What Do Cycling Coaches Recommend for Training Frequency?

We’ve all seen that one cyclist – they’re forever pedaling, regardless of the time, weather, or the season. Their relentless dedication to the saddle may prompt us to re-evaluate our cycling habits and question, “Am I riding my bike often enough?” or “Should I cycle every day?” Before you start comparing yourself to others, it’s crucial to understand that an effective training plan is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What’s optimal for one cyclist may not be suitable for another.

The Influence of Goals

The Influence of Goals

The frequency and intensity of your cycling should align with your goals. Are you a casual rider who cycles for stress relief or a competitive cyclist training for a race? Naturally, someone training for a race will have a more rigorous schedule than someone cycling for leisure or fitness. For example, a recreational cyclist who blends cycling with other exercises like swimming or running may not need to ride as frequently as a competitive cyclist.

A rider with aspirations for the podium might spend more days per week on the bike compared to a cyclist whose aim is simply to finish a race. Amateur riders clock in between six to twelve hours on the saddle per week, while pros can dedicate up to 20-30 hours because of their available time.

Balancing Cycling with Life’s Demands

Balancing Cycling with Life's Demands

As a cyclist, you need to be realistic about your schedule and available bandwidth. Your cycling routine should adapt to your lifestyle, including your work commitments, family obligations, or travel plans. Cycling frequency should never become an added stress factor. Cyclists with busy personal and professional lives can still elevate their game or remain competitive. The trick is to be intentional with your training days, focusing on intensity or time during existing workouts.

Factoring in Fitness Level and Experience

Factoring in Fitness Level and Experience

Your existing fitness level and experience greatly influence your training volume and cycling frequency. A beginner or a seasoned athlete new to cycling should initially stick to shorter rides and more rest days to avoid injuries and adapt to the sport. Even well-conditioned athletes used to other forms of exercise can find themselves struggling on the bike if they dive into cycling with the same intensity. Adaptation takes time, and rushing can lead to unnecessary pain or injuries.

Cycling According to Seasons and Health

Cycling According to Seasons and Health

Cyclists tend to alter their training frequency depending on their race seasons. In the off-season, athletes may spend more time strength training, leading to a drop in their rides. However, as the actual season approaches, they gradually shift their focus back to the saddle.

Your health and any previous or ongoing injuries should also be considered when planning your training schedule. Remember to get approval from a healthcare professional before beginning any intense exercise regimen. Also, watch your stress levels – it’s crucial to recognize when to scale back on training when life pressures are high.

How Many Days a Week to Ride

How Many Days a Week to Ride

Identifying a frequency that suits your goals, fitness level, and lifestyle is the key to reaping the benefits of training without the risk of burning out. Here’s a rough guide:

One to Two Days a Week

Ideal for beginners or those with limited time for cycling. A beginner should aim for at least three hours of riding per week, while a serious cyclist should accumulate at least five hours across two days.

Three Days a Week

This is a feasible commitment for individuals with lives and careers outside of cycling. It allows for variation in workouts and goal-oriented training while leaving room for rest and strength training.

Four to Five Days a Week

More suitable for competitive athletes. It allows for a good balance of interval training and long endurance rides.

Six to Seven Days a Week

This level of commitment is typical for professional athletes. This schedule is demanding and requires ample time for recovery, both physically and mentally.

If you are planning to increase your cycling frequency, remember to do so gradually and with intention, ensuring you don’t risk overtraining, injuries, or burnout. Consider adding intensity rather than time to your workouts when you’ve maxed out the number of days you can dedicate to riding. Always listen to your body and look for signs of overtraining to avoid any adverse health effects. Happy cycling!


a 35-year-old web developer and cycling coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Over the past ten years, my passion for cycling has transformed from a casual hobby into a way of life. As a lover of all things cycling, I am thrilled to share my journey with others who share the same enthusiasm for this incredible sport.