training, you need to mind your nutrition intake. Eating right is essential to generate enough energy to withstand the training intensity. Remember to drink enough water to avoid dehydration.
Take note your training schedule and track your progress. You will surely see how much your cycling stamina and endurance improve. Remember, hard work always pays off.