There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re able to ride as long as your desired route. If you’re feeling insecure about your abilities, you will hinder your fitness gains and your enjoyment in cycling. Speed, strength, and endurance are the three fundamentals you should continually try to improve. They are all critical whether you are planning on competing in a race, or want to become a better rider. Here are five ways to enhance your cycling abilities and build endurance.
Fuel Your Body Properly
Endurance requires internal reserves of glycogen (carbohydrates), glucose, and triglycerides (fats). Running out of muscle glycogen, or having low glucose levels will cause you to hit a wall too soon. To prevent this, load up on carbohydrates one or two days before your event or training. Carb-loading will ensure your energy levels will be high throughout your long ride. Bananas, brown rice, yogurt, and pasta are good options.
Eat An Early Pre-Ride Breakfast
Eating a nutritious breakfast along with carb-loading the night before will guarantee you’re maximizing your endurance. Your morning meal should consist of protein, carbs, and fat about two to three hours before your ride. If you’re not hungry or you’re not a breakfast person, at least drink a shake that is rich in carbohydrates before you leave the house.
Feed Your Muscles Throughout Your Ride
If you feel confident that your glycogen levels are high, it’s likely safe to ride in a fasted state. However, it’s vital you re-feed your body every 20 minutes to prevent crashing. It’s recommended to consume 200-400 calories containing 60 grams of carbs every hour during your cycling session.
Train For Endurance
Aerobic bicycle riding four to six hours per week will make you not only fitter but your body better at using its fat stores. Teaching your body to push harder and go longer comes with hard work. Anyone can extend their endurance and increase their distance cycling. Once you have increased your longest ride, you can set bigger goals every week. Choose riding partners that are similar athletically so you can stay close and motivate each other.
Make Time For Recovery
Overtraining will lead to fatigue, stall your progress, and possibly cause injury. You should at least rest for one day each week and refrain from vigorous workouts two days in a row. Stretching will also aid in stamina and recovery by improving functionality. Perform basic stretches after riding focusing on mobility exercises to increase your range-of-motion.