Short or long rides....

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ray316, 2 May 2010.

  1. ray316

    ray316 Senior Member

    As l've already mentioned in a previous thread l'm a newbie on here and also to cycling .
    What l would like to ask you experts:smile: ... l go out mostly weekends on my bike at the moment and usually do one ride on a saturday or sunday morning of about 13 to 14 miles, the question is would l benefit more for one long ride as mentioned or break it up into two shorter rides on a saturday and sunday morning or will it make no difference.
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    It depends what you want to benefit from - are you doing this with any particular goal in mind? Any riding is good exercise. If you want to build up your stamina and distances, then you're better going for one long ride, if you want to get faster, then short ones will let you sprint more.

    But if you just want to get out and ride, then... get out and ride. Do what suits you, and your routine, best.

    Or swap. One week, do shorter rides, the next a longer one. Let the weather, and how you feel, guide you. Cycling's great exercise and mental cleansing, but you'll keep it up best if you enjoy it, and just get out regularly.
  3. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Provided you exercise at a level that makes you slightly out of breath, it is more important for general health how often you exercise than how much. So if that is your only exercise, you would be better going out both days. One of the problems with cycling is that because it is so much more efficient than running you need to be doing at least an hour at a time to get much benefit, which is going to mean gradually upping the mileage.

    If what you want to do is to get better at cycling, I suggest you do one ride one weekend and two the next. But give it some wellie.
  4. Iainj837

    Iainj837 Über Member

    Street, Somerset
    Hi Ray welcome to the forum.
    Just get out there and cycle, it depends on the weather and also whatmakes you feel comfortable.
    I like to go on rides about 30 to 40 miles long, I also commute around 100 plus mile a week
  5. PK99

    PK99 Guru


    Health: Break it up into two sessions

    Fitness: One long ride, ideally two long rides!!!

    AND, do the ride in one hit without breaks. I used to ride mtb with mates and even our saturday morning 25 mile regular towpath route was punctuated by stops and breakfast half way round. When i joined a club, the 25 miles to a cafe stop in one hit and 10 miles back was a big shock to the system, but the benefit of the longer session became apparent in my fitness very quickly.

    According to one source i read, the endurance training benefit of a ride kicks in after around 45 mniutes and is reset by a stop long enough to cool down.
    1e on a two hour outing, 60 mins, 15 mins for breakfast and a chat the another 60 mins is only giving around 30 minutes endurance training benefit. A two hour continuous ride, gives more than an hour endurance training benefit. Since i persuaded by wife to adopt that pattern (actually breakfast in richmond park 20 mins from home) she has remarked how much fitter she feels and how much easier she finds the longer rides. Same distance, about the same time commitment.
  6. OP

    ray316 Senior Member

    Well l've just came back from a 12 mile ride and blimey it's windy on that bike.. Set off and the route l took was fairly hilly and then open countryside with the road over a 2 mile distance declining slightly... l was pleased with my average speed ...... till l turned around to come back:ohmy:..
    No wonder my average speed was a lot better going, l had the wind on my back which l hardly felt but coming back it was like riding against a brick wall. As l hit the open countryside that has the slight incline over 2 miles my speed went down to 8mph l just could not get any more speed up the wind had me nearly stopping but l did manage to cycle home against the wind.
    My question is even though my speed dropped right down cycling against the wind , do you use more energy and calories than cycling on a flat road at double the speed.....
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