Long-distance biking is a great hobby that can really help you stay in shape, but it's not something you just take up overnight. Like marathons and other long-haul sports, it requires a long conditioning period to make sure you've got the stamina to safely go the distance. Luckily, there are a few ways to make training easier, reducing the risk of strain or injury and getting more out of each session.
Interval Training for Endurance
One of the best ways to increase your stamina is through the use of interval training. This lets you test your strength in short bursts, working your muscles hard with a clear end in sight before dialing back your efforts to give yourself a chance to recover. Most recommended interval sessions are two to three minutes of intense activity, followed by the same period at a resting rate that allows you to catch your breath. On a flat, straight stretch, a lot of the rest period can be coasted or pedaled lightly without too much speed reduction, but properly using the gearing on 21 speed bikes is a big part of making this strategy work for you. Intervals are important because the high exertion bursts build your strength and aerobic capacity at the same time, both of which are vital to your long-distance endurance.
Measure Your Threshold
The goal of interval training is to help you get to your lactate threshold, which is the line at which your body moves from aerobic to anaerobic activity. Your goal should be to be able to hit the threshold at least twice per week, but not every day. It takes time to properly recover. A power meter is an important part of this portion of your training journey, because you will need to be able to measure your heart rate. The lactate threshold is usually at about 85-90% of your maximum safe heart rate, which can be calculated by your age and weight. Push yourself first to a 10-minute burn at or over your threshold with a three minute rest before returning to regular intervals, then when that becomes routine, a 20-30 minute stretch period once a week.
Long-Distance Training Rides
Another important part of the journey is long-distance training, apart from interval training. You can use these excursions to push your threshold instead of your interval training, but make sure you have a fatigue backup plan. Mens hybrid bikes can give you the electric assist you need if your stamina wanes during your early training phase. In fact, checking out hybrid bikes for sale when you're entering training is just a great idea, because they give you an assist when you want it, so you can always switch on for the return trip after leaving everything you have on the trail.
It's hard to tell how long it will take you to reach your ideal distance without an electric assist, but patience is an important part of that journey. You will hit plateaus, and if you overexert, you'll likely also backslide due to time off for injury. If you really need to reach a longer distance before your body is ready to push you there, switch on the motor and give yourself a break so you can be back out there again soon. There are a lot of options if you're shopping today, so check them all out.