If you’re a beginner to road biking and are looking to take your training a little more seriously, read how you can by elite-level professional cyclist Tom Bell.
In this article Tom will discuss the following topics:
- Build up your road biking endurance slowly.
- Track your progress.
- Ride with more experienced cyclists.
- Add variety to your cycling.
Build up your road biking endurance slowly
The ability to ride for hours at a time doesn’t come overnight. It’s also especially important for beginners to build up endurance gradually. That way, you’ll ensure that you don’t get injured or lose motivation.
To work on your endurance, start with an achievable riding goal relative to your ability level, for instance riding non-stop for 1.5 hours.
You can then progress by adding 10-15 minutes to the length of your rides, perhaps every week or so.
Track your progress
There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing that your road biking training is boosting your fitness, but you’ll need some way to measure this improvement.
1. You could use apps like Strava to measure your time over particular segments of a ride, or a set course as a whole
2. You can use a heart rate monitor to see how your heart rate is decreasing for a given effort
3. You could enter some events to see how you perform against your friends
Whichever method you choose, try to keep a running log of these metrics. That way, you can look back over your progress in a few weeks or months time and adjust your training accordingly, based on the results.
Ride with more experienced cyclists
When you’re just starting out, it goes without saying that there’s a lot you can learn from other cyclists, particularly those that have more experience. Road biking with other cyclists will allow you to ask them questions about their own training and observe how they negotiate corners and descents. You will also be able to look at their style of riding on the climbs.
Try to gather as much information as you can from these cyclists. You can then gradually apply what you learn to your own riding.
Joining a local cycling club is perhaps the best way to find experienced cyclists to ride with. Most clubs will offer rides for any kind of ability level, so it’s simply a case of joining the group that’s most suited to you.
Add variety to your cycling
When you’re starting out, it’s easy to just ride familiar routes or perform the same types of workout every time you head out on the bike. However, this can stunt your fitness progression and your long-term motivation.
Try to make your riding as varied as possible, so that you’re always trying something new and exciting. This challenge your body more and therefore better improve your fitness. It will also help keep you hungry to ride.
You can add variety to your cycling in a lot of different ways, including:
1. Alternating the length of your rides, whether by mileage or riding time
2. The amount of effort you put in on a ride, i.e. making some days easy and some hard
3. Riding different types of bikes, for instance spending a bit of time on a mountain bike
4. Exploring new roads and places to ride
By taking in as much as you can, being sensible with your training plan and making sure you keep your riding interesting, you’ll be laying a great foundation with which to start getting faster on the road bike.
Related Video: 10 Cycling Tips for Beginners
About Tom Bell
In addition to an international racing schedule, Tom also coaches athletes and creates content to help other cyclists and mountain bikers improve their training and race performances. This includes everything from podcasting, to YouTube videos and blog posts.
Tom’s athletic goals for the year include a podium finish at the UK National Championships, to represent Team GB at the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, and to have a strong performance in the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Cup.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in