Why Should I Cycle?
Simple – Cycling makes you fitter!
A study of 6,000 school children in the east of England was published in the American College of Sports Medicine. It provides evidence that 10-16 year old boys who cycle regularly to school are 30% more likely to meet recommended fitness levels, while girls who cycle are 7 times more likely to do so. Those who cycled traveled an average of 1.5 miles, while half of those who were taken to school by car were making journeys of fewer than 2 miles. This evidence is being used help convince the Department of Health that encouraging children and teenagers to cycle could play a major role in meeting the government’s physical activity targets.
Our advice is that if you wish to take advantage of the benefits of cycling, then let us help you to do it safely!
A training guide to build cycling fitness !
Cycling has many health benefits that can be built into your everyday life. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can help improve and maintain good health, also reducing the risk of chronic health conditions.
It is also a great mode of transport that helps improve the environment by reducing the use of motor cars. You can get to know your local community by cycling to local shops, parks, enjoying coffee shops and much more. There are many social benefits including meeting new friends by joining cycling groups or attending cycling rides and events.
Get fit gradually:
- Start easy and build up slowly, trying to increase your longest distance by about 10 – 20 percent each week until you reach your goal
- As it gets easier, challenge yourself to gradually go longer, faster or include more hills
- Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, during and after the ride
- Have a good stretch before and after each ride.
If you are training for an event, ease off the workload in the two weeks prior to the event date. Don’t forget to get your bike checked before the event as well.
This training guide is for people who can already cycle for about 10 minutes. If you are over the age of 35 or not regularly active, you should see your doctor or GP for a check up before starting any training program. If you feel pain, discomfort or dizziness at any stage, stop immediately and see your GP.
Example 4 week Training Guide
Active Living = Your choice of moderate paced physical activity for at least 30
minutes e.g. walking, swimming, exercise classes, gardening and so on.
- Start with an easy 10 minute ride on Monday over flat terrain, followed by an easy 15-minute ride on Wednesday, building up to a longer ride on Saturday of about half an hour. On Tuesday and Thursday choose another activity for 30 minutes and have a rest day on Friday. On Sunday plan some easy paced Active Living.
- This week extend the distance a little. Start with an easy 15-20 minutes ride on Monday and an easy to moderate paced 20-30 minute ride on Wednesday. On Saturday build up to about 45 minutes at a pace you can handle. Include Active Living choices on the other days and give yourself a rest day on Friday.
- Start with an easy 30-minute recovery ride on Monday. Pick up the pace a bit on Wednesday including some gentle hills in low gear. On Saturday aim to extend your distance from last week, riding up to an hour. Have short rest breaks if you need them. Include Active Living sessions on the other days but have a rest day on Friday.
- This week try and include an extra ride if you can. Start easy on Monday with 30 minutes on a flat course. On Wednesday plan a 30-minute ride that includes a change of pace with some faster sections. You may choose to work harder up hill and easier downhill or on flat stretches. Thursday go for an easy to moderate paced 30-45 minute ride. On Saturday push out a long, slow ride working up to an hour-and a-half if you feel fit enough.