Improve Your Cycling Stamina
Whether you have only just started or have been biking for years, there comes a point where your current level just isn’t cutting it. Whether you want to cut more fat, build more muscle, or just increase your ride length, you may be wondering how to push yourself when riding a bike.
How to improve your cycling stamina
Cyclists need the stamina to keep going, especially when the terrain gets challenging or fellow cyclists are picking up the pace. You may be a recreational rider or a serious competitor.
Either way, improving your cycling stamina can be achieved by taking a few steps to become stronger and last longer.
Here are four ways for you to improve your cycling stamina.
Ride Regularly and Longer
A good way to measure and improve endurance is to cycle often and to take longer rides. By stretching yourself regularly and increasing the length of your ride, you will begin to see small improvements over time.
If time permits, try to schedule at least one longer ride a week than your usual ones. This does not have to be an intense workout. You can take it slow.
The idea is to get your body acclimated to being on your bike for hours at a time. Also, do several shorter rides that can include a mix of moderate to intense exercise.
The difficult part of increasing stamina this way is that it can sometimes feel that improvements come slowly. So keep track of your times and miles covered, and set goals!
It helps to reward yourself when you hit milestones, but avoid rewards like junk food or things that will keep you inside.
Perhaps you could buy a cycling-themed t-shirt or a new water bottle or bike light for long, early-morning, or late-night rides.
Include Strength Training
Don’t limit your exercise regimen to cycling. Get yourself to the gym, but not to a spin class. Leave the padded spandex at home. Put on your favorite biking tee and head for the weight room.
Do a series of reps to improve the strength of the muscles you are relying on while cycling. Some high-energy strength training will exercise your muscles in a different way than cycling does, which keeps them in shape while pushing you in ways you might not be used to.
This strengthens your core and muscles while adding in variety so they don’t get too used to specific exercises. Target your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core.
These are the muscles you need most to be an effective cycler. And don’t forget to stretch so that your muscles and ligaments remain flexible.
There is nothing worse than pulling a muscle or snapping a tendon while on a long ride. It’s best to stretch before and after a workout. If you haven’t ever done strength training before, start slow and take it easy.
Include Time for Rest and Recovery
Cycling is a fairly intense cardio workout that can contribute to a build-up of excess lactic acid. To keep that in check and to avoid injuries, you need to rest and recover.
This means doing a cool down after every ride by cycling slowly enough to hold a conversation with a fellow cyclist and by stretching when you get off your bike.
It also means taking a day off each week and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
Giving yourself time for rest and recovery will not only give you a break, but it will also help you increase your speed and avoid muscle fatigue during long rides.
Focus On Your Nutrition
Eating a nutrient-dense diet can do wonders for your stamina. Include plenty of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and soluble fiber in your diet.
Processed foods are not going to help with endurance. Prior to a ride, eat a well-balanced meal that includes some healthy carbs, such as whole grains. While on your bike, have some all-natural protein bars or trail mix and more water than you think you can handle.
Good hydration is necessary for your muscles and organs to function properly. Don’t worry about having to use the bathroom too frequently; if you are pushing yourself, you should sweat most of that liquid out.
By following these simple suggestions you should be able to improve your cycling stamina.
Longer rides, strength training, adequate rest, and a nutritious diet will all contribute to better endurance. Your goal is to be able to keep up with your cycling buddies or competitors and enjoy the process.
Keep cycling and keep working, and you will be sure to see results and amazing improvements in your stamina.
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