How-to Build Winter Base Miles on the Bike

When you are riding a bike a long distance which is usually two hours or more at a steady pace this is known as the base ride. The body will use more oxygen and burn more fat according to Joe Friel. Friel is a coach and author of the Cyclist Training Bible that you can find on Amazon in paperback.

When riding the body will develop additional capillaries which will help get the oxygen to the muscles thought the blood. The mitochondria which is part of the cell responsible for energy production will help burn up stored fuel and turn it into energy. This will allow you to ride both faster and longer.

Biking can be social and fun. When riding you can spend time with your friends while getting into shape. If a rider peddles only at a high intensity they will often burn out quickly.

Building a strong base will require a time for test. The body needs a break to rebuilt and recharge. Intense of intense riding take it easy for a couple of weeks while the body recovers. In addition to riding add some general strength training exercises and other workouts. This will also help a person prepare for long rides.


Long rides at a slow pace at a level 2 intensity can help burn week. Keep the intensity constant and do not go too fast or too slow. If the weather is bad ride the exercise bike indoors. A long ride is anything from 90 minutes and above. Four percent of the workout should be performed at a level 2 intensity.

Stroke Savvy

When pedaling develop a consistent pace and use consistent force. Mountain biking will allow you to develop a smooth stroke when pedaling. Two or three times a week you can also do cadence for 95 revolutions for every minute.

Add Some Force

Riding a bike for an extended period of time will require both strength as well as power. Take a day or two a week to ride on smaller hills. Sitting in the middle of the bike will work out the hips and the knees. It will also improve power. If a person is over the age of 40, female, or a smaller ride they often need to build up muscle mass in their lower body. Moves such as pedaling, squats, and leg presses can help increase power.

Take Some Time

There is no set number of how long this base building period is going to take. For some it averages between six and twelve weeks. A person can use a heart rate monitor to measure their base. They will need to get their output rate as well as their heart rate. To find this rate divided the power number by the average heart rate.

You should then look for an upward trend as you ride. When the number becomes stable be ready to move onto a higher phase. If you ride but not in extreme conditions you should be able to tell when you are making progress. It should feel easier to ride and require less energy. If you feel that you are no longer making progress then you have found your base.

No Rush

Many people think that this training is going to be quick. They feel that if they do not put in enough effort or intensity than the efforts are worthless. High intensity training will not help to build endurance. It can help a person each their V02 max.

When you take training slow and put some effort into it you should be able to build up your endurance. This will keep you from peaking too early.

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