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  1. #1
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    Training Stamina: Time vs Distance?

    I'm looking to train my stamina, and have a fixed path I can go on every day. I go from home to the park, and do a .4 mile lap, take a water break, do another lap. How should one focus their stamina increase? Doing one more lap each day, or doing one more minute each day? Which is more effective?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radh View Post
    I'm looking to train my stamina, and have a fixed path I can go on every day. I go from home to the park, and do a .4 mile lap, take a water break, do another lap. How should one focus their stamina increase? Doing one more lap each day, or doing one more minute each day? Which is more effective?
    Try to find a route where you can ride for about an hour a day. This could be 10-15 miles depending on intersections and so on.

    Brad

  3. #3
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    0.4 mile lap and a break??? My minimum ride is 25 miles non-stop and I often ride 40-50 miles non-stop. I drink and eat while riding. Like bradtx says, go at least 1 hr minimum non-stop and at least 3 time a week. Go at a pace you can maintain for the hour and gradually increase speed as your indurance and strength improves.
    Last edited by Looigi; 02-10-12 at 08:29 AM.

  4. #4
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    First off welcome. And don't worry too much about posts bragging about how much better they are or how much further they ride rather then trying to answer your question. They have no idea of your physical condition or if you have any limiting factors. Now to your question. I don't really know, but I have read that about 10 percent a week should be about right. I have no idea if time or mileage would be better but as you get stronger you will probably also get faster so I would be inclined to say time, but it probably doesn't really matter. Just keep increasing slowly and see how it goes. There is a Training and Nutrition thread that may be a better place to ask.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member Werkin's Avatar
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    I would say at this stage distance rather than time, however, I wouldn't confine yourself to pre-conceived increments; listen to your body. Only you know your fitness history. If you are in recovery mode after a health concern or have never followed an exercises regime, your progression should be more cautious than pushing limits to the point of soreness, or breathlessness. Keep in mind that rest is required for recovery. Your intro reads as if you are looking for the fast track for your goals, and as counterintuitive as this sounds, this requires time set aside for days off the bike. If you are healthy and aware of your fitness capabilities from another physical activity, the greatest/rapid gains will come after pushing to the point of failure and adequate time off for reparation. Of course each of us are different, you may have external muscles which will progress more rapidly than cardio pulmonary capacity, or plenty of breath but no legs, but in time they will come together.

  6. #6
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    I think I would just try increasing your distance or time a little, if not every ride track what you do and how you feel weekly. It has been my experience that repeats of any activity will give you better stamina in time, but I believe working cardio along with the increase in riding will probably net you better benefits. If you are not fit at all or are just starting to exercise I would suggest asking a physician about how to get on track with a workout routine.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radh View Post
    I'm looking to train my stamina, and have a fixed path I can go on every day. I go from home to the park, and do a .4 mile lap, take a water break, do another lap. How should one focus their stamina increase? Doing one more lap each day, or doing one more minute each day? Which is more effective?
    How far is home to the park? 10 miles? 20 miles? 50 miles?

    When I first started cycling "seriously" I did a 2 mile ride, and had to take a break at the end of the first mile. The next day I went out and did 2 miles straight through. By the end of the week I had done a 5 mile ride. 3.5 months later I had done a 50 mile ride.

    Keep gradually increasing your distance and you'll be out there doing 50 mile rides in a few months.

    Now I know the recommendation is 10% per week, but if your total distance right now is maybe 1 mile, I'd suggest a slightly brisker progression. Try for 2 miles tomorrow and see how it goes. If you feel reasonably comfortable with 2 miles, do it a couple more times, then go for 4 miles and see how that goes. If you feel reasonably comfortable with that, do it a few more times, and then go for 6 miles ...

    Oh, and bring a water bottle with you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    You might also consider riding every other day if wake up and feel sore. Stretching is important. I always stretch after I ride. When I started commuting to work, I could barely get off my bike after my ride. My legs were wobbly! I had a hard time walking down the stairs to shower!. And getting on the bike after two days my butt hurt sooo bad. It took about 2 weeks before I got past the worst part. It took a couple of months to start feeling good. And it took even longer before I stopped looking for excuses to drive to work :-) That was in 2009.

    If you keep at it on a regular basis, you'll find yourself riding longer and feeling better after your rides. While your progress may not be as fast as Machka's, you will make progress and eventually you'll start feeling GREAT after your rides. It takes time and a commitment to ride past the initial pain.

    My recommendation would be to keep doing laps, taking breaks when you need them. Increase the mileage and as you get fitter, you'll find you don't need the rests. I've been there and still do it on hills that are steeper than I can manage.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  9. #9
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    I would recommend purchasing a cyclocomputer. This way you can keep better track of your trip distance and the total riding you do. I say this because I find it encouraging to know ok I rode 2 miles today and 4 miles yesterday for a total of 6 miles. Then after while you really see the odometer rack up in to the hundreds of miles for a season. Not to mention if you get a slightly better cyclocomputer you can watch you cadence which I think is useful for gauging endurance.

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