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Increasing your cycling distance tip: know the last part of your homeward journey

I came back the other day from my mum and dad’s house.  I hadn’t been that way before, but I knew that it was that little bit further away. On the other hand I also knew that it was quite a bit flatter than my usual landscape, apart from the last bit.

So as I started off I decided that it would be quite a bit of fun to see just how hard I could push it.  I keep a careful eye on my breathing rate and how my body feels so that I can avoid any heart problems.  I know that I can push my body to a certain point and then I feel slightly nauseous, I then slacken off a little bit and try to maintain that cadence rather than worrying too much about speed.

I have discovered though that you can only really do this when you know exactly what it’s going to feel like on the last leg of the journey, typically I find the last 5 miles.

When I started back out on the bike and I was unfamiliar with the roads around here, I would take it easy all the way round for fear that it would hurt to much when I got to the end of it all.  Now however I know exactly how much energy I need to keep in reserve, and when I need to ease off the pace to recover sufficiently to be able to make the last part of the journey quite pleasant, and give my body a chance for a cool down.

There is another interesting psychological factor as well.  Because you know what you will be facing at the end it feels like once you get to the beginning of the end, as it were, you are now just having a little journey home.

So the tip is, know the last part, ease of during that part, and hit it hard on the rest of the journey.

That way you can increase your stamina.