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4 factors that make cycling one of the toughest sports

4 factors that make cycling one of the toughest sports

Suraj Iyer

Published: 10 Dec 2020 1:43 PM GMT

Tour De France and Giro d’Italia are two among many known cycling events worldwide. This sport is popular around the world and is also part of the Summer Olympics. Athletes participating in cycling events train rigorously for these events, as some races last for a few days. Here are a few factors that make cycling one of the toughest endurance sports.


Aerobic endurance is an absolute must for cycling enthusiasts and racers. It tests the body’s cardiovascular capacity to keep going for longer, while using energy sources such as carbohydrates and fats. This capacity to keep pushing comes with consistent, rigorous training which many cyclists condition themselves to, for a period that may range from months to years.


In any physical sport, genetics plays a huge role in determining how far a person can go. Many athletes have good genetics and often start their training at a young age which gives them a much bigger advantage. Though many cyclists can train and achieve quite a great level of success, athletes who are genetically gifted are much more likely to succeed as they have an edge over others.

Muscular Endurance

In order to minimize fatigue and complete a race successfully, muscular endurance plays a key role. Due to the long distance nature of races, it is important that the muscles adapt to repeated usage rather than muscular strength. Though the latter plays a part in mountain bike races, it is muscular endurance that helps in going the distance.


Proper posture is a key component in cycling. However, lactic acid build-up and muscle stiffness is a very common occurrence. Some may even suffer joint ache due to overuse or overstrain. Flexibility might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of cycling, but performing stretches and cooldown exercises can help alleviate stiffness and help a cyclist perform better for their race day.

Cycling is undoubtedly one of the best cardiovascular activities for fitness, or an enduring challenge for seasoned athletes who need some variety. The need for core strength and muscular and aerobic endurance, combined with long hours of riding on race day makes it one of the most difficult cardio challenges for anyone.

Also read: What makes cycling the perfect cardiovascular workout?

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