Cycling is a physically demanding activity, especially if you will participate in races or long-distance rides, such as a 100-mile bike ride. Endurance is crucial to your survival. You need to be able to endure stress and suffering, both from a physical and mental perspective.
If you are training for endurance cycling, we got you covered! Keep on reading and we’ll be talking about some of the best ways to build your endurance fast!
Tips and Tricks to Train for Endurance Cycling Fast
On average, building your endurance will require 12 to 16 weeks of cycling, which is roughly equivalent to almost four months. Each ride should last four to six hours. For many of us who do not have the luxury of time, below are some tips for cycling endurance training.
1. Do Polarized Training
One of the best ways to build your endurance fast is through polarized training. While it is controversial, it is believed to be effective. Polarized training means that you will train easy or hard. It means that you have to be in the low or high spectrum – no in-between or middle ground.
Through low-intensity exercises, you will be increasing the presence of mitochondria in your cells. On the other hand, with high-intensity training, the mitochondria will be more powerful.
With polarized training, you will not have tempo or mid zones. Around 70 to 80% of your training will be on low intensity and 20 to 30% will be on high intensity.
2. Go Long and Low in Your Rides
This endurance cycling tip is related to what was mentioned above. Concentrate on low-intensity training, but make sure that it is long enough to make an impact. Riding for 30 minutes will be useless if your goal is to build endurance.
To help decide how long your ride will be, you will need to use a power meter. This will identify your endurance training zone based on FTP cycling. In most cases, a low-intensity ride of two to three hours will be enough. It is better if you can make it longer. Make sure to also incorporate it with high-intensity training to be more effective. As mentioned above, you should be engaged in a combination of low and high-intensity activities.
3. Lift Weights
A common misconception about cycling endurance training is that you should avoid weightlifting. Some people believe that lifting weights will slow you down since it will make your body bulkier. However, weightlifting is necessary because it strengthens your ligaments and tendons. It makes your upper body stronger to avoid cycling injuries while also improving your endurance.
Weightlifting puts stress on the muscles, which will also train them to recover quicker. It works different muscle groups used in cycling to improve their staying power and lessen fatigue during a long and intense ride.
4. Bike Multi-Mode Hill Repeats
Hill repeat intervals will be another great way to work on your muscular and aerobic endurance. You can adjust the intensity of the hill rides depending on your specific goals or abilities. The goal, however, is to constantly challenge your body. You should always aim to surpass your past performance and see how hard you can go to test your endurance.
When you are riding on hills, it is best to use a hybrid bike. It is designed to handle steep terrains and will do good for both uphill and downhill rides. Aside from the right choice of a bike, the technique is also crucial. Use a combination of standing and sitting positions as you try to conquer the hills to build endurance. It will use a wider range of muscle fibers to help improve stamina.
5. Incorporate Running in Your Routine
If you want to build your endurance fast, you should get off the bike and do other exercises. Among others, running is one of the best. It is a great cross-training activity. However, take note that going too hard or too frequently can increase the chances of an injury, so create a smart schedule in such a way that the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks.
Running is a great endurance exercise for cyclists because it can increase your bone density. When you have stronger bones, it will be easier to ride faster and longer while minimizing strain on your body. Running also improves your cardiovascular health. With a stronger heart and healthier blood circulation, you will have the stamina needed to conquer the trails. Muscular strength and exercise tolerance will also be increased, which will help build your endurance.
6. Ride Indoors
The many benefits of indoor cycling include building your endurance. This is an important part of your cycling endurance training, especially during the days when you cannot go outside for the ride, such as when it is raining or if it is too cold. Even at home, there should be no excuse to not train.
For indoor endurance training, you will need a turbo trainer or bike rollers. They will help you to mimic outdoor riding conditions while also teaching how to balance and other important cycling skills. Aside from indoor riding, you should also incorporate weight training in your workout routine. These activities will give you stronger muscles to endure long and intense rides.
7. Improve Your Riding Technique
Cycling endurance is not just all about having a stronger body. Aside from working on your stamina, you also need to build your techniques. Your strength will be useless if you are not aware of how to cycle properly. It is through proper techniques that you will become more efficient, especially when you are cycling. This will allow you to use your energy wisely.
One of the most important in ensuring the proper technique is to learn how to fit a bike. Set-up the bike, including the seats, handlebars, and pedals in such a way that it can optimize your movements. It is also important that you learn proper biking posture.
8. Increase Your Carb Intake
Another effective way to build your endurance fast is to increase your carb intake. However, take note that not just any carb will suffice. You need healthy carbs that will provide the fuel you need to endure long and exhausting rides.
Carbohydrates are the main sources of your energy. Without enough starches and sugars in your body, you will not have the energy to complete intense athletic activities, including long-distance bike rides.
In a cycling event that lasts 90 minutes or more, you need carb loading. Do this at least a week before you engage in a high-endurance ride. At least three days before the event, add up to 12 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of your body weight. Also, avoid fatty foods.
9. Get Enough Sleep
This is perhaps one of the most under-rated tips when it comes to cycling endurance training. Sleep deprivation will inevitably hinder your athletic performance. When you do not have enough sleep, your body will not be in proper condition, and hence, you won’t have the endurance needed for cycling.
For endurance athletes to get better sleep, one of the most important is to exercise in the morning and not at night. Evening exercises might get your body pumping. This will make you more active, and hence, you will find it difficult to sleep. High-quality sleep is also possible by setting up the environment, such as by eliminating light sources and noise.
10. Take a Break
While training for endurance cycling is all about building strength and stamina to stretch your limits, this does not mean that you should train continuously. Taking a break is important, giving your body the chance to recover. Similar to MTB training or any other type of bike training, you need to have rest days.
Your rest days will be the opportunity for you to recover both physically and mentally. Take a walk, meditate, or have a relaxing bath. Taking a break also means that you should not ride at an easier pace or cross-train. Take note that rest is different from active recovery. If you want to build your endurance fast, then you should give your body a break.
Q: What is an endurance ride cycling?
An endurance ride in cycling refers to any ride that happens at a conversational pace with a duration of one hour or more. You will be riding as long as your route, making it important to have the strength to endure the long distance.
Q: Does cycling increase endurance?
Yes, cycling increases endurance. The more time you spend on the bike, the more your endurance will increase. It increases muscle strength and physical stamina. It is also a good form of mental training as it prepares your mind for the challenges that you have to endure when cycling.
Q: How long is endurance cycling?
Endurance cycling can cover up to 100 miles of riding and training of 12 to 16 weeks. However, take note that we are referring to training. We are not referring to the actual endurance cycling ride as the latter has no formal definition or requirement.
Q: How can I improve my cycling endurance?
To improve your cycling endurance, invest in physical training. Incorporate strength and stamina exercises into your daily workout. Mental preparation is also important. You should also pay attention to your diet to condition your body.
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To train for endurance cycling fast, consider polarized training, increase your carb intake, and get enough sleep, among other things. The tips mentioned above will help to build your endurance fast, making it ideal for those who are not gifted with the luxury of time to train.