10 endurance cycling tips

Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

1. Purchase two or three pairs of high quality cycling shorts and rotate wearing them as you train. Never put them in the clothes dryer. The same goes for cycling socks and shoes.

2. Don't ignore training your trunk muscles. Prone and side planks, back extensions, rows, chest presses and lateral pull downs should be part of the preparation program for a long ride.

3. Make sure to cross-train! Water exercise and rowing are good alternatives to cycling. They give your joints a chance to rest from cycling-specific activities and continue conditioning your cardiovascular and muscular endurance capabilities.

4. Take yoga and/or Pilates classes. These modalities can help you strengthen and lengthen your muscles, especially your back and abdomen. They also teach you how to breathe when your body is in a stressed state.

5. Be prepared for temperature changes by dressing in layers.

6. Have plenty of water H2O and carb sodium mixture to ensure you stay hydrated and fueled on long rides.

7. To maintain efficiency and stamina while climbing, spin at a high cadence in an easy gear while sitting in the saddle rather than smashing down on the pedals while standing up.

8. Avoid overtraining by following the "hard-easy" principle: for every hard day, you need an easy day.

9. Know your "breakpoint," the point during exercise when any harder means you'll have to stop a lot sooner. On a 1-10 scale of perceived effort (RPE), your breakpoint is about an 8 out of 10. Understanding your breakpoint is critical. On long rides (> 90min), it's important to keep your intensity below the breakpoint in order to improve metabolic efficiency through increased fat metabolism and carbohydrate (glycogen) sparing.

10. Have at least one to two days a week where you can ride outside for at least 2 hours at a steady pace on a route that includes long sustained climbs. This is the most specific, therefore the most important, workout to the demands of the Courage Classic cycling event.