Setting Cycling Mileage Goals at Any Level

Biking more than one mile can be achieved no matter your fitness level, so then why do we think of mileage goals as only being for advanced cyclists? The fact of the matter is mileage goals can be helpful no matter your skill level. Mileage goals can give you a longer-term goal to work towards, and help you build up stamina and endurance for other goals. 

What are mileage goals?

Mileage goals are any cycling goal geared to how many miles you ride— and can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Mileage goals can help keep you accountable and build miles over time. 

Why should you set mileage goals?

  1. Goal setting, in general, is good practice 
    Mileage goals aren’t the only goals you should consider. Generally, having a couple of goals can help keep you motivated and move you along in your fitness ability. 
  1. Mileage goals fit within any timeline
    The great thing about mileage goals is they can be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. You can adapt mileage goals for your timeline. 
  1. Can keep you accountable
    The thing about mileage goals is it’s all about the miles you put in, which requires time in the saddle. So setting mileage goals ensure you make time to cycle. 
  1. Will help your overall endurance
    Spending time cycling, plugging in some miles, and reaching your goals will all help enhance your overall endurance.
  1. Are SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) 
    SMART goals are the ideal for any fitness goal!
  1. Can be done from anywhere
    With virtual biking, indoor biking, and outdoor biking, you have a lot of options when it comes to how you want to log miles. 

How long does it take to cycle 10km?

Woman on her indoor bike fixing her timer.

Knowing how long it might take you to bike a set number of miles can help you set mileage goals and plan your rides, especially when you’re first starting out. For most relatively fit people, it should take about 25 to 30 minutes to cycle 10 km (or 6.2 miles) on an exercise bike.1 Of course, this depends on your overall fitness level and other factors, but it’s still a helpful metric to start with.

How to set mileage goals

Determine your Goal

The first thing you should consider is what your overall goal is when it comes to cycling. Are you training for a race? Do you want to get faster? Do you want to build endurance? Do you want to get more comfortable going longer distances? Or are you looking to build a more consistent routine? 

These are just a few examples that could impact the number of miles you decide to plan for. 

Start with your baseline

No matter your fitness ability, you’ll want to start at your baseline. You don’t want your cycling goals to be unattainable. So start with what you can do, and then slowly increase the amount. 

Decide on Timing

Mileage goals are broad and can encompass a variety of foals spanning from—day goals, week goals, month goals, to year goals. Depending on what you want, you can decide the mileage amount that makes the most sense in what time period.  

Looking for more motivation to get started cycling? Check out these tips and tricks

How do I set mileage goals as a cyclist?

Man Riding a Bike on Trail

The specifics on mileage goals will all depend on who you are, what you are working towards, and what you determine is best for you. So as far as what the specific number is for those goals, we will leave that up to you. However, depending on your fitness ability, here are some things to consider.  


When you’re a beginner at cycling, mileage goals can be helpful to see your progress and motivate you along, but it’s definitely not the most important thing. You want to set mileage goals that keep you inspired but allow you to have fun. So whether maybe that means a mileage goal one month, and a different goal the next. 


As an intermediate, you maybe have already worked with mileage goals, but are looking at where to go from here. While that is likely to depend on your goals. Setting mileage goals should be a balance of the time you have to be on the bike and the speed at which you want to push yourself

Now might be the time to start tracking monthly mileage, if you aren’t already. 


Advanced cyclists are well aware of the balance of speed, time, and endurance. When setting mileage goals as an advanced rider, the pure mileage amount shouldn’t be the only consideration. In fact, you might want to be thinking about fewer miles, but at a greater intensity. 

Remember, have fun with it

Woman Riding a Bike Smiling

No matter your fitness ability, mileage goals aren’t just about getting in as many miles as you possibly can. In fact, that will probably result in burnout. Instead, focus on a challenging amount of miles, but make those miles fun. With online fitness programs you can take biking classes, or with a virtual training app, you could explore different worlds while you bike.

Key Takeaways:

While mileage goals won’t be the only goal you have on the bike, they are great basic goals to have, no matter your fitness ability. Knowing your baseline, what you are working towards and what your timeline is can help determine the appropriate mileage goal for you.

The great thing about mileage goals is they are adaptable and they keep you accountable. So no matter your cycling ability, consider starting to track your miles on the road and on the bike!

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  1. Clark, M. (n.d.). 10k Times By Age And Ability – Cycling Level. Cycling Level. https://cyclinglevel.com/cycling-times/10k-times

Photo Sources:

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
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Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

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