As a cyclist, When you ride for a long distance, you may find yourself feeling tired. It becomes very tough to finish the distance because you are exhausted before you make it to the finish line.
We feel tired after performing any physical activity for a long period. Don’t you? If yes, you’re one of many who get tired at some point. But most cyclists don’t get tired even if they ride 100km or more. What’s the hack?
If you are a beginner in cycling, you might not know how to cycle long distances without getting tired but experienced riders know well, and that’s why they participate in BRM events for longer rides.
If you want to enjoy long bicycle rides without feeling fatigued, you need to follow pro tips that experienced cyclists follow.
One of the best tips is to keep your bicycle chain cleaned and lubricated before heading for a longer ride making your pedalling smooth and fast, as a result, you don’t get tired.
Read further to learn more tips for long distance cycling.
How to Cycle Long Distances Without Getting Tired: 11 Best Tips
As a beginner cyclist, you may feel tired when you go biking for long distances. You might want to know how to avoid getting tired while riding a bike.
Don’t worry, by following the below-mentioned tips you will not get tired and will enjoy riding your bike for long distances as I have personally tried these tips:
1. Warm Up for 15 minutes before cycling
Warm-up is an effective method to activate your muscles and prepare your body for long rides. You just need to stretch your body and do some basic leg exercises for 15 minutes.
Therefore, you should always Warm up before going for a ride or performing any physical exercise because it raises the body temperature and metabolic rate as well as reduces the risk of muscle injury.
2. Maintain proper riding posture
If your posture is not correct while riding a bicycle, you will get tired in a few miles and may also feel muscle pain. So you need to maintain proper riding posture.
So, even if you know the correct posture, DON’T ride in the same posture for long hours. You should keep on changing your riding posture accordingly.
For example, the upright position is suitable for beginner cyclists because the handles are slightly above the saddle.
3. Practice proper breathing techniques
We all breathe, But do you know how to breathe while cycling? Knowing the proper breathing technique will help you to cycle long distances without getting tired.
You might be breathing in a way that is taking a lot of your energy and you end up getting tired very early.
So how to breathe while cycling?
“You should use the diaphragm to breathe while cycling – basically pushing your stomach out, letting your lungs drop and expand, and contracting to exhale, you should breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth”.
This technique can be practised anywhere, whenever you want. Simply put your hands on your stomach, breathe in through your nose, push your stomach out, and exhale through your mouth while relaxing simultaneously.
4. Avoid taking unnecessary equipment when cycling
You should avoid taking unnecessary equipment when you go cycling for long distances. Because it will put some extra weight on you and make you slow.
Things to carry when you go long-distance cycling:
- Safety gear i.e., helmet, Knee and elbow Protectors, Gloves and face covers etc.
- You will need a pump and a repair kit when your bicycle malfunctions.
- A water bottle in order to stay hydrated (very Important).
- Take enough food to stay fueled which is rich in carbohydrates.
- Make sure to get a speedometer fixed on your bike in order to stay within the ideal speed while riding long distances.
- Make sure to get lights and reflectors fixed properly in order to be safe in foggy weather.
- A lightweight and waterproof bag to carry the above-mentioned equipment.
- Wear a fitness band to check your health reports from time to time.
5. Wear cycling clothes that are made for cycling
When you go cycling for long distances, you will sweat a lot. You will get tired very soon if you are uncomfortable while riding. So, wearing cycling clothes is recommended such as cycling shorts, cycling shoes and gloves etc.
These cycling-specific clothes help a lot while riding a bike for long distances as they are made especially for cyclists and have some special features (windproof & lightweight). Cycling shorts have some extra padding and are made with some tweaks and improvisations.
Therefore, cycling-specific clothes help a lot to ride for long distances without getting fatigued. However, if you are comfortable with the clothes you wear, you can wear them for long-distance rides.
6. Eat foods rich in carbohydrates
A healthy body is required to succeed in any sports activity. If you are not healthy, you won’t be able to cycle long distances.
Eat food which is rich in carbohydrates such as dry fruits, bananas, bread, milk, potatoes etc. Carbs will help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you the energy to ride the bike for a long period.
- Foods rich in carbs will help you to increase long-distance cycling stamina.
- Don’t eat junk food and food that is low in calories.
- Keep drinking enough water to be hydrated and have fruits.
- You can also drink juice before going for a ride.
- Don’t take a heavy diet before going for a long-distance bike ride.
7. Take some rest and drink water (350ml/30 min)
Our body gets tired after performing any physical activity so it needs some rest to recover. Hence, the best and most effective way to cycle long distances without getting tired is to shorten the long distance in intervals.
I mean to say, If your target is to ride 100 km, you should ride 10km 10 times. Ride the first 10km, take some rest and drink enough water then complete the next 10km and take a rest.
Keep on doing this till you reach 100km. If you follow this method, you won’t get tired while cycling long distances.
You may also like: How far should you ride a beginner cyclist?
8. Shift the gears in the right way
If you are a beginner cyclist you must know how to change the gears in the right way and when. Normally, the problem comes with the gear when you are cycling up hills. You should know when to change gears when you go for long distance cycling.
You must be pedalling while changing the gears. Try to ride a bicycle in low gear if you want to cycle longer distances without getting tired. Because cadence is high in low gears and it helps in pedalling for long hours, you won’t get tired as well.
Learn more about how & when to change gears:
9. Ride a lightweight bicycle
If you don’t want to get tired while cycling long distances, ride a lightweight bike. Because the lightweight bike is easier to ride than the heavy MTB. You must ask the professional cyclist or your coach about the benefits of riding lightweight a bicycle.
If you are planning to buy a new bike, try to invest in carbon bikes as they are lightweight bicycles. Also, choose the bike size according to your height.
Your Bike should match up with your height so you ride effectively. Try to get the right size bicycle because size is very important to ride perfectly.
If you already have a bike, keep your bike maintained, and make sure that everything is working properly.
10. Ride with your friends
Riding alone is very tiring and boring for long distances unless you finish. To enjoy the ride, make sure to ride with your friends or companion. The sport of cycling is a social game that involves you riding your bike and socializing with people.
Riding long distances with your friends will make your entire journey enjoyable and faster. Because when we do anything with our friends, we do it very easily and early. The same happens in cycling with friends.
Cycling is a sport in India as well but still not as popular as cricket is. There are many reasons for this. But, Only cyclists like us can make this sport popular in India. So try to influence your friends who are not riding bicycles.
11. Ride while listening to music (Don’t use headphones)
Listening to music is the best method to cycle long distances without getting tired. Because music diverts the mind from getting tired and the ride becomes enjoyable. Music keeps your subconscious mind calm and relaxed which will help you not get tired.
Ride while listening to music but don’t use headphones while riding the bike because it is risky. You should use a mini speaker to listen to music which will allow you to listen to the other vehicle’s signal along with the music. Always follow the traffic rules to stay safe.
5 Health Benefits of Long Distance Cycling
When you cycle, you are mostly doing aerobic exercise, which means that all of your heart, blood vessels, and lungs are being used. Your overall fitness level will improve as you breathe deeper, sweat, and your body temperature rise.
The health benefits of cycling regularly are:
- It strengthens the muscles and makes the leg bones strong & flexible.
- Cycling prevents mental disorders like anxiety and depression.
- As you breathe through the diaphragm while cycling it helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness.
- Regular cycling keeps your body fit and gives a new shape to your body by reducing weight and stress levels.
- Also, cycling can help you increase your height.
Is long distance cycling bad for your heart?
NO! Long-distance cycling is not bad for your heart. If you have any heart-related disease then you must consult your doctor before riding a bicycle. You can also ride e-bikes if you have any heart disease.
According to Betterhealth, regular cycling reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by stimulating your heart, lungs, and circulation, it can also reduce blood fat levels, strengthen heart muscles and lower your resting pulse.
Conclusion: Long Distance Cycling Without Getting Tired
Finally, I am done with the article on how to cycle long distances without getting tired. As you start practising the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to cycle long-distance gradually.
Make sure to ride the bike regularly to get the benefits of long-distance cycling. You must remember some best cycling tips when you ride on Indian roads.
You might be worried about whether should I take a Gear or Non-gear cycle for long-distance cycling if it is so, make sure to understand what is the difference between a gear and a non-gear cycle and which one is better for long-distance bicycling.
If you have any questions or tips to share on long-distance cycling, feel free to write in the comment section below.
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