How to Build Cycling Endurance During Long Trips
Are you aiming to go for a longer cycling trip? If you are still fresh to the world of cycling, extending your cycling trip in terms of distance might be very challenging. Endurance must first be built in order to last throughout your planned cycling trip. To get started, here are some ways that can help build and improve your endurance for longer cycling trips.
Start with the Right Diet
The only fuel you have for riding long trips is your own body fuel. According to BikeRadar, glycogen or carbohydrate in the muscles and the liver, glucose in the bloodstream, triglycerides (fats) stored in the muscles, and body fat all contribute to a cyclist’s endurance. This is why cyclists must increase their carbohydrate intake or have a carb-rich meal before riding for long distances. Before embarking on a long journey, you should have at least a day or two wherein all you consume for every three hours are carbohydrate-rich foods. This carbo-loading can help you stock up muscle glycogen, especially when you go on smooth, long rides instead of sharp, yet short rides. Food and drinks that will enrich your energy might come in handy in riding long distances as well. Ideally, fuel yourself every twenty minutes or thirty minutes on a four-hour ride.
Train Your Body
Before going to the gym for a workout, you should know your true goals with regard to cycling long trips. Whatever that goal may be, start with building your core strength. It helps you have stronger legs, shoulders, and arms—great for delivering power when cycling. The stronger your core, the lesser you will feel weak or fatigued during a long trip. Another way to train your body is to ride up a local hill while remaining seated, turning the pedals at a cadence of around 55 to 60 rpm, for around 1.5 km or more. Always remember that, through this method, your goal is to stay seated and focus on the action of pedalling, on distressing the muscles.
You may also start aerobic riding for four to six hours a week, but if you don’t have the luxury of time, try cycling consistently and going longer than expected. You can also ride around a chosen route with riding buddies who have similar stamina and pace as you. Also, never forget to have a good warm-up first before speeding up.
Know and Increase Your Pace
Start off at a tempo that you know you can sustain. This becomes your baseline. Later on, maybe at the first third of the ride, try to increase your pace and make sure it is still relatively easy to maintain. Assess if you can increase the pace further. Once you’re into the last third of the ride, try to accelerate the pace even more. For the final blow, use a pace that exceeds your baseline, but make sure you can sustain this pace. By training yourself to increase the pace, you are teaching your body to become more efficient. Your body will be able to burn more fats than carbohydrates, making you physically fit. Over time, you should increase the pace and distance while riding in a consistent manner.
During long trips, you might want to have some cycling tools that will aid you in setting or increasing your pace. You can use a power meter that measures your power through wind measurement, specifically the forces that oppose you as you ride. Power meters can can easily be attached on the bike’s handlebar, and some types even have an accelerometer, a wind pressure sensor, an elevation sensor, and a speed sensor to help measure your power.
While you work hard to build and improve endurance for the most anticipated long trip, always remember to rest. Take breaks as you let your body adjust to the increased pace you are trying to achieve. Rest for five to ten minutes before testing out or repeating your desired pace. Allow your body to naturally recover after every training session. By combining all the said tips, you will surely have an easier time cycling longer distances.