Cycling Challenge | Everything You Need to Know

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The PATHFINDER Cycling Challenge is a Life, Forward, Endure, and Advanced approved Challenge option meant to support and improve the cardiovascular needs and overall lower body conditioning for ruck athletes. Cycling is a low-intensity cardio option that helps build stamina, strength, and aerobic fitness.

Strong legs = faster rucking. The more power you can create in your lungs and legs, the faster your pace can be. Cycling is a perfect cross-training discipline for rucking.

Challenge Purpose

  • The PATHFINDER Cycling Challenge is designed to train your body through alternative complementary cross-training and improve your overall rucking performance.
  • PATHFINDER Life, Forward, Endure, and Advanced all have the same requirements for this Challenge.
  • The goal of this Challenge is also to create and build competency to complete the PATHFINDER Triathlon as written.

Challenge Parameters


  • The PATHFINDER Cycling Challenge can be conducted on the road, on a trail, or on a stationary bicycle, like a Peloton. 
  • The Challenge is to be completed over 6 weeks with six 30-minute+ rides. You may cycle longer than 30 minutes and more frequently than just six times.
  • We highly encourage rosters to increase their cycling volume and frequency week over week. We encourage athletes to vary their training between long, slow, easy rides and short, HIIT style rides to best improve your skill.
  • Always wear a helmet when biking outdoors.
  • Make sure your bike is sized to fit your properly, both seat and handlebar heights. Local bike shops can help you size your bike properly, and there are plenty of online resources specific to your type of bike.
  • See the National Safety Council for some common sense rules of the road. Obey all traffic laws.

Challenge Distance Requirements

  • Program completion is by time only. There are no distance requirements due to varied skill levels in PATHFINDER athletes.

  • Challenge Time Requirements

    • The roster must complete six (6) cycles at least 30 minutes in length.

    How do I start training?

    Always train at your own pace, starting slowly at first. If something hurts or doesn't feel right -- don't do it. Just by rucking and doing regular, consistent workouts, you're halfway home to being physically prepared. If you want to up the skill level, plyometric movements, like Burpees, Mountain Climbers, and Squat Jumps are great exercises to add to your regular list.


    • Find the trails in your area that are right for your skill level. You can use AllTrails to find biking trails, in addition to hiking trails, nearby. We also really like MTB Project, which is a free resource with more mountain bike trails. For MTB, stick to green and blue trails if you're a beginner or novice at mountain biking.
    • Make sure you have the right gear with you, mainly a helmet and a bike lock. Be sure to carry water.
    • Look for lessons. If you're in a mid to large city, there may be mountain and trail biking lessons near you. It's worth a google to see, especially if you're completely new to the sport, or could use a refresher.
    • We know mountain and trail biking can be intimidating, but it's worth the time, effort, and learning curve, just like with every other sport! The more you ride, the more comfortable you'll get.

    Getting started in mountain biking? Check out...

    ...or maybe you're new to road cycling. You may want to watch Everything You Need to Know if You're New to Road Cycling.

    and lastly, you may want to check out Beginner Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them | Global Mountain Bike Network.


    There are a million stationary bike workouts out there, and we encourage our rosters to find what best suits them. We recommend trying a gym class first (we're big fans of ClassPass for access to boutique gyms for supplemental in-person workouts).

    You can try a free ClassPass trial with 20 bonus credits* to use at a variety of studios and gyms near you.

    You can also use a Peloton or other stationary bike. There are many stationary bike classes on YouTube as well.

    Just a few of the YouTube options we found:

    Train with Global Cycling Network | Global Cycling Network | Playlist

    30-Minute Cycling Workouts | Kaleigh Cohen Cycling | Playlist

    67 Free Full-Length Cycling Workout Classes | Studio Sweat onDemand | Playlist

    We recommend trying a variety of distance, interval, and hill-climb cycling workouts to receive the most benefit.

    Does a 30-Minute Cycle Count as a Workout?

    No, it does not. You will either need to continue on for 45 minutes, or pick another activity for the remaining time that day for your ride to count as both credit towards your Challenge AND a workout credit.

    Remember - 30 minutes is this Challenge's minimum credited time. We have intentionally kept the time length brief for this multi-day Challenge short to make it accessible to the largest number of PATHFINDER rosters. #CTHT

    Challenge Restrictions

    • Always wear a helmet when cycling outdoors.
      • YOU MUST COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND RESTRICTIONS. DO NOT TRESPASS. If you are in doubt contact facility management for a clear understanding of access to and usage of any facility’s property. PATHFINDER assumes no liability whatsoever for any actions taken by a PATHFINDER roster.

      * PATHFINDER may receive a small referral credit for any contracted ClassPass subscriptions that extend beyond the trial usage date.

      PATHFINDER assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries, damages or death. A roster assumes all risk associated with their participation in any and all PATHFINDER programming.



            • 1-does a 2hr ride count for 4 rides or 1?
              2- where do I chart this ?

              Dave Levin
            • The cycling is definitely going to be one of my challenges on a C2 bike.

              Linda Hughes

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