May, 4 2023
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to dive into the world of cycling workouts. There are so many options and techniques to choose from. To help you get started, I've put together a list of nine beginner-friendly cycling workouts that will help you build your fitness, improve your technique, and boost your confidence on the bike. Let's jump right in!
This is the simplest and most basic cycling workout for beginners. The Easy Spin focuses on building a solid foundation of fitness and endurance. To do this workout, simply hop on your bike and ride at a comfortable pace for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to maintain a smooth and consistent pedal stroke, and try to keep your heart rate in the low-to-moderate intensity range (around 60-70% of your maximum heart rate). Do this workout two to three times per week to build a solid base of fitness.
Interval training is a fantastic way to improve your fitness and build strength on the bike. Start with a 10-minute warm-up, then pedal at a high intensity for one minute, followed by two minutes of easy spinning to recover. Repeat this cycle four to six times, and then cool down with a 10-minute easy spin. You can gradually increase the duration and intensity of the intervals as your fitness improves. This workout is best done one to two times per week.
Hill repeats are an excellent workout for building leg strength and improving your climbing ability. Find a hill that takes about 3-5 minutes to climb at a moderate intensity. After a 10-minute warm-up, ride up the hill at a steady pace, focusing on maintaining a smooth and efficient pedal stroke. Recover by coasting back down the hill, and then repeat the climb 3-5 times. Finish with a 10-minute cool-down. Aim for one hill repeat session per week.
Improving your cadence, or the number of pedal revolutions per minute, can help you become a more efficient and powerful cyclist. Start with a 10-minute warm-up, then spend 5 minutes pedaling at a high cadence (around 90-100 RPM) while maintaining a moderate intensity. Follow this with 5 minutes of easy spinning to recover. Repeat this cycle two to three times, and then cool down with a 10-minute easy spin. Incorporate cadence drills into your training one to two times per week.
Joining a group ride is a fun and social way to improve your cycling skills and fitness. Look for local cycling clubs or group rides that cater to beginners, and don't be afraid to ask questions or seek advice from more experienced riders. Group rides usually involve a mix of steady riding, intervals, and hill climbs, providing a well-rounded workout. Aim to participate in a group ride once per week.
Speed work is essential for boosting your top-end fitness and improving your ability to ride fast. After a 10-minute warm-up, spend 30 seconds to 1 minute riding at a high intensity, followed by 1-2 minutes of easy spinning to recover. Repeat this cycle 8-10 times, and then cool down with a 10-minute easy spin. Do this workout once per week, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the speed intervals as your fitness improves.
Riding on rollers is a great way to improve your bike handling skills and balance. This workout involves riding on a set of cylindrical rollers, which challenge you to keep your bike upright and balanced while pedaling. Start with a 10-minute warm-up, then spend 20-30 minutes riding on the rollers at a comfortable pace. Focus on maintaining a smooth and controlled pedal stroke, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your roller sessions as your skills improve. Aim for one roller session per week.
Active recovery rides are essential for promoting muscle recovery and preventing burnout. These rides should be done at a very easy, conversational pace and can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as an hour. The goal is to flush out any residual fatigue and keep your legs feeling fresh for your next workout. Schedule an active recovery ride for the day after an intense workout or whenever you're feeling especially fatigued.
Time trials are a great way to measure your progress and set personal goals. Choose a route that takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and ride it at a steady, hard effort. Record your time, and aim to improve upon it each time you tackle the route. Time trial training will help you become more comfortable with pacing yourself and riding at a sustained high intensity. Perform a time trial once every 4-6 weeks to track your progress.
With these nine beginner-friendly cycling workouts, you'll be well on your way to improving your fitness, technique, and confidence on the bike. Remember to listen to your body and adjust your training as needed to avoid overtraining or injury. Happy riding!
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