How To Improve Your Endurance For New Cyclist Over 60

Ready to take your cycling game to the next level?

Whether you’re new to cycling or a seasoned rider, improving your endurance is essential for longer, more challenging rides.

Gone are the days of effortlessly pedaling for hours with friends – now we need to actively work on building our endurance.

This is probably one of the most important things that we can do in order to stay active and keep up with our fitness goals as we age.

So, if you’re like me and looking to increase your cycling performance, there are several strategies that you can start working on to go farther and stay on the road longer.

By making some adjustments before, during, and after your rides, you’ll be on your way to reaching new heights.

However, it’s not something that happens overnight; you have to put in the work and dedication.

Here are some top-notch tips to help you on your journey to better cycling performance.

Warm Up Before You Ride

When we were young and carefree hopping on our bikes and just taking off for hours with our friends was no big deal.

However, as we age, it’s so much more important to take some precautions before getting back on our bikes.

So, before you hit the road, be sure to do a proper warm up with some dynamic stretches.

These are active and controlled movements, such as lunges and hip swings.  These stretches will get your body moving and help prevent injuries.

And don’t worry, it only takes 10-15 minutes of your time.

As you ride, your body temperature drops, which means that your muscles aren’t working at their peak performance.

Dynamic stretches slowly increase the body temperature and heart rate which allows your muscles to function better.

These stretches also boost blood flow and muscle relaxation, which helps increase your flexibility and prevents injuries.

After stretching, keep the momentum going with a slow jog or an easy ride on your bike for 3-5 minutes. This added warm-up ensures your body stays in the groove.

Remember, your warm-up shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Dedicate 5-15 minutes to it and make it a part of your biking routine. Your body will thank you, and you’ll enjoy a safer and more enjoyable ride. 

Drink Plenty Of Water

Remember to stay hydrated!

Water is a key factor in keeping your body replenished while cycling. And it’s not just on your cycling days, you need to hydrate daily.

Aim for at least a gallon of water each day, especially if you’re going for long distances.

Drinking enough water helps regulate your body temperature, allowing you to ride longer without feeling overheated or chilled.

Staying hydrated by drinking water before,  during and after your rides can prevent cramps and muscle aches that can slow you down.

If you want to know more about the importance of drinking water, check out this article.  Why Water Is Important.

Woman Drinking from Glass

Eat A Balanced Diet to Improve Your Endurance

Get a closer look at what you’re eating.

Your diet plays a very important role in the success of any workout plan, and cycling is no different.

To reach your cycling goals, you need to nourish your body with the right fuel.

Eating the right foods while training is very important for optimizing your cycling performance.

A well-balanced diet should be a daily habit, not just on training days.

It not only helps your body recover on rest days but also supports its overall functioning.

This doesn’t mean you need to follow a strict diet. I personally can’t stand diets and won’t go on one.

Instead, just try to make healthier food choices about 80% of the time without depriving yourself.

Remember, your body needs nourishment and calories for energy.

The last thing you want is to run out of steam during a long ride and have a miserable experience.

Proper nutrition is especially important before, during, and after your rides.

The right mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provides the energy your muscles and brain cells need.

Avoid empty calories from junk food that will only slow you down.

When you’re working on improving your endurance, that’s the last thing you want. 

Healthy eating

Don’t Over Do It

Take it slow and steady on your fitness journey.

Don’t rush the process and risk burning out.

Instead, ease into it gradually. Remember, the key is to have fun! If it’s not enjoyable, you’re less likely to stick with it.

Improving your endurance will look different for everyone. We’re all at different levels, so do what works best for you, not anyone else.

Your only competition is who you were yesterday.

Consider your fitness level, training history, current endurance, age, body composition, and gender.

If you’re just starting out after years of sitting on the couch, don’t compare yourself to someone who’s been in a fitness program for 5 years.

There’s no secret formula or right way to increase endurance.

As a new rider, simply aim to do a little bit more each ride, each week, or each month.

Keep it simple and enjoy the process.  

Stay Consistent

Staying consistent is probably the most important thing that you can do!

Make a plan to ride 2-3 days a week.

Slowly increase how long, how far or how often you ride each week.

This alone will increase your endurance.

When you feel ready – plan out a route with more hills or less stops along the way.

Play with it a little.

You may want to start exploring different areas. Or maybe plan a destination, like a good coffee shop or a bike shop.

Then you will have something to look forward to at the end of your ride.

Again, make it fun and make it simple – but just keep it consistent! 

Cross Training

To improve endurance, you may want to consider doing some cross training when you’re not on your bike.

Try to shake it up a bit.

This will help you to build up the muscles that you depend on while cycling and the muscles that are not used much on your bike.

It can also keep you from getting bored with just bicycling.

I include a strength training program.   This is very helpful with  increasing my endurance.

But if that is not your thing than try something like hiking, running, yoga, Pilates or rock climbing.

Too much exercise can lead to injuries, so make sure you’re doing enough to improve your endurance while not pushing yourself too hard.

Listen to your body!

deadlift stand

Stretch After Your Ride

Don’t stop after you get off your bike.

Make sure that you do some static stretches after your ride.

This is extremely important to prevent injury and improve your cycling speed and endurance.

It also helps your body to get ready for the next ride.

Stretching helps loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow throughout your body.

When you stretch, you should focus on areas such as your hamstrings, quads, calves, glutes, and core.

You can use a variety of stretches, from simple ones like bending forward and hang your head for hamstring stretch or pull your foot to your butt and hold for a quad stretch.

You could also do more advanced moves like yoga poses.

When you stretch after a ride, you should hold each stretch for 10 seconds and then release. 


Improving your endurance is so important, especially as we age.

It will help you to stay on your bike and make fitness gains – not to mention it keeps you feeling young.

After all everyone says that age is just a number.

Whatever you do just keep it fun.

Don’t make it a miserable process. No one wants to stick with something that just makes them miserable.

Start slow and don’t overdo it!

It will come with time and consistency.

Enjoy your rides and you will want to stay out on your bike longer and go further.

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