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Basic cycling training

Whatever your reasons, getting involved in some form of basic training is worthwhile. It will usually result in you being able to ride further and with less effort. Using a heart rate monitor (HRM) is useful as it prevents you from overstretching yourself.

Getting fit for cycling

If you're out of shape and/or just getting started in cycling, begin slowly. Your initial rides should be 20-30 minutes in duration, perhaps 3 times a week. Concentrate on pedalling briskly. As your fitness increases, ride 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes and then gradually add more time, but no more than 10% per week.

Every cyclist can benefit from a structured weekly programme or over personal training services that involve both speed and distance training. Whether you objective is to firm your legs, lose weight and be healthier, use a programme which contains the following:

Moderate days - to lose weight, ride medium distances at a comfortable pace. This will burn fat, as opposed to the carbohydrate that fuels short, intense efforts such as charging up hills.

An endurance day - to improve your stamina, do one long ride every week. Again don't worry about time, just complete the distance.

The above are usually more than adequate. However, if you want to ride further, faster, or wish to develop the ability to quickly accelerate, you need to do a "speedwork" session once a week.