Should I Focus on Endurance or Speed Training for Cycling?

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As a cyclist, you may be wondering whether you should focus on endurance or speed training to improve your performance.

 

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your level of experience, your goals as a cyclist, and any health conditions you may have.

 

In this blog post, we will discuss the recommendations and precautions for novice, intermediate, and advanced cyclists when it comes to endurance and speed training.

Table of Contents

Endurance Training

Endurance training is the foundation of any successful cycling program.

 

It involves long, steady rides at a moderate pace, usually at about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.

 

The goal of endurance training is to increase your aerobic capacity and build a solid base for more intense training later on.

Novice Cyclists

For novice cyclists, endurance training should be the primary focus.

 

As a beginner, your body needs time to adapt to the physical demands of cycling.

 

Start with shorter rides at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your rides.

 

Aim for 3-4 rides per week, with a total of 6-8 hours of riding time. It’s also important to focus on proper form and bike fit to avoid any unnecessary strain on your body.

Intermediate Cyclists

Intermediate cyclists should continue to prioritize endurance training but can add some variety to their workouts. This can include hill repeats, tempo rides, and interval training.

 

These workouts will help you build strength and speed while still improving your aerobic capacity.

 

Aim for 3-4 rides per week, with a total of 8-10 hours of riding time.

 

Additionally, incorporating strength training exercises such as squats and lunges can help improve your overall cycling performance.

Advanced Cyclists

For advanced cyclists, endurance training is still important but should be supplemented with more intense workouts. This can include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprint intervals, and time trials. These workouts will help you increase your speed and power, while still maintaining your aerobic capacity.

 

Aim for 4-5 rides per week, with a total of 10-12 hours of riding time.

 

It’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, as this can lead to burnout and injury.

Speed Training

Speed training involves shorter, more intense workouts designed to improve your anaerobic capacity and sprinting ability.

 

This type of training is important for cyclists who want to compete at a high level but should be approached with caution.

Novice Cyclists

For novice cyclists, speed training should be avoided until you have built a solid base of endurance. 

 

Focus on increasing your mileage and improving your aerobic capacity before adding any speed work to your training. Once you have a good base, you can start incorporating some short sprints and intervals into your workouts.

 

It’s also important to warm up properly before any intense workouts and to gradually increase the intensity of your speed training over time.

Intermediate Cyclists

Intermediate cyclists can start to incorporate more speed work into their training, but should still prioritize endurance training. This can include hill sprints, short intervals, and tempo rides.

 

Be sure to warm up properly before any intense workouts, and listen to your body to avoid overtraining.

 

Additionally, incorporating plyometric exercises such as box jumps and jump squats can help improve your explosiveness and power on the bike.

Advanced Cyclists

For advanced cyclists, speed training can be a regular part of your training routine. This can include longer intervals, sprint workouts, and time trials.

 

Be sure to balance your speed work with endurance training to avoid burnout and injury.

 

Additionally, incorporating strength training exercises such as deadlifts and power cleans can help improve your overall cycling performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, whether you should focus on endurance or speed training depends on your level of experience and your goals as a cyclist.

 

Novice cyclists should prioritize endurance training, while intermediate and advanced cyclists can incorporate some speed work into their training. However, it’s important to balance your workouts and listen to your body to avoid overtraining and injury.

 

Additionally, focusing on proper form, bike fit, and incorporating strength training exercises can help improve your overall cycling performance.

 

With the right training program and dedication, you can improve your cycling performance and reach your goals.

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Coach Shamus

At the heart of MultiSportCoaching is Coach Shamus, a seasoned athlete and experienced coach with a passion for helping others achieve their goals. With over 25 years of experience in coaching athletes of all levels, Coach Shamus has the knowledge and expertise to help you reach your full potential. https://multisportcoaching.co.za/about-us/
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