Long distance cycling is a fun sport which helps you to spend longer riding your bike and cover larger distances. You can also improve on your speed and time. However, to avoid injury and complete your planned ride, endurance cycling takes careful planning as well as time for your body to reach the right fitness level. Make sure that you start training for your endurance ride at least six weeks in advance to prepare your body and mind.
Long Distance Cycling Tips
It is essential that you have the right kind of bike for long distance cycling and that it fits you properly. A poorly fitted bike will cause bad posture and joint or muscle pain as well as making it more difficult to ride. Make sure that your bicycle seat is well padded and comfortable, your clothing should also be breathable and comfortable, use cream to stop chafing and treat any blisters immediately.
Improving your fitness level
Before you begin it is important to understand your own level of fitness. Even if you cycle regularly you need to ensure that you have the stamina and physical strength for a long distance ride. You will need to be cycling around three times a week to increase your fitness levels. Map out your usual cycle route and time yourself from start to finish. Once you know the distance and speed that you are comfortable with, you can start to train your body to improve on it.
Putting extra hours in on an exercise bikes can also help your body prepare for endurance cycling.
Think about your speed whilst riding. Start out at an easy pace for 10 minutes then cycle at speed for 5 minutes before cooling off at your regular pace for another 10 minutes. Repeat this throughout your cycle session to build your muscle strength and stamina to cope with riding at your body’s limit. Once your body is coping with this you can increase the speed cycling time to 10 minutes. This will increase your muscle strength and it will take longer for your muscles to tire whilst on your endurance ride.
Practice riding at a moderate pace over longer distances, increase your distance gradually to increase your stamina levels and endurance. Time yourself and try to improve on your overall speed throughout the ride, however, do not push yourself too far whilst training as you risk muscle injury.
Things to consider
Whilst you are cycling, your upper body is holding itself in the same position for a long time. It is important that you build your upper body strength to cope with this. You can do this by lifting weights or doing other muscle endurance exercise on days which you do not cycle. Other exercise such as yoga or Pilates will help you to build up your core strength as well as improving your overall fitness levels.
To ensure that your body is getting the energy that it needs whilst you are training, increase your intake of protein and carbs and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Take snacks with you whilst riding such as nuts, fruit and cereal bars to refuel. Energy drinks can help to replace your body’s mineral level as well as rehydrating you. Read about finding the right online nutritionist.