For many people, their bike is their only form of transport. But they may be worried that the answer to the question of “how often to cycle in a week?” could put their cycling commute in jeopardy.
If this is you, you don’t need to worry, as long as you take the correct approach to cycling everyday.
In this article, we will cover:
- Duration And Intensity
- Why You Need To Factor In Recovery Time
- Fuelling Your Body Properly For Cycling Everyday
- When Cycling Everyday Is Bad For you
- Signs Of Overtraining
- Long Distance Cycling Everyday For Commuting
Are You ready to learn all about the effects of biking everyday?
Duration and Intensity
If you’re wondering how often to cycle, There is nothing wrong with biking everyday. Doing so gives you many benefits, but you must consider how long and hard you ride for if you want to set goals and progress.
The thing about cycling everyday is that everyone is different. Some people can smash out 10 miles every day without any problems at all, while others find it more challenging, and there is nothing wrong with that.
If you want to know if cycling everyday is too much for you, you need to find out what your base fitness level is. Your base fitness allows you to exercise comfortably for a realistic duration.
You may only be able to ride for 20 minutes before you get exhausted. If so, make your goal to ride for 10 to 15 minutes a day until you get used to it.
If you ride as fast as you can or do high-intensity intervals everyday, you stand a good chance of burning out or getting an injury. This is because it is too much for your body to take on a daily basis.
So, with this in mind, you need to consider the duration and intensity you ride at. If you are relatively new to cycling, try to stick to flatter routes and ride at a more leisurely pace.
To improve your fitness, you will need to add more intense rides into your schedule. However, if you are cycling everyday at high intensities, you may soon regret it.
Why You Need To Factor In Recovery Time
If you want or need to go biking everyday, factoring in recovery time is essential to prevent you from overdoing it. You need to find a balance between pushing yourself too hard with duration and intensity. But you also need to take care of yourself so your body is ready for your next ride.
The most important form of recovery is not overdoing it. But allowing your body to recover appropriately will help your fitness improve and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Here are 2 ways you can promote recovery:
#1. Get Plenty Of Sleep
If you are cycling everyday, you need to ensure you get enough sleep. Your body recovers from exercise when you sleep, and this is when you make gains. But more importantly, sleeping well will go a long way towards protecting you from burning out from biking every day.
The Sleep Foundation recommends getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. So, if you are cycling everyday and you don’t want to risk burnout, make sure that you’re at least within this recommendation.
You need to take care of yourself properly if you are going to be cycling everyday. Therefore, ensure your nutrition, hydration, and sleep are all at the required levels.
#2. Try To Factor In Rest Days
Rest days may be tricky to fit in if you are cycling everyday for commuting. But, you will benefit significantly from taking a couple of days off each week.
Along with many other benefits, rest days allow your muscles to repair and your energy to restore. The frequency you take your rest days depends on your fitness level and what your body is used to.
It also depends on how intense your rides are and how well you are looking after yourself. But most amateur cyclists should take at least two days off per week. More experienced cyclists can get away with riding six or seven days in a row.
If you are unsure how many rest days to take, play it safe and have more than you think to start off with. You can always mix it up after a few weeks, depending on how you feel.
Fuelling Your Body Properly For Cycling Everyday
Nutrition plays a massive part in benefiting your endurance and strength. Even if you are cycling for weight loss, you need to ensure that you are fuelling your body appropriately while achieving a calorie deficit.
You need to fuel your body before and after a long ride. Eating something 30 to 60 minutes after a ride helps with your recovery. It is best to think about what you eat after a ride. For example, try to eat natural whole foods, or maybe eat some carbohydrates first.
Hydration goes hand in hand with nutrition. So you need to take on enough fluid before, during, and after your ride. Drinking enough water will help your muscles and heart rate recover while reducing fatigue.
While there’s no specific amount of fluid, you should take in, but make sure that you drink water or a healthy sports drink when you finish your ride. You should also continue to rehydrate throughout the day, especially if you are riding in hot weather and need to ride back home at the end of the day.
When Cycling Everyday Is Bad For you
If you are very fit and used to exercising regularly, and you ride at low intensity, cycling everyday is fine. But this is something you need to work up to.
However, if you are not particularly fit or good at looking after yourself, cycling everyday can quickly become harmful. Remember, you need to take your recovery seriously through nutrition, hydration, and sleep.
Cycling everyday can also become harmful if you’re riding either too far or too intensely.
There is no definitive mileage or time when determining how far you should ride in a day. 20 miles per day is perfectly healthy for some cyclists, while others may find riding 5 miles a challenge or impossible.
This is when you need to listen to your body and make a judgment. If you struggle with your commute, you will need to improve your fitness. Alternatively, you may benefit from an electric bike, which will still improve your fitness.
If you experience signs of overtraining, you know that cycling everyday is too much for you. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story, though; it’s just your current situation. You will get there with proper training and recovery.
Signs Of Overtraining
We have already discussed that you need to know your fitness level so you can understand your body’s limitations. However, it is difficult to find the line between pushing yourself to improve and pushing yourself too hard.
If you are cycling everyday and it is too much, your body will let you know that you are overtraining. When you experience these indications, it is time to ease off. Here are some signs that you may be overtraining:
- Constantly tired
- Constantly sore
- Trouble sleeping
- Unwanted weight loss
- Lack of appetite
If you experience any of these changes in your body, you could need to take a break from cycling everyday. If you are riding a bike everyday to work, you may want to catch the bus or drive once or twice a week.
However, if these symptoms don’t improve, it is worth visiting a doctor to see if there are any other problems or a way to strike a balance.
- Want to know more? Check out our Guide to Overtraining Recovery here!
Long Distance Cycling Everyday For Commuting
The good thing about cycling everyday for commuting is that it is generally at lower intensities. As long as you are not always trying to make up time every morning, your riding will be at a slower pace than if you were riding for exercise.
This slower pace and lower intensity are more sustainable, meaning you can ride more often. But, this isn’t the case for everyone. Most people will be able to ride 10 miles per day, and it’s pretty common for people to commute one to ten miles per day.
So Is Cycling Every Day Too Much?
Even though we have looked at this from a few angles, no definitive answer captures everyone’s circumstances. The main things to pay attention to are the signs of overtraining, so you can make sure you don’t overdo it.
If you have any doubts or concerns, it is best to talk to your doctor to find out the best course of action.
If you found this article helpful, and want to improve your cycling fitness on your path to cycling everyday, check out the links to the blogs below: