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Training Tips To Help Build  One’s Endurance Base

Base training is the process of gradually developing a platform for fitness. When one rides for two or more hours at a steady pace i.e. a typical base ride, their body responds with changes that allow them to use more oxygen and burn more fat as fuel. Building a solid base requires focussing key fundamentals such as general strength and technique, which are essential for long rides. Read on for tips on how to build your endurance base.


Drawing on the ‘moral’ in the popular childhood tale of the Hare and the Tortoise - Slow and Steady wins the race. That said, don’t be misled by the word slow and associate it with a slow-pace recovery ride. The key is to keep the intensity of the ride steady at about 75% of your maximum heart rate or perceived effort for a long distance ride. A few weeks of including steady state, long distance training will help build one’s endurance base, effortlessly.

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Work on your pedalling to develop a consistent force all the way around. Aim to spend two or three rides a week trying to achieve a cadence of about 95 revolutions per minute. This will help with overall endurance and speed.


Riding a bike for significant lengths of time requires strength and power. Designate one or two rides a week for seated, lower-cadence hill climbing. Staying in the saddle on all climbs builds hip and knee strength and improves power.

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Supplement cycling days with strength training that includes exercises that simulate pedaling action, i.e. squats, leg presses, and step-ups. This focuses on building and strengthening your leg muscles. Click here to know more.


While base training must be done at low intensities to work properly, including occasional high-intensity­interval training can help improve performance markers such as VO2 max. An occasional spirited effort won’t erase your base, but be sure to build it gradually.

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A training week that incorporates all the fundamental elements ­ mentioned would include two non consecutive days of strength training, two non consecutive long distance slow-paced rides and two non consecutive days of hill training (can be substituted by an occasional high intensity interval training day). Try to allow yourself at least a day’s rest per week. Use this sample outline for four to six weeks while increasing­ your long rides by about 15 minutes each week to effectively build your endurance base.


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