Cycling is a popular sport that many aspiring athletes are now picking up. However, if unprepared, it can quickly drain your energy and stamina.
Here are 12 tips that you can do to maintain your stamina while cycling:
- Make sure your bike fits your height and size correctly.
- Train your body and gradually increase each cycling session.
- Cycle uphill.
- Increase the intensity level of your training.
- Fill up on carbs.
- Drink sports drinks.
- Train consistently.
- Stay motivated.
- Keep your bike in good condition.
- Understand your fitness level.
- Ride your bike off-road.
- Try specific workouts.
Maintaining high stamina is crucial to high performance in cycling, but it’s also a way to help you enjoy cycling more.
Why You Are Running Out of Stamina Quickly
There are several reasons why someone might lack stamina. If you’re worried that there might be a severe, underlying issue – contact your doctor.
Lacking stamina could be a result of physical illnesses such as allergies, asthma, anemia, cancer, chronic pain, heart diseases/disorders, infection, thyroid problems, medication side effects, or it can be caused by issues with addiction.
Additionally, multiple mental disorders could also cause a lack of energy, such as depression, anxiety, grief, insomnia, and other sleeping disorders. It could also be caused by eating disorders as well.
However, low stamina can also be caused by not exercising or frequently eating healthier foods. In the case of cycling, you could also be pushing yourself too far or not pushing your limits enough.
Be sure to frequently check your health with a doctor to ensure that you’re in excellent physical condition and have healthy mental health.
Once you understand why your stamina is low, you can start to figure out what you can do to build it up and keep it consistently high.
1. Make Sure Your Bike Fits Your Height and Size Correctly
You might be losing energy rather quickly when cycling because your bike is not fitted correctly for your height and size. Typically, you can fix this by getting your bike done through a professional. However, you can also check your bike on your own.
The following are some steps to fitting your very own bike:
- Ensure that the seat of the bike is centered and leveled.
- Find a friend or partner and adjust the seat height by pedaling backward – check for signs that the seat might be too high or low.
- If you’re wearing cycling shoes, be sure that you’ve adjusted your cleats.
- Look for the correct fore seat position.
- Make sure the handlebars are the right height.
- Be sure you can reach the handlebars at a comfortable range.
- Check that the handlebar is a good size for your grip.
2. Train Your Body and Gradually Increase Each Cycling Session
You’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect,” well, that applies to this as well.
To build up stamina, you have to consistently train and cycle more extensive lengths to begin growing your energy. To do this, try cycling every other day and easing into it by starting with fifteen minutes. Each time you do this, extend the length of time you’re cycling.
Your body will begin to adapt the more time you spend cycling, and your stamina should increase.
Be sure to keep track of your progress and changes in session lengths to be sure that you’re improving.
3. Cycle Uphill
In addition to lengthening your cycling sessions, another way to build your stamina is through cycling uphills.
Cycling uphill helps to build strength and endurance in your body as it pushes you to pedal faster.
When going uphill, you have to increase the velocity of the bike. You do this by pedaling faster. By pedaling faster, you’re training your body to build up endurance.
You can also try to go up to more giant hills as you progress.
If you’re in a state or city primarily flat, such as Florida, you can try to go up bridges and hills located off-road.
4. Increase the Intensity Level of Your Training
Sometimes, your current level of training intensity isn’t enough. If you want a better chance at gaining more endurance, you might want to start more intense cycling.
You can try pedaling faster, cycling for more extended periods, or cycling on more challenging terrain.
Not raising the intensity of your training sessions is an example of not pushing your limits. One of the best ways to gain stamina is to use up more of your energy during sessions. Your body will eventually catch up, and your endurance will increase.
5. Fill Up on Carbs
Some carbs you should eat are:
- Fruits (especially bananas)
- Dairy (mainly milk)
I recommend taking a small snack with you while you cycle. Bananas are a great source of carbs and are easy to carry around. Consider taking it along with you, and be sure to take a drink as well.
If carbs aren’t your thing, consider fats such as oils, nuts, tofu, and avocado. Keep in mind, though, that carbs will be more effective than fats when it comes to building stamina.
Along with carbs and fats, protein such as meats, eggs, and seafood are great after cycling. Protein helps the recovery process after a rigorous training session and is, therefore, a much-needed aspect of your cycling diet.
6. Drink Sports Drinks
Water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated, and it’s the healthiest beverage you can consume. However, whenever you sweat or work out, you can lose many necessary sugars, water, and electrolytes. Additionally, you might not enjoy drinking water and prefer something more sugary (sugar is another essential carb).
Fortunately, you can solve this problem by drinking a sports beverage containing all of those critical elements.
Drink a sports beverage before and after cycling. It would be best if you had electrolytes for your body to continue functioning and keep your stamina up.
The best way to consume a sports drink for cycling is to have it on hand during your sessions. I suggest drinking in-between intervals.
7. Train Consistently
The best way to perfect any skill is to practice consistently.
Ensure that you stick to a routine, such as every other day, to cycle while gradually increasing the amount of time.
Practicing will help your body adapt to the rigorous sport and build up the muscles and stamina needed.
It’s also a good idea to keep a consistent training plan. Plan out all of your sessions beforehand. Include the various drills, intervals, and other exercises you want to accomplish per session.
8. Stay Motivated
Trying out a new sport or hobby can be challenging at times. It’s inevitable to feel burnout and like you won’t continue doing it, but don’t quit. Your stamina growth depends on you continuing your training.
Motivation is a crucial way to keep yourself going. To achieve your goals in cycling, you’re going to need to encourage yourself.
Here are some ways to get yourself motivated:
- Try cycling with friends: Cycling can sometimes be a lonesome activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Friends can be a great way to help you stay motivated, and they can be encouraging.
- Figure out what your goals are: One way to get motivation is to be aware of your goals and how to reach them. An excellent method to set up goals is to write them down.
- Be realistic: In addition to setting up your goals, you also want to be practical in reaching them. Don’t expect to cycle like a pro when you’ve just started – set small short-term goals and focus on achieving them first.
- Remember your old achievements: When you fail, it can be a huge source of feeling unmotivated. However, if you have past achievements or proud moments, keep those in mind and use them as an incentive for moving forward.
- Join a cycling club or spinning class: If you don’t have any friends who cycle, there’s still hope. Find a cycling club or spinning class where you can form relationships with people who have the same goals as you.
- Do other types of exercises or sports: Sometimes when cycling is the only activity you do, it can get boring. Spice up your routines by trying something spontaneous like going for a swim or hiking.
- Make sure you’re resting: At times, a lack of motivation can be a sign that you’re training too hard. Give yourself a break once in a while, and try not to overdo it.
- Reward yourself often: If you haven’t been giving yourself incentives, now is a good time. After cycling sessions, find a way to reward yourself for all of your hard work.
- Network with other cyclists: Like having a friend to motivate you or joining a club or spinning class, networking is essential. Speak with other experienced cyclists or coaches, hear their experiences, what advice they can give, and what feedback they can offer you.
- Enter tournaments, contests, or races: An excellent way to keep yourself motivated is to enter any local games, contests, or races. These can boost your confidence and give you incentives to keep training in your sport.
9. Keep Your Bike in Good Condition
If you feel like you might not be gaining the endurance you want, your bike might need to be maintained.
Follow some of the steps from the first tip, or bring the bike to someone who repairs them. Broken bikes or bikes in poor condition can be hard to ride and can stunt your progress.
In addition, you can do the following to keep your bike in good condition:
- Clean your bike every week: The best way to keep your bike running is by cleaning it with soapy water, a sponge, and a hose. Use a degreaser to remove tough stains and oils.
Be sure to always wear gloves when handling any oils or fluids.
- Keep your bike’s wheels inflated at all times: Your bike will last longer if you keep the tires maintained and pumped. Use a track pump rather than a standard hand pump.
- Always keep your brake pads intact: If your brake pads are damaged, replacing them is quite affordable and an easy task.
- Be consistent in cleaning your brakes: If your brakes are making squeaky noises, it’s time to clean them. Use the same supplies you use for cleaning your bike.
- Get your bike checked annually: Visit a professional repairer once a year to get your bike checked and in good shape. Scheduling every spring might be ideal if you don’t mind cycling through cold (or even icy) weather.
- Purchase and use lube for your bike: Clean your bicycle correctly first, and then apply lube in areas where metal touches.
- Check your wheels: Turn your bike upside down and slide the wheels with your hands.
- Check for any shakes and the speed of the rotation: If it seems off, plan to repair it.
10. Understand Your Fitness Level
You can’t gain stamina through pushing yourself way too hard. Professional cyclists have a large amount of energy because they have trained hard. However, if you’re just starting, you have to start small because you’re at a minor level.
First, you need to understand where you are in terms of cycling training. Ask yourself how long you’ve been training, how long can you cycle before feeling tired, and what are you comfortable with.
Once you understand your level, keep practicing and pushing certain limits until you become accustomed to it. Don’t try anything rash if you know you’re not ready to do it.
11. Ride Your Bike Off-Road
Another excellent way to gain more stamina is by riding your bike off-road.
Utilizing new terrain takes your body out of its comfort zone as it has to endure stricter circumstances. Riding on a dirt road, for example, might force you to peddle faster.
While cycling, try out different off-road terrains. Try dirt roads, a sandy seashore, or a grassy area (be careful not to get stuck).
12. Try Specific Workouts
Within cycling, there are workouts that you can try that are designed to increase stamina. Here are some you can try:
This 25-minute workout is perfect if you’re new to cycling.
To do this workout, follow these steps:
- Pedal slowly and softly for two minutes.
- After two minutes, try to pedal 60 pedals per minute for four minutes.
- Try to pedal 80 pedals per minute for two minutes.
- Pedal slowly and softly for another two minutes.
- Repeat three times.
Be sure to use as much of your energy as you can.
15-Minute Interval Workout
- Try warming up by soft-pedaling for 15 minutes.
- Spin for 5-10 minutes. Be sure that you’re easing into the next step.
- Move to a large gear and pedal 70 to 75 pedals per minute for a 15-minute interval.
- Cooldown by easy-pedaling for 15 minutes.
Keep in mind that this workout is best with intervals. Try to do two to three breaks, and ensure that you give yourself brief opportunities for recovery.
Intense 80-Minute Workout
- Start with a 10-minute warm-up.
- Do three sets of 80-minute intervals. Leave four minutes of recovery between each set.
As you begin building stamina, you can extend the time you utilize every session. Doing this will best help you to continue to grow your endurance.
When you first go cycling, it can feel like your stamina is low and like you’re not fit for the sport.
However, you can still build and maintain stamina by taking care of your bike, eating and drinking the right substances, and doing the right exercises and training.