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Front view of man pedaling his bike hard uphill

Bike Shorts: How To Improve Cycling Speed & Endurance

“How can I pedal farther? How can I pedal faster?” 

These are two of the most common cycling goals — and questions that longtime cycling coach Darryl MacKenzie gets quite often. Some riders focus more on one or the other, yet most cyclists are generally striving to push themselves to do more on the bike.

And, most of the time, Darryl has two simple answers for today’s cyclists. One of them is fairly straightforward, but the other may just surprise you. Here’s a closer look at how to improve cycling speed and endurance. 

The First Way: Train Better 

As we said, this first method is pretty simple. If you want to go farther or faster on the bike, you need to improve your training to make it possible. Some of Darryl’s recommendations of training plans for cyclists include: 

  • Go through a good stationary trainer series. This shouldn’t just be a random set of sessions. Rather, a series that progresses in difficulty. Each session should be a little harder — and designed to make you a stronger cyclist.
  • Push weights to strengthen your legs. It’s fairly obvious — “If your legs are stronger, you’re gonna go faster,” Darryl says. Make sure these exercises are specific, focused on the muscles above your knee, which are the main source of your cycling strength.
  • Gradually increase your distance or speed. This isn’t something you can improve overnight. Your muscles need time to bulk up, so try to add to your rides in small increments to build toward your ultimate goal.
  • Climb more hills (and bigger hills). There’s no better way to improve your strength on the bike than climbing hills. If you find that your normal routes have too many flats, change it up and start doing more climbing.

Any of these strength-building training methods will help you stay motivated and on course. Perhaps nothing is more effective than riding with the right group of people, though. If you want to get stronger, ride with others who want to get stronger. If you want to ride faster, ride with people who want the same thing. This is the best way to improve cycling speed and endurance. 

The Second Way: Blow Past the Competition

If you want to ride faster or farther, training better is essential. But Coach Darryl has a way to get you over the hump even faster. It’s one of his top secrets, and this is the first time he’s sharing it publicly outside of his paid classes.

“I use this method to go over 45 miles per hour on one of my cycling routes,” he explains. “I use it to climb hills at 30 miles an hour and even to pass cars on long flats. It vastly increases my average miles per hour on a ride.” 

Sound superhuman? Impossible? It’s not. Coach has done so before and believes that anyone else can.

Ready for the secret of how to increase cycling endurance and speed?

“When you put your bicycle back in your vehicle after a ride, simply leave your Garmin computer running,” says Darryl. “And you, too, can set records on Strava for going faster than anyone has ever gone on that particular segment.”

Well, if you haven’t already figured it out by the date on this blog post … APRIL FOOLS! There’s only one real way to get faster, and that’s to train hard for it. Still, Darryl has done the other method by accident, and it sure made him look good.

Nevertheless, spring is here, so get out there and do whatever it takes for you to go a little faster or farther. We won’t tell anyone how you did it.


Look for more insights from Coach Darryl over at his website.

Image by ConstantineWolf from Pixabay