If you want to ride stronger and longer, start with taking more naps. Seriously. You may not realize that you are not getting enough sleep to optimize your daily routines and endurance. Overworking your body can have a negative impact on your performance. It is important to make sure you are getting enough rest, training specifically for your body and allowing yourself to recover after every long ride.
We’ve always been told to get eight hours of sleep, but let’s be real, who can manage that? Life may take over and rob you of your sleep, but it is important to find ways to re-energize your body and keep yourself well-rested so you’ll have more endurance for long rides.
One way to revitalize your body is to allow yourself 10–20 minutes during your day to get in a power nap. Even if you do not fully fall asleep, find a quiet place to rest your eyes, set a timer and just let your body relax (it will thank you later). If you have trouble relaxing on your own, try meditation and mindfulness. A great app to try is Headspace. All you need is to set aside 20 minutes a day, find a quiet space, and let the app walk you through the relaxation process.
Training is extremely important right now. But how do you know the best way to train your body? Many people dive into new physical activities instead of easing into them. We get it — it’s new and it’s fun, but you don’t need to ride long distances every time you go out on your bike. If you ride frequently, even if for a short time, the consistency will help you build strength and endurance without fatigue. It’s important to follow a training routine that works for your body without overworking your body. And don’t forget the nap!
Cross-training is another great way to build strength and endurance. Try incorporating another sport into your routine on rest days, such as yoga or jogging. Working different muscle groups will keep your body in balance.
To maximize your performance out on the road, get more shut-eye and tailor a training program that works for you. These two things matter because they will keep your body feeling happy, and you will see an improvement in your overall performance. Happy riding!
Note: Before you begin any endurance training program, you should consult with your doctor to discuss your current physical condition and any potential risks or limitations. If you experience any pain or shortness of breath while riding a bicycle, please stop training and consult your physician.