Whether you’re just starting or are a very experienced cyclist, one of the essential things that every cyclist wants to find out is how many miles I should bike in a day.
Cycling is one of the best and most fun ways you can work on your overall fitness. It’s a great workout, will help you stay in shape and lose a few pounds. Once you find out how many miles should I bike a day, you can start working towards your ultimate cycling goals.
The answer to how many miles should I bike in a day depends on several different factors. These include the overall health of cyclists, their overall skill level, and the type of bike they’re riding.
Along with these main factors, there are also several other variables that you must consider when trying to understand how far you can bike in a day. On average, though, intermediate cyclists can cover between 56-60 miles in a day!
Keep reading to find out more about how many miles should you bike a day and what factors contribute to the overall distance that you can cover!
What counts as a day
A single day qualifies as 24 hours in conventional terms. However, when most people talk about the “day,” they’re referring to when there’s daylight outside. In that scenario, the day will be between 6-12 hours, depending on the season.
Regardless of how skilled you are at cycling, it would be best if you didn’t start trying to find out how far you can bike in 24 hours. You should ideally begin with a 6-hour day and then work your way up!
Ralph Diseviscourt holds the record for cycling the longest distance in 24 hours. He successfully covered 576 miles in 24 hours. However, to reach that distance, it took years of cycling, effort, and practice.
Now that you have a fair idea of the general length of the day, you can start focusing on the factors that’ll impact how many miles you should bike a day!
Factors to Consider
There are several different variables that impact how many miles should I bike a day, and it’s up to each cyclist to figure out the distance they can cover comfortably. Here are the most critical factors that contribute to how far can you bike in a day.
What are your goals?
One of the essential questions cyclists should ask before figuring out how many miles should I bike a day is what their goals are?
Are they cycling to lose weight, do they plan on participating in a triathlon, or are they cycling for general fitness? These goals can play a significant role in the answer to how many miles should I bike a day.
The easier and gentler the goals, the fewer amount of miles you’ll have to cover. If you’re looking to train for a competition, or reach a specific fitness goal, then you’re going to have to work a lot harder.
If you’re starting out and are cycling to lose weight, then being able to cover 10 miles in a day should be a good starting point. Alternatively, if you’re looking to get as fit as possible or are training for an event, you’ll need to ramp your efforts up!
It’s always smart to start slow! Don’t run the risk of trying to cover too much distance in your first few runs. For individuals that are just starting, the answer to how many miles should I bike a day is 5 miles!
Once they get comfortable with the distance, they can effectively switch to cycling 10 miles a day and then 15 miles. Regular incremental progress is a great way to achieve long-term goals.
Health and Condition
A good idea for cyclists to get an idea of how many miles should I bike a day is by assessing their medical health and overall conditioning. These two factors are significant determinants of how many miles can you bike in a day!
For example, a 23-year-old cyclist can easily manage a greater distance than a 60-year-old cyclist, assuming they’re both healthy. If you’re young, you can easily start by cycling 10-15 miles. On the other hand, if you’re older, you should stick to starting with 5 miles, then gradually work your way up.
If you have an underlying medical condition, it’s good to consult with your doctor before committing to cycling a certain distance. Cyclists with a severe condition shouldn’t push themselves as the repercussions can be very serious.
The answer of how many miles should I bike a day is different for every cyclist, depending on their level of experience. For beginner-level cyclists, the number of miles they’ll be able to cover in a day will be significantly lower than intermediates and experts!
If you’ve been cycling for a few months and are at an intermediate level, you should be able to manage between 15-30 miles in a day. In contrast, experts can look to cover as many miles as physically possible for them. They can choose to go for a 50-mile ride or even longer if possible.
Generally, as you gain more experience, you’ll be able to do a better job of covering more distance. It’s only natural that the distance you can actively cycle in a day will increase as you gain more experience as a cyclist.
Another factor to consider is the terrain. If you’re traveling on standard terrains, which feature long flat sections, you’ll be able to cover more distance.
By comparison, it’ll be much more challenging to cover the same amount of distance on hilly terrain. Riding uphill requires more strength and will cause you to expend more energy while riding.
If you get a downhill section, you’ll be able to cover an even greater distance. Make sure that you consider the type of terrain you’ll be riding on before you determine how many miles should I bike a day.
Suppose your regular trail features plenty of uphill sections. In that case, you’ll be able to get the same amount of exercise even if you cover a smaller distance, in comparison to flat terrains!
Many cyclists tend to forget about the weather when trying to figure out how many miles to cycle a day. In bad weather, it’s risky to bike for a long distance.
The answer to how far you can ride a bike in an hour will be significantly different when it’s raining compared to clear weather.
Aside from the rain, wind speed and direction can also play a significant role in how many miles should you bike a day. If you’re cycling 30 miles a day, you’ll find it easier on days with a good tailwind.
On the other hand, if you encounter an intense headwind, cycling 30 miles a day will be more challenging than before!
Type of bike
Lastly, a significant factor that impacts the answer to how many miles should I bike a day is the type of bike the cyclist is using! For example, if you’re riding a mountain bike in the city, you’ll get tired much more quickly than you would if you’re riding a road bike.
The reverse is also true for when you ride a standard road bike on off-road terrain. It’s clear that the type of bike the cyclist is riding plays a role in the distance they can cover.
If you’re looking to burn as many calories as possible, you should go with a BMX or a mountain bike. On the other hand, if you’re looking to compete in an event, you should train on the bike you plan on using for the competition.
For beginner cyclists, it’s a good idea to start with practicing on a road bike and stick to riding on the road. It’ll help if your road bike is lightweight and features a comfortable padded seat.
After considering these factors, you’ll be able to effectively determine how many miles should I bike a day. Regardless of what distance you decide to cover, here are some helpful tips to help you during long-distance cycling.
Don’t push yourself too much
It doesn’t matter if you wake up feeling full of motivation and ready to conquer all challenges. Always be wary of pushing yourself too much. You don’t want to reach a point where you end up injuring yourself.
Aside from injuring yourself, it’s definitely possible for you to suffer from dehydration if you’re ill-prepared. There are plenty of cases of cyclists becoming dehydrated after throwing up from cycling too much!
Always bring the right gear
While it might not make much of a difference in short-distance journeys, having the right gear is essential for longer distances. One of the most crucial pieces of gear for cyclists is bike shorts.
They might not be the most appealing, but wearing bike shorts on long-distance journeys is essential. Regular clothing will only get in the way as you start to increase the amount of distance you cover.
Go for short regular trips
When you’re training for long-distance cycling, it’s a good idea to ride smaller distances for 4-5 days, rather than just trying to cover a long distance in 1-2 days. By sectioning out your training in this manner, you’re more likely to meet your distance goal, and it’s a better workout.
Instead of maxing out your muscles for 1-2 days every week, you’ll be able to keep them engaged for the whole week. It’ll also help prevent you from trying to do more than your body can handle.
Keeping changing-up your pace
Anyone can keep cycling at a snail’s pace for hours and hours, but what’s the benefit? Unless you manage to pick up some pace, you won’t be covering any decent distance.
That’s why it’s a good idea to practice riding long distances at a moderate pace, in combination with shorter and faster sprints. Both techniques provide their benefits, and a combination of both can help propel your performance forward.
Consistency is key
One of the keys to improving how many miles should I bike a day is being consistent. If you aren’t consistent, then your progress is always going to be up and down. Always schedule your cycling sessions in advance. That way, you can ensure you set aside enough time!
Rely on modern devices
As technology improves, new devices are coming out that can help improve your cycling experience. Cycling computers can help provide accurate information on features like the average speed and total distance you cover in a single trip.
If you want to take your training to the next level, you can invest in a heart rate monitor. It’ll help you optimize your heart zone training.
Hydration is essential
When you’re on the bike, you might not feel like you’re sweating, so you don’t pay attention to hydration. However, that’s a rookie mistake because you sweat when you’re cycling.
You just won’t notice the sweat cause you’re moving at high speed. That’s why it’s even more important to keep an eye on hydration and have a drink regularly.
You’re not going to make any progress until you attempt to challenge yourself. If you feel comfortable cycling 10 miles every day, then there’s not going to be any progression until you increase the distance.
One of the most fun things about cycling is being able to overcome challenges. If you don’t provide yourself with active challenges, you won’t make any progress in your training.
Health Benefits of Long Distance Cycling
Many people that are new to cycling ask, what’s the point of learning how many miles should I bike a day? One of the main reasons is that it’ll let you get a good of what you need to do to start long-distance cycling.
If you feel like you can manage 10-20 miles easily, then you’re already on your way towards becoming a long-distance cyclist. Those who should start cycling 5 miles in a day are a little behind, but they can also effectively become long-distance cyclists.
Here are some of the main health benefits of engaging in long-distance cycling;
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cycling is one of the most effective cardiovascular activities which strengthens the heart. As the number of miles you can manage to cover increases, so does your overall cardiovascular health.
When you reach the point where you’re cycling 20 miles a day, you’ll start noticing improvements in your cardiovascular health. Cycling a few miles every day is much healthier than just staying stationary.
Improves Brain Health
A pertinent benefit of long-distance cycling is that it helps improve overall brain health. One of the most major reasons behind the increase is because long-distance cycling helps increase the production of nitric oxide, neurotrophin, and noggin!
Effective Weight Loss
Another major benefit of long-distance cycling is that it helps with weight loss and lets you stay fit. Statistics indicate that cycling around 20 miles a day can help burn around 1000 calories.
However, the figure could be less or more depending on the terrain and the type of bike you ride.
Even if you complete leg workouts with dedication, there’s a chance you might not be seeing the muscle definition that you desire. If that’s the case, then you should give cycling a shot. Riding a bike is great for your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs!
You’ll find yourself surprised by the rate of growth and how much cycling will strengthen these muscles. The first few rides will be tough, so make sure you’re ready for some sore muscles!
Helps with Mental Health
Cycling can have a significant positive impact on an individual’s mental health. Research indicates that physically healthy individuals are less likely to suffer from episodes of depression, anxiety, and stress!
What most people fail to realize is that cycling leads to plenty of social interactions. Cyclists tend to have their little community, making it easier to connect with people who have more in common with you!
Another major benefit of cycling regularly is that it helps you sleep better at night. Both the body and the brain rely heavily on sleep to help you heal while you rest.
People who don’t sleep well at night are likely to suffer from hormonal imbalances, leading to them gaining weight.
There are a lot of benefits of long-distance cycling! That’s why every cyclist needs to figure out how many miles should I bike a day. They can then take that figure and work towards improving it, making it more in line with their overall goals!
Several factors impact how many miles you should bike a day. These factors include the type of bike you’re riding, the weather conditions, the overall health of the cyclist, and several other factors.
Whether you’re comfortable cycling 20 miles a day or 30 miles a day, find your target and start working towards the goal. Never forget to challenge yourself, and always remember to have fun!