How did you increase or improve your stamina?

Apr 26, 2018
Hello bike enthusiasts!

How did you increase or improve your stamina? It's been a while since I last exercised. I am not fit right now and I lose my breath even though I haven't biked that far yet.

Can you recommend tips on how to regain my stamina and improve it?

You already took the biggest step by starting!! Now it just takes determination and patience. The bottom line is that the only way you improve is by stressing your body. If you're just starting, it may take a week or two of regular riding and pushing yourself a little on the ride to see improvements. You'll be stoked when you see those and you're on your way...

In term of stamina, make regular, small incremental increases in distance at first. Once you're up to the distance you like, then make regular small; incremental increases in speed.

Good luck!
Just use your bike regularly. Even not for a long travel. take a long walk and run sometimes. But I think much better to play sports it will helps you to develop your cardio, and since you have a bike, use your bike.
You'll improve your stamina eventually as you ride more and more. You can also do workouts every morning just strengthening your core muscles or doing cardio, even brisk walking every day can help improve your stamina.
Stamina takes awhile to build up, and you have to do it correctly or you could hurt yourself and or regress the stamina. So the best way that I know of to build stamina is to build yourself up slowly to be able to ride a 100 miles in a day, thus you need to follow a century training schedule, like this:

If you are having trouble going say 1 mile then you need to add 4 weeks to the beginning of the schedule, so the first 4 weeks would look like this:

Week 1; Mon 1 mile; Tues 2 miles; Wed 3 miles; Thurs 0; Fri 2 miles; Sat 5 miles; Sun 2 miles.
Week 2; Mon 2 mile; Tues 4 miles; Wed 5 miles; Thurs 0; Fri 4 miles; Sat 10 miles; Sun 4 miles.
Week 3; Mon 3 mile; Tues 5 miles; Wed 6 miles; Thurs 0; Fri 5 miles; Sat 15 miles; Sun 5 miles.
Week 4; Mon 4 mile; Tues 6 miles; Wed 8 miles; Thurs 0; Fri 6 miles; Sat 24 miles; Sun 6 miles.
Then week 5 is where week 1 begins on the chart.

When you do this schedule DO NOT try to go further then what the schedule says regardless how easy it seems, the purpose of the schedule is to build up your stamina without getting hurt or burned out. Also at this time disregard the easy, pace and brisk stuff, all you want to do at this time is put miles under your belt in a controlled fashion, once you've done your first casual century then you can go back and start over with the schedule week 1, not the week 1 I created, and pedal easy on easy days, pace means a speed a bit faster the easy but try to keep it steady, and brisk means you pedal faster then pace. Once you get use to that you can start over again...crazy as all this sounds, and add in intervals every other day which are tougher than brisk but it will make you a faster rider as the weeks go by so then you have stamina plus speed! You can google bicycle intervals to see how that works or post back here and we can lead you through that. The above schedule is more for people under 50 years of age, if you're older than that then you may need more then one day off a week for recovery especially above 60; if you are older you can try the schedule as is but if you find yourself worn out then respond to this post and I can rework the schedule to include 3 days off but the time it will take to get to 100 mile point will take a bit longer but you will still get there. When you're older it takes more time to recover so you need to pay attention to your body so you don't overdo and hurt yourself.

I hope that helps and works for you, it should, I've given that plan to friends of mine who complained about the same issue as you have and those who actually followed it through to the end saw major improvements and were quite shocked as to how well it worked for them.

The very last thing I recommend, if you haven't had it done lately, is to get a heart stress test done before you try the schedule I posted to make sure your cardo system is in good shape and can take the load you're about to put on it. PLEASE do this first thing so you can rule out any heart issues (regardless what you think, you are your worst doctor!) so you don't have a heart attack on the bike and maybe die from it. Make sure you tell your doctor you want a stress test done because you are going to be riding a bike for exercise and you are currently having stamina problems and want to make sure it's not heart or lung related problem before you proceed any further.
Thanks for the detailed reply guys! I guess I will have to stick with my current stamina and build it up slowly and surely. I'll have to accept that I haven't done anything for my fitness the previous years so I will have to make my body healthy and fit gradually. :)
The only way to improve your stamina/endurance is to start slow and train yourself to the level you desire.

And how do you do that? Simply by pushing yourself to just within your limits every time you train. It's important to be safe when training, so I wouldn't constantly pedal at a rate where you're pushing past your boundaries so much so that you're exhausting yourself. I'd say find your limit, and scale things back a bit to just within that limit.

Then once you've found this ideal pace, keep it up day after day. Once you find that it becomes easy, it's time to scale things up. The important thing is to take it slowly, even if you think you're not making much progress at first. You don't want to exhaust and possibly harm yourself.
It is the progressive technique for me. For stamina in biking, you do a particular distance and speed on the first day. You increase the number as days pass by. It's like you started at 1 kilometer and you can ride for 2 kilometers after 1 week. The same with the speed, running at 20 kph on the first day and you improved to 30 kph after a week. You continue to increase the number until you reach the maximum that you can do.
Thanks for the detailed reply guys! I guess I will have to stick with my current stamina and build it up slowly and surely. I'll have to accept that I haven't done anything for my fitness the previous years so I will have to make my body healthy and fit gradually. :)
I think I need to improve my stamina also. Having not enough sleep and lack of exercise will give you a weak and poor stamina. Honestly, I don't have much time to use my bike, maybe I need the time management again.
I'm trying to increase my stamina and endurance by eating healthy food and physical exercise by working out in the gym, also by taking some supplements that boosts my energy.

I'm also maintaining a chart of the distance I cycled for every ride and try to beat each record everytime I go out.
Thanks for the detailed reply guys! I guess I will have to stick with my current stamina and build it up slowly and surely. I'll have to accept that I haven't done anything for my fitness the previous years so I will have to make my body healthy and fit gradually. :)
Yeah, that's right, don't push your self, just do some minor exercise and routine to develop your cardio. Sometimes the more we are excited to develop our stamina, the more we suffer, because we want the result immediately.
In my experience stamina in cycling increases and decreases depending on your activity. If you do regular cycling activities and other exercises or physical sports then that builds your stamina while being stagnant and lazy would decrease your stamina levels drastically.
Does running helps to increase stamina, or better cycling only?


Actually you get more benefits from running, running works out the glutes, quadriceps, hamstring and postural muscles heavily while cycling does it more lightly, running employs a lot more muscles than cycling, this is why a lot of serious cyclists who don't want to run go to the gym and work out those muscles. Cycling strengthens your thigh muscles more than running does, and improves your core muscles better than running, and it improves your cardio more.

However, with all the benefits of running there is a major downfall that will eventually effect most runners, and that's shin splints, knee pain, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and illiotibial band syndrome. There is also another drawback which isn't mentioned much but to much running can be hard on your heart.

I use to run, I averaged 6 miles a day, but I was young when I started to have problems, at the age of only 24 (I think) I started to get pain in one of my knees, it was minor but persistent every time I ran even with time off. So not wanting bad knees when I got much older I semi stopped running and picked up cycling. By semi stopping I mean I ran about an average of 2 miles instead of 6, but about 5 or so years after that I had to quit that too because the knee was bothering me just those small number of miles. So cycling became my only sport besides martial arts. Now that I'm 65 I still ride a fair amount and my knee is holding up just fine but it won't allow me to run more than a block! yet no problem riding 75 to 100 miles in a day. So I can live with that, no need for knee replacement.
Hey there! I agree that running definitely works out different muscles than cycling. Running targets the glutes, quadriceps, hamstring, and postural muscles more intensely, while cycling focuses on them more lightly. If serious cyclists don't fancy running, hitting the gym is a great alternative to work those muscles. Cycling also does wonders for the thighs and core, while improving cardiovascular fitness. However, I can't deny that shin splints can be a major issue for runners. Keep on biking!
Hi! Absolutely, gym work can be a game-changer for cyclists. Ever tried squats or deadlifts? They can really amplify your performance on the bike. And yes, shin splints can be a pain, but with the right prep and gear, runners can overcome them. Keep pushing those limits! :) #cyclingperformance #fitnessgoals
"Absolutely, deadlifts and squats build lower body strength, enhancing pedaling power. For shin splints, consider roller massages and orthotics to alleviate pain. Keep up the great work!" #cyclingperformance #fitnessgoals
Spot on about deadlifts and squats for building lower body strength. To take it a step further, incorporating plyometric exercises like box jumps and lunge jumps can help improve power output and explosiveness in your pedal strokes. These exercises develop fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are crucial for sprinting and hill climbs.

For shin splints, you might also want to consider dynamic stretches and strengthening exercises specifically for the shin muscles. These can include heel-to-toe walks, ankle circles, and toe curls with a towel. Strengthening the muscles around the shin bones can help absorb some of the impact and reduce the stress on the shins.

Lastly, remember that rest and recovery are just as important as training for performance enhancement. Make sure to incorporate regular rest days and active recovery sessions in your training schedule to allow your body to adapt and get stronger.
You've provided some excellent recommendations for improving lower body strength and addressing shin splints. To further enhance power output, I'd like to add that incorporating resistance bands in plyometric exercises can provide additional resistance, increasing the effectiveness of these movements.

Additionally, for shin splints, it's essential to pay attention to footwear. Make sure your mountain biking shoes offer adequate support and cushioning. You might also consider visiting a specialty running store for a gait analysis, which can help identify any biomechanical issues that could contribute to shin splints.

Lastly, I'd like to emphasize the importance of gradual progression in your training. Rapid increases in intensity or volume can lead to overtraining and injury. Instead, focus on making small, consistent improvements over time. This approach will help ensure long-term progress and reduce the risk of setbacks due to injury or burnout.

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