How Long Should I Bike For A Good Workout? UPDATED 2021
Knowing how long you should bike is one of the most important aspects of improving your fitness. Whether your a beginner or avid cyclist, the length you ride plays a large part in your ability on the bike, but how long should you bike for a good workout?
For most beginners, 30-60 minutes of biking is a good starting point. Anything more, and you start pushing your body into unknown territory. Even though it is mentioned a lot throughout the internet and by many coaches, it is important to build your fitness slowly. Doing so, allows the body to adapt to the increase in stress and allows your cardiovascular fitness to improve.
As you get fitter and stronger on the bike, your fitness will then allow you to increase the distance you ride. This also means that you are then able to focus on specific workouts to improve your fitness and power on the bike. So, as your fitness improves the type and length of the workout will change.
Because the body adapts to the stress placed on it, the amount of time you need to ride for a good workout increases. That means that past long rides no longer produce the same amount of fatigue and adaption as they once did. So you will then need to either increase the length of the ride or increase the intensity, this is why periodization is so important in your training.
For the experienced biker, the length you should ride is dictated by your current fitness, goals, or training plan you are following. This could mean that a threshold workout of 60 minutes is better for you than a long ride of 5 hours.
So, How Long Should I Bike For A Good Workout? For the beginner, a good workout is classed anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. For the more experienced biker, this could last between 2-4 hours.
Average Cycling Distance For Beginners – How Far?
The average cycling distance for beginners varies, this is because of two main reasons: speed and distance. Beginners often struggle to produce high power when starting out, so it is normal that the average speed is lower than their counterparts. Consequently, this means the average cycling distance travelled is much less.
So, knowing all this now, what is the average cycling distance for beginners?
By looking at the stats below, based on your current fitness level it will give your an accurate measurement of how far you should be able to ride.
|Distance in kilometers||Difficulty|
|11km – 20km||Rather Easy|
|21km – 30km||Challenging|
|31km – 40km||Very Challenging|
|41km – 50km||Hard|
|50km+||Not For Beginners|
Of course the more fitness you have in previous physical activities, like running, swimming or gym. The further you will be able to ride comfortably. But the average distance you can ride doesn’t just rely on fitness, but your ability to be comfortable on the bike. So if your new to cycling, make sure you see a qualified bike fitter before jumping on the bike for a 50km ride. Your arms, neck and back will thank you for it.
Average Beginner Cycling Speed – What is it?
Now you know the distance recommended for beginners, but what about the average beginner cycling speed?
A good average speed depends on more than just fitness. The type of bike, cadence, terrain, and aerodynamics will all affect the pace you will be able to hold. But overall, it is the rider that propels the bike forward, so they are ultimately in control of how fast they can ride.
Based on recent studies, beginner cyclists are riding between 10-12mph or 16-19km/hr. The majority are using cycling as a form of fitness, rather than cycling for competition, so that is why the average speed is lower than you think.
As you move away from beginner cyclists and into the more intermediate-level, you will find the speed increases rapidly. The intermediate cyclist who rides for more than three days a week averages closer to 24-29km/hr.
Overall the average speed of all cyclists combined is relatively slow. Most people use cycling as a form of commuting and general fitness.
If you want to know how fast elite triathletes ride, check out our article.