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How to Build Stamina Riding a Bike

How to Build Stamina Riding a Bike
A woman riding a mountain bike through a shallow stream. Photo Credit: Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images

Stamina refers to your body's ability to endure extended periods of exercise. You can build stamina riding a bike if you combine longer ride sessions with set training programs and some lifestyle changes. The aim isn't necessarily to improve your leg power. Instead, you need to make your body used to drawing on energy stores for a long time without getting too fatigued. It may take time to increase your stamina by riding your bike several hours per week.

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Step 1

Create a realistic target for your stamina and cycling fitness. For example, decide if you're aiming to comfortably cycle 20 miles without feeling fatigued or if you want to push harder and train for serious competition. This will determine how much you should cycle per week and how intense your workouts should be.

Step 2

Increase the length of your bike rides over time. For example, if you cycle 25 miles one week try and push the total distance up to 30 miles the following week. Aim to increase your distance and speed by around 10 percent each week if you're training for a race or a challenging goal, according to Martina Navratilova writing on the American Association of Retired Persons website.

Step 3

Ride three times per week for as long a distance as you can manage. Ideally, aim for three 2-hour sessions, according to John Hughes, director of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association. Move to two 3-hour cycling sessions when you're more comfortable. These times suit serious riders or people looking to significantly increase their stamina.

Step 4

Use the interval training method as part of your weekly cycling schedule. Cycle for around 32 minutes, including 4-minutes at the start and end to warm up and cool down. Split the remaining 24 minutes into six periods of 4 minutes. Train at around 60 percent of your max rate for the first, third and fifth sections, and at 80 percent for the other three. This can boost your stamina.

Step 5

Drink plenty of water before cycling and take a water bottle on the ride with you. Use a bike bottle holder to keep the water close at hand but out of the way.

Step 6

Eat pieces of energy bars or bananas while cycling a long distance to maintain your energy levels. This will help you ride farther without feeling so tired.

Step 7

Train with other bikers to help keep you motivated. Set group goals and encourage each other to achieve them. Working with a team pushes you to improve your stamina.

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