Even though you probably think that three light 30-minute rides in one week can’t make you a cyclist, the opposite is true. Consistency is the key ingredient, length and intensity are secondary and they will come with time. In fact, overreaching in the beginning is a common reason why people quit. That’s why we will only increase your time in the saddle for the second week very conservatively.

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Week 2 – Riding longer

Now that your bike is set up properly and you are comfortable riding it, it’s time to try and increase the duration. You should aim for somewhere between 30-45 minutes the first two sessions and then do a 60-minute ride on Sunday. Keep all rides at talking pace (TP) again.

A brief bike check-up

Now that you’re riding regularly you should get into the habit of checking your bike before each ride. Check your tyres, feel how firm they are, they should only give in slightly when you press with your thumb. Try out your brakes and shifting as you begin. Even though a 60-minute ride is not very long, it’s worth thinking about taking a few useful things with you. Check out our list of 10 important items.

Hydration

As you start spending more time on the bike, each session you have to keep in mind hydration. For a ride that’s one hour long, aim to drink 500-750 ml of water, depending on the weather. Try to take a sip of water every 10-15 minutes on all your rides from now on – it will help you build a good habit. Also, try to avoid eating a full meal two hours before a ride to keep your stomach relatively empty so that your blood can be pumped into your muscles. But more on nutrition next time.

Will Clark takes a bidon from his soingeur during Santos Down Under 2019. © Profimedia, TEMP Rex Features

Fitness tracking

For those who like numbers and tracking their progress, there’s nothing easier these days than downloading a fitness app on your phone. It will map all your rides thanks to the GPS, it will tell you your average and top speed, distance, and much more. Most cyclists prefer Strava.

Next up in Beginner 50k Training Plan series

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