Everyone gets tired at some point even if you’re doing some other work. As a cyclist, you must have caught yourself in the position where you feel tired after riding for a long distance. You can’t even complete your distance, you get exhausted before getting to the finishing point. Well, there’s no shame in it, everyone gets tired at some point and you are one of them. Its human tendency to feel fatigued after performing a sports activity for long.
As a beginner in cycling, you may need certain tips for long bike rides without getting tired. And as a cyclist who’ve been facing struggles while cycling, this article is for you. I have mentioned some tips to cycle without getting tired of a long-distance:
1. Maintain Proper Riding Position
If you end up getting too tired while riding, one reason could be your wrong position of sitting. So, you need to learn the right posture while cycling.
Even if you know the right posture, staying in the same position for so long can make you feel a lot tired, and that’s why you should keep changing your position.
Not sitting in a proper position can cause your body to ache as a result you won’t be able to get up the next morning for a ride. As a cyclist, this is the basic thing that needs to learn before riding a bike.
For a fast riding position, you should be in an aero position in which you can escape from wind resistance as shown in the above image. The handles would be lower than the saddle height as you’d be bending to ride faster. This position seems hard but the experienced ones can easily ride more than 50 km in this position.
For down riding, you’ll need to put your body weight behind the saddle to maintain the center of gravity. The handle’s stem length will be less and closer to the rider so that you can add weight behind the saddle.
For beginners, the upright position would be considered best to start with. The handles are positioned a bit above the saddle.
Don’t short climb and accelerate so often to avoid getting tired.
Change your posture a little bit every time you feel tired.
Watch this video to learn more about the right posture.
You may feel difficulty in maintaining the proper posture at first, but with practice and time, you’ll learn eventually. Just keep in mind to stay relaxed and focus, and keep checking your position while cycling in long rides to make sure you haven’t drifted back into bad habits.
2. Use The Right Breathing Technique – Breathing With Diaphragm
A lot of times, you may get tired of cycling because you are just breathing the wrong way and you’re breathing in a way that is taking a lot of your energy.
When cyclists push out their stomach muscles for breathing allowing the lungs to drop and expand, breathing by lifting their ribcage and settling it down again when exhaling wastes a lot of energy because your body is going through a lot of muscle movement.
So, what’s the right technique?
The right breathing technique is to breathe with your diaphragm – basically push your stomach out as you inhale allowing your lungs to drop and expand easily, and then contract to allow exhale, you have to breathe with your nose and exhale from your mouth.
You can practice this technique anytime, just put your hands on your stomach, breathe in with your nose – push your stomach out and exhale from your mouth and relax your stomach simultaneously.
3. Don’t Take Unnecessary Equipment While Cycling
Make sure you’re not taking any unnecessary stuff in your ride as it will put weight on your bike and will slow you down and eat your power out. The necessary equipment needed for a long routed ride are:
- A safety helmet
- Pump and repair kit needed in case of bicycle’s malfunctions
- A bottle of water to stay hydrated
- Some food with carbs to stay fueled. (don’t take too much)
- A set of lights and reflector to stay safe even in daylight (optional)
- Speedometer to stay within optimal speed during the ride
- A heart rate monitor to keep a sustainable pace for a proper ride (optional)
- Panniers (cycling bags) or racks to carry out these pieces of equipment (smaller the better)
4. Do a 15 Minutes Warm Up Before Cycling
Warming up is an effective way to prepare your body before getting on long rides. Just 15 minutes of stretch is enough to open up your body. You can do some peddling to loosen up some of your muscles.
Warming up is all about waking up your body which is effective at raising body temperature and metabolic rate. Practice some yoga only for just a few minutes so that you won’t feel tired easily.
A 10-minute warm-up will also be enough but make sure you don’t lose all your energy in the warm-up alone.
5. Choose the Right Clothes Made for Cycling
You’ll be riding for a long-distance, you’ll going to sweat. if you’re uncomfortable while riding, it will make you feel tired sooner. Getting cycling-specific clothing will help you in that scenario. Wearing quality cycling shorts, shoes, and gloves might help you with long-distance.
Clothes do matter in cycling, cycling clothes are made with some tweaks and optimizations to make them windproof which ultimately makes it easier for you to cycle, the easier cycling is for you, you’ll get tired less often.
You should be wearing clothes that match the weather. However, if you can be comfortable in the clothes that you’re wearing on a long ride, do go for that.
Clothes I use for cycling are:
- CEROTIPOLAR Men’s Summer Cycling Jersey (Jersey)- Check On Amazon
- NICE WIN Men’s Cycling Shorts – Check on Amazon
- Danish Endurance Socks (Wicks out Sweat from my foot and makes it less stinky) – Check on Amazon
- HTZPLOO Bike Gloves Cycling – Check on Amazon
6. Don’t Ride More Than 30-40 Minutes In The Beginning
This means only go for the distance that you feel you can complete. Going for a larger distance than you won’t even think about, wouldn’t work so well for you and your health. It will feel pretty long, your legs start to feel like jelly, your vision will get fade and your heart rate will slowly increase.
A heart rate monitor will help you, in that case, to determine the right distance according to your health.
Listen to your body because you don’t really know when you’re taxing your body. Choose the distance that you can realistically cover considering your health and fitness level. Take enough Breaks in between the rides.
And during that break have something to eat and drink. By giving sufficient breaks will make sure that your body is getting rest out of continuous doing of activity as discussed in the above tips as well.
At the very first beginning, you do not know How far you can drive your bike without getting tired. You surely have to figure this out and for that start with small rides and then gradually increase your distance depending on your level of fitness.
Here is the recommended time frame for different levels.
|Super Beginner (1st Week)||20-30 Minutes (3-5 Miles)|
|Beginner (2nd Week)||30-40 Minutes (6-7 Miles)|
|Intermediate (After 3 Weeks)||60 Minutes (10 Miles)|
|Advanced Intermediate (After 5 Weeks of Consistent Practice)||100-120 Minutes (14 Miles)|
7. Goal For 7 Minutes a Mile to Not Get Tired
An important thing to do before riding a long-distance race, find your pace. You don’t want to sprint those first few minutes on your ride because that will assure you that you’ll not have the energy to stick to that ride for the next 40 minutes.
If you’re exerting that energy in the beginning only, you’ll hardly leave with some energy for the end. Try to maintain an even base. Your base, in the beginning, should be the same in the end.
An ideal rule for this is to go at a pace where you can hold a conversation. Because if you’re able to talk at that pace without huffing or having a problem in breathing, that would be a pretty good pace for you.
This rule can apply if you’re going for a long-distance race, but if you’re racing, you can go at a fast pace. Make sure you go nice and steady finish.
8. Take Some Rest In Between: Drink 350ml Water / 30 Minutes
The best way to ride long distances without getting tired is by breaking up the long-distance, it is easier to cycle 2 miles 5 times than cycling 10 miles straight. So, take a break in between, stop after cycling for 20 minutes continuously and rest for five minutes, breathe the clean air and see the environment.
So, drink 350 ml water after every 30 minutes of riding to stay hydrated. I would highly suggest you drink a sports drink (50gram) as it is filled with carbohydrates and gives you a lot of energy.
You should also eat and drink regularly while you are on your ride in between. You must have food between every one hour of riding unless you’re on a training program.
You can take a piece of banana with you, cereal beans, other fruits, energy bars, etc. – and eat them after every 45 minutes or every 30 minutes with water.
If you ask about my routine, I like to have a carbohydrate bar of chocolate every 50 minutes and a sip of water every 20-25 minutes. But everyone is different, you can have easily digestible carbs between the rides.
It is highly recommended to refuel yourself at every interval you take between a long ride. You should drink water before getting thirsty, and eat before getting hungry, this will help you in keeping up the energy requirements for long rides.
9. Take Foods Rich In Carbohydrates Regularly
You must keep your body healthy to succeed in any sports activity. Maintain a healthy weight because if your weight is high or low you won’t be able to ride up hills.
Take foods that are rich in carbs like bananas, sweet dry fruits, etc. Because carbs will only give you enough power and strength to ride up the bike. Try to avoid junk food and low-calorie food and drink a lot to stay hydrated. You can eat whole grains and fruits in your breakfast so that you stay on light food before going for a ride.
10. Use Gear The Right Way – Peddle Between Gear Changes
Generally, the problem with the gear comes at the time when you’re going up hills. As a new cyclist, you might don’t know when to change gear while riding for a longer distance. To make this easier, you should change one gear at a time, then slowly pick your way up or down through the gear.
Make sure you peddle between the changes of the gear. You’ll notice the well-timed release of the pressure on the pedals will make a huge difference. Use low gear as possible because higher cadence will make you less tired than low cadence.
The best way to figure this out is to go on a trail, ride your bicycle on a hilly route and practice-changing gears, and changing the amount of pressure you put down on various points. One more thing to keep in mind while cycling for long-distance is to avoid crossing your chain.
if you’re putting your chain through a large angle, it’ll go to potentially stretch it, you might damage the components. There’s also a risk of dropping or slipping your chain.
Learn more about gearing:
11. Ride With Friends
Riding along the whole long distance looks boring and tiring unless you compete. Try riding with a friend or companion. Cycling sport is a social game where you can socialize with people while riding your bike.
In long-distance, you can have a decent discussion with your friend cycling along with you. In this way, you won’t get bored and your mind will get occupied while cycling so you won’t think of getting tired.
Riding with a friend will make the whole experience faster and enjoyable. You’re going to be having a conversation with your friend which means you’re not going to be too fast and not exerting too much energy. As a result, you won’t get tired.
12. Listen to Music While Riding
Listening to music is a great way to divert your mind from getting tired. Our subconscious mind plays a big role, listening to music while cycling will make you feel calm and relaxed which will actually remove your stress and you will get tired less frequently.
But I don’t suggest this if you cycle in a very busy area because of the traffic. It can sometimes be dangerous to listen to music while cycling because you may not hear the sounds of other vehicles which may even lead to an accident so be careful about that.
13. Ride Stress-Free
How can you ride a long distance with a stressful mind? Thoughts that giving you tension and stress will follow you along in the whole ride. As a result, causing you more tired mentally. As a cyclist, if you’re going in a race you will clear up your mind before stepping into the ground.
In the same way, if you’re going to ride a long distance for the first time, leave all the negative thoughts behind so that you only focus on the finishing line. SIng yourself your favorite song to enjoy the ride.
14. Ride a Lightweight Bike
Why a lightweight bicycle? because it makes it easier to pedal up the hill. As a beginner, you do not know the difference that bike weights make for long-distance rides. You can ask a professional or a senior cyclist in your group about that. Their guide will be much helpful to you about all these things.
Carbon bikes are considered lightweight bicycles, but they’re a bit expensive. Along with this, you should adjust your new bicycle according to your specific body measurements. The brakes of bicycles should be high-performance friction brakes.
For women, the seat of the bicycle should be large and comfortable. Also, maintain regular maintenance of your bicycle.
But for many people you will not be able to actually change your bicycle, you can move to the next tip if that’s the case but if it isn’t, I would highly suggest you get a new and very lightweight cycle.
15. Pick Your Weather
If you go out in hot weather, you definitely end up sweating. If you go out in very cold weather you’ll end up freezing. In either way, you’ll get tired. Picking up the weather that is suitable for long rides is great for a successful riding experience.
You can choose whenever you want at whatever time for a long-distance ride. Some people choose early morning as they feel energized by the voices of birds and the sun rising. Others go with evening rides after completing their daily works. Oppositely they like to see the sun going down.
And some choose night time, to ride in the darkness of night. But from my point of view, a nighttime ride is not a good time as it is the time for resting. You can’t do any sports activity in the time you sleep because it is equally important.
It depends on person to person at what time they choose, just make sure you’re maximizing all the energy.
Why is cycling so tiring?
Getting tired after performing a sports activity is a natural thing because you’re putting out your physical strength. It’s not just cycling where you get tired, all the other sports athletes get also tired while performing their activity. Fatigue is the first sign of doing a sports activity. But once you’ll get practiced, you’ll hardly get tired while cycling.
Let me share some of the common reasons why you feel tired while cycling:
- You’re riding on a bicycle with the wrong frame size for your height.
- You may have set your Seatpost too low.
- The handlebar reach is either too far or too close for you.
- Your bicycle’s tires are not fully inflated to run efficiently.
- You’re not using your gears right.
- You’re trying to race up with your fellow riders who are better cyclists instead of riding at your own pace.
Why Do My Sit Bones Hurt When Cycling?
This is the most common complaint of beginner cyclists. As a newbie, you can get issues from anywhere through your body while cycling for a long time. But the most common areas that we see are through the lower back. Well, the pain you feel is in your muscles not in the bones because bones never hurt.
Some people face issues in their neck, knees, or shoulders. But not to worry over the pain in the sit bones, because with practice your sit bones will also get used to the pressure.
The pain in your sit bones can come from various reasons. Some of them are:
- Your bike fit is not proper according to your body as a result of causing saddle discomfort.
- The problem might have affected your back from your training regime that you’ve taken to go from zero to hero.
- Your bike’s seat is large and hard. Firm seats are considered more comfortable.
- The handlebar is not correctly adjustable according to your height. In that case, take your bike to a shop with folks who knew how to set bikes up.
- Due to the habit of over-relying on one side of the body, creating imbalance.
What’s the treatment? – Well it always happens when you start any new sports activity after doing nothing physical – it can be in any muscles of your body.
You will feel the pain in your muscle after the first few rides but after a few rides, your body will get used to it. Try to take appropriate rest after your first day of cycling. Eat full nutrition food will help you deal with all the pains and stiffness caused by daily cycling.
So, these were some of the tips to cycle further without getting tired. It will take some time for your body to reach that level of cycling that many long distances so always start with small distances and also break up the distance you cover – this will give you even better results.
If you have any queries or thoughts or a cool tip you think worth mentioning or a problem you found in the article, feel completely free to comment, I will always reply.