Cycling - Outdoor

Cycling - Outdoor Fitness Training

Cycling - Outdoor Description

Cycling, whether at a relaxed pace or at high speeds, is an enjoyable activity with many general fitness and cross-training benefits. Cycling increases aerobic and cardiorespiratory capacity and endurance. It also builds muscular endurance and strength in the lower body. In addition, cycling is often used as a method of relaxation and tension reduction. Cycling is an ideal activity for those desiring moderate to low intensity workouts of longer durations. It can also be adapted as a high-intensity, short duration activity, and for interval training. It is recommended that cyclists wear a cycling helmet for protection.

Cycling - Outdoor Risks

  • Hazards include falling and collisions with cars, pedestrians, etc.
  • Knee pain from overuse and/or improper seat height
  • Muscle strains of quadriceps or calf
  • Dislocated shoulder, head injuries, broken bones and teeth from falls
  • Eye injuries from flying or ricocheting objects
  • Buttocks pain or numbness from stationary positioning or overuse
  • Chafing (saddle sores) on inner thigh and buttocks from poorly fitted bicycle seat or inadequate biking pants
  • Ulnar and median nerve compression (fourth and fifth fingers grow numb) caused by tightly-gripped hands being jarred

Cycling - Outdoor Sport-specific applications

  • Outdoor cycling is one portion of the triathlon
  • Bicycling is an Olympic sport (track riding, road race)
  • Road races are held on local and national levels

Cycling - Outdoor Equipment required

  • Bicycle: most people should get a bicycle that feels comfortable for them; however, serious cyclists should consult a specialty shop to help select the best equipment for their needs
  • Safety devices: helmet, goggles, reflectors, rear-view mirror, warning flag, and headlight
  • Shoes/cleats: thin, lightweight, rigid sole, usually leather; substitute jogging shoes if cleats aren't used
  • Clothing should protect against the wind and possible spills
  • Gloves: well-padded with mesh backing to provide protection

Cycling - Outdoor Applicable substitutions

  • Stationary cycling
  • Rowing
  • Running/jogging
  • Nordic skiing simulators
  • Nordic (cross country) skiing

Cycling - Outdoor Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • U.S. Cycling Federation: 1750 E. Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909, (719) 5784581
  • U.S. Olympic Committee: (719) 6325551
  • Bicycling (magazine): 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098, (800) 4417761
  • Bicycle Guide: PO Box 55729, Boulder, CO 80322, (800) 4566501
  • Greg LeMond's Complete Book Of Cycling, G. LeMond & Kent Gordis, Putnam Publishing.


Cardiorespiratory: Aerobic/Interval

Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 5
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 5
  • Body Fat Recution 4

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 1
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 2
  • Coordination/Skill 1

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, hip adductors and hip flexors Assistance muscles: forearms, serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi, shoulders, rotator cuff muscles, trapezius, chest, biceps and erector spinae

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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