Workouts to Prepare You for Cross-Country Cycling

One of the top things people aspire for is traveling. To see new sights, experience various places, and to feel the air and the rain wash your skin. In the United States, the possibilities of road trips are endless. Of course, cars are convenient, but if you want to have a greater adventure, you could try cross-country cycling.

As a beginner, you don’t have to travel a thousand miles right away. You could ride through C&O Canal and Towpath (plus Great Allegheny Passage), Green Mountains Loop, and Denali Highway first. And if you’re finally ready to cover thousands of miles, you’re welcome to the TransAmerica Trail, Pacific Coast Route, East Coast Greenway, Great Divide Trail, Mississippi River Trail, Lewis & Clark Trail, and Underground Railroad.

If you’re uncertain about investing on a mountain bike yet, why don’t you check out indoor cycling first? Join classes at Soul Cycle. Once you’ve convinced yourself you’re ready to do the real thing, go ahead and buy a bike and start practicing!

Also take note of the health benefits of this activity, as well as its role in sculpting and strengthening your body and building your resistance. A lot of people love doing this exercise because they enjoy the scenery, the speed, and the sun, and they’re mostly with friends when they do it. Aside from being a low impact exercise, people get to burn as much as 800 calories per hour doing this.


With these exercises, you can oblige to a long-term program of low-intensity exercises that will burn your fats as you go the efficient and smart route.

Hill Training. Find a slant road and assign posts that will take you about one minute to bike from point to point. Do 6 repetitions of the following climbs:

  • Seated with moderate resistance
  • Seated with hard resistance
  • Sitting halfway and then standing the next (moderate)
  • Sitting halfway and then standing the next (hard)
  • Standing (moderate)
  • Standing (hard)

You could rest when needed, but try to finish the whole exercise within one hour.

Speed Training. With sixteen repetitions, pedal hard for 10 seconds, 20 seconds, and 30 seconds. Get enough rest, but complete the activity in 30 minutes.

Strength Training. These are three total-body workouts that are excellent in building pedal power. You can do the below three times a week and you should be able to notice the difference in your strength after only a month.

  • Single-leg lunge to build up the legs and butt. 10 repetitions.
  • Reverse crunch to strengthen the core. 15 repetitions.
  • Ball push-up to strengthen the upper body. 10 repetitions.

Endurance Training. With this workout, you will develop aerobic endurance due to performing long intervals that are low lactate threshold. Warm up for about 10 minutes, and then transfer into a large gear as you pedal at a pace of 70 rpm. Do one interval for 15 minutes, bike easy for five minutes, and then do another 15-minute interval.

Lactate Threshold Increase. Lactate threshold or LT is the intensity of exercise wherein the blood concentration of lactic acid start to increase exponentially. The increase of lactic acid during training can produce burning feelings in the muscles that can possibly halt or slow down your activity.

You could suppress the acid buildup if you perform at level 7 in an intensity scale of 1 to 10. You could check this by listening to your breath or you could use a heartrate monitor. The perfect breathing is the controlled and deep labored breathing.

Warmup for about ten minutes, and then do 3 reps of 8-minute intervals. You should have a 4-minute rest in between. Afterwards, do 3 reps of 20-minute intervals, with 10-minute recovery time in between. To cool down, do easy spinning for about 10 minutes.


Since you’re planning to take this seriously, you should learn about the kinds of bikes used by seasoned bikers. Bicycles used for cross country travels are light mountain bikes. Typically, they range from 7 to 16 kilograms. They normally have suspension forks in front, though sometimes you can also find them in the rear.

A lot of XC bicycles have around 10 centimeter of suspension travel in both front and rear, though some bikers favor up to 15 centimeter suspension with their advanced bike frames. When it comes to wheel size, originally, the 26-inch wheel size was the norm. As time passed by however, the 27.5 and 29-inch wheels became more popular in cross-country racing, as riders thought they provide the optimal performance. The boost in the popularity of the 29-inch bikes was mainly due to the winnings of Lance Armstrong.

And if you’re riding, better think of safety. Cross-country riders often use bicycle helmets since they are prone to injuries.

Category: Featured