Cycling is an endurance sport. Training in the aerobic zone is the foundation for our long-term performance and is the best way to lose weight while riding your bike. Endurance training is the easiest but most time-consuming training process.
The principle of endurance is to keep performing with the least energy expenditure. In this mode, your muscles have direct access to oxygen and so getting energy from fats is a simple process. The aim is to teach our body to burn fats as efficiently as possible and to postpone the moment our body starts to work with an oxygen deficit and get energy from carbohydrates. This moment can be postponed through the right endurance training.
Endurance is presented through long-term muscle load. It is important to train our body in this area throughout the year. In winter we focus on general physical training through swimming, running, walking, cross-country skiing, or riding an indoor trainer. As soon as the cycling season starts, we fully focus on our bike and stick to a systematic training plan to get the desired results. We need to work constantly on our endurance, even during the racing season – at least once or twice a week.
Before the cycling season starts, we need eight to twelve weeks of endurance training with mild to moderate intensity. This helps our body get ready for the long-term cycling load expected in the coming year. The training unit duration can vary from one hour to the specific time we need to prepare for.
The best way to work on endurance is to train in a group. These kinds of rides provide various intensity loads which cover the whole aerobic zone. Road cyclists like group rides most, as they especially enjoy riding in pars.
Mountain bikers need to look for an appropriate track. If the terrain is hard or the climbs too steep, it becomes almost impossible to stay within the aerobic zone. When riding alone, you need to avoid riding at one pace or one speed. The fartlek method really comes in handy here. It means alternating between faster and slower sequences throughout your training unit.
Endurance training is performed in a mild to moderate intensity and can be repeated for a few days in a row without getting serious fatigue. The cadence should be higher, at around 100 rpm, and the focus should be on the fast pedalling technique.
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