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I like to cycle and have been doing it for a long time. I was told that long endurance rides can provide some benefits. I would appreciate any help with this since my friends have been telling me that shorter rides provide more positive health effects. Are there any long endurance rides benefits?

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Long endurance training has several effects. At a moderate heart rate you are burning more fat and less carbs. The next thing you can benefit from this kind of training is increased pedaling economy. Partly this is increasing neuromuscular efficiency, improving the communication pathway of the nerves to the muscles and partly this is developing better form, a rounder stroke. To achieve these benefits you need to go for relatively long and easy rides. You have to be able to talk continuously with your colleagues. You can start with three 2-hour rides and, as your body adapts, change to two 3-hour rides. If you only do long steady rides you'll only be a slow rider. You also need to build power. To do that you need to overload the fast twitch muscles, heart and lactate system. You can divide your training into three phases: Base training designed to build endurance to go long (slowly); Intensity - aimed at building power to go fast/hard (for short distances); Peak - trying to develop cruising speed for events ( It should be faster than your base rides, but not as fast as intensity rides)
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