How to Get Started With Cycling Workouts: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide

Cycling offers workout benefits for people of all fitness levels. But if the last time you rode a bike was a loop around the neighborhood as a kid, you may have a lot of questions about how to get started.

Don’t be intimidated by pro cyclers you may see on your local bike paths. While there’s no shortage of pricey cycling gear (and bicycle options) out there, all you need to get a good sweat in is a bike, a well-fitting helmet, and a plan.

“Although boosting cycling performance and efficiency is important when you begin riding more, the first and best rule at any level is to have fun,” says Garret Seacat, CSCS, a USA Cycling–certified cycling coach based in Manhattan, Kansas. “For many people, cycling starts with recapturing the enjoyment of cycling.”

Here are some top tips from Seacat and other cycling experts, along with a basic four-week training plan that can get you ready to go.

What Does a Beginner Cycling Workout Look Like?

If you’re new to cycling, you might have questions about how long to ride for and how often to get on your bike. Seacat says, pay more attention to getting into a consistent cycling routine.

Don’t worry so much about pace or distance, he says. “You’re just getting a feel for the bike and how you move.”

If jumping right into the training plan below feels intimidating, make it a goal to set aside 20 minutes two or three times a week for about two weeks, and leisurely ride around the neighborhood or on a bike path.

The first step is making getting out on your bike feel easy and nonintimidating, Seacat says.

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