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How to Improve Your Cycling Endurance ( 7 Ways to Increase Your Cycling Endurance)

This article will teach you what cycling endurance is and how you can improve cycling endurance so you can ride the bike for an extended period.

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Cycling can be an excellent way to get some exercise and improve your fitness. However, if you are not prepared for a lengthy ride, cycling might be challenging to enjoy. So, how can a cyclist improve endurance to ride for extended periods?

This article will teach you what cycling endurance is, why it is essential, and how you can improve cycling endurance so you can ride the bike for an extended period.

Image of a man cycling wearing cycling short and gear with a grayish backdrop. Source: munbaik cycling clothing unsplash
Image of a man cycling wearing cycling short and gear with a grayish backdrop. Source: Munbaik Cycling Clothing Unsplash

Riding enthusiasts may improve their endurance by adding more cycling to their regimen. They could do this by riding for a more extended period or adding more types of cycling to their daily routine. In addition, cyclists may increase their general fitness and endurance.

What is cycling endurance?

There’s a reason great riders spend the winter months increasing their strength on endurance kilometers. It works! The saying goes, “If you want a high peak, you must have a wide foundation.” Is there, however, a single “optimal approach” to increase our endurance? Not.

Endurance cycling provides the most training benefit for the least amount of money. There is always a cost-benefit ratio during training. The “cost” of working out is the stress it puts on the body. Therefore, we must choose exercises that will provide the most benefit for the least amount of money.

Why is endurance important in cycling?

The more muscular endurance you have, the less weariness you will feel at the finish of a lengthy ride. Cyclists getting close to the end of their base training should focus on building muscle endurance and strength on the bike.

Early season base training is an excellent conditioning phase that includes increasing volume and various low-to moderate-intensity days. In the last part of your base season, combining more moderate-intensity days with days where you push yourself hard can help you target specific aerobic adaptations and improve your leg strength and muscle endurance.

Seven ways to improve cycling endurance

Here are some tips and best practices to help you improve your cycling endurance.

1. Consider your fuel

To have muscular endurance, you must maximize your internal reserves. These include glycogen (carbohydrate) stored in the muscles and liver, glucose in the bloodstream, triglycerides (fats) stored in the muscles, and the all-important largest fuel store: body fat.

So, which of these energy tanks is most responsible for keeping you on the road? It won’t be a shortage of fat, lactic acid overload, or a lack of oxygen that causes you to abandon your bike. Running out of muscle glycogen, low liver glycogen, or low blood glucose levels, on the other hand, will put a halt to your progress. 

2. Increase your carbohydrate consumption

Carbohydrate items are taken every three hours, with plenty of water taken with each meal. This carbo-loading helps you replenish muscle glycogen. When the body needs a sudden energy boost or cannot get glucose from meals, glycogen is broken down to release glucose into the circulation, which is utilized as fuel for the cells.

3. Eat an early pre-ride breakfast

Even beginning with fully loaded glycogen reserves does not ensure maximum endurance. Therefore, on the morning of the ride, have an early breakfast of carbohydrates, protein, and fat two to three hours before you leave.

If you eat too soon, say an hour before, you will impede rather than improve your endurance. So, either wake up early or consume a carb-rich beverage before leaving home to begin riding.

4. Stay topped up throughout your ride

Aim for 200 to 400 calories in liquid or solid form, but make sure they sit nicely on your stomach (test them out on training rides before the significant event). You may start a fast ride if you are confident your levels are high, but you must feed every 20 minutes, or you will collapse shortly after missing one or two meals. Aim for 60 grams of carbohydrates every hour throughout the ride.

Researchers in the United States discovered that taking 15g of honey or glucose every 10 miles on a 64km bike improved performance over water alone. Riders who consumed high glycemic glucose and low glycemic honey arrived 2.75 minutes earlier than water-only riders, averaging over 40 watts more output over the final 10 kilometers.

5. Train your body for endurance

To get the most out of your body, start weeks, if not months, before regular riding to get your body fitter and better at utilizing its fat reserves. Fit riders consume more fat and are more efficient at extending carbohydrate stores. Use this easy reminder to remind yourself of what makes you fitter: A B C. That is, four to six hours of aerobic riding each week, two hours of breakfast-free riding to train your body to burn fat, and consistency.

It takes practice to teach your body to go further. Take heart if you have a propensity to do too much and then lose enthusiasm, ride yourself into sickness, or constantly feel like you’re the only one who never seems to develop. Almost everyone can push self endurance to 100k, 100 miles, or beyond. You may not establish a competition record along the way, but you will be able to complete the distance.

6. Bike riding techniques

Because your technique is critical to boosting your endurance, you should choose a bicycle that provides the optimal exercise for your body type. For example, you should ensure that you are riding the right size bike for your height, as this will assist in maintaining your back health when cycling. In addition, check your saddle and handlebar height regularly to ensure a comfortable saddle.

7. Increase the long rides

It would be best if you attempted to increase the amount of time you spend cycling from week to week. Extending your limitations will increase biking endurance; the longer you bike in a single session, the greater your stamina.

If you want even more tips, watch the video “How To Improve Endurance On The Bike Without Doing Long Rides” from the GCN Training YouTube Channel.

A video called “How To Improve Endurance On The Bike Without Doing Long Rides” from the GCN Training YouTube Channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about improving cycling endurance.

How long should I cycle for endurance?

It is critical to improving your essential fitness for endurance riding correctly. If you want to participate in an endurance race (anything more than 100 miles), you should spend 12 to 16 weeks riding long, steady, low-intensity miles to improve your aerobic system.

Can exercise help me improve my cycling endurance?

Stretching also aids in the restoration of range of motion. When you ride, your feet form circles, and your legs move in a restricted range of motion, neither completely extending (unless when getting out of the saddle) nor fully flexing. Consequently, your muscles tighten, and your range of motion decreases.

What are the foods I can eat to increase my cycling endurance?

You can eat bananas, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to improve your cycling endurance. Studies also show that some dried fruits, like raisins and dates, improve endurance performance by a significant amount.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why one should focus on increasing cycling endurance. Cycling is an excellent way to stay fit and lose weight as well. However, if you want to reach the peak of your fitness level yet ride comfortably, we recommend starting with a few basic exercises such as standing pedals or leg swings. All these exercises will increase your cycling endurance while keeping you safe and comfortable.

This article covered what endurance cycling is and how you can improve cycling endurance so you can ride the bike for an extended period. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • They spend the winter months working to increase their strength on endurance kilometers.
  • The more muscular endurance you have, the less weariness you will feel at the finish of a lengthy ride.
  • Tips and best practices to help you improve your cycling endurance.

So, do you have additional tips or ways to improve cycling endurance? Did we cover everything you wanted to know? Let us know in the comments section below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on cycling and strength training. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

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Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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