Using your Commuting Rides for Effective Training

Is a fair bit of your weekly riding kilometres is taken up with commuting? Little time for training rides to improve your riding?  Hopefully this posting may give you some ideas to add more value to those commutes, besides doing the right thing by your own health and the environment.

A recent blog posting by Neil Pedoe of Cycling Plus in BikeRadar.com caught my attention and has motivated me on my commutes!  Maybe it will motivate you too.

Neil’s commuted based training program suggests the following types of training:

  1. Sprint training where your focus is on straight out flat-out speeds. Suggests for sprint training includes racing away from lights.  With sprints one should leave a five to 20 minute gap between sprints for recovery purposes.
  2. Fartlek intervals which are randomly occurring and lasting efforts at about 80 percent of your heart rate maximum (where safe) and works your body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems. For me, I like to make use of the “hills” on my commutes to push my speed, cadence and heart rate as I climb the hills.  The other advantage with this is the recovery period varies depending on where the hills are.
  3. Cadence intervals is where you make better use of the gears to try and keep the cadence around 100 rpm or 10% better than your normal cadence. Cadence intervals are incorporated into the sprint training sessions or fartlek intervals.  The ideal is to improve pedalling technique, endurance and acceleration.
  4. Big gear intervals  as the name suggest is all about pushing bigger gears for repeated intervals or on the flats to build leg strength.  I am looking at doing this during my transitions from one fartlet interval to the next.
  5. Food chain numbers are all about being scoring being dropped or rather not being dropped. This may also be referred to as Ergo 500, a little friendly safe competitive spirit out on the road.

My only negative with Neil’s article is that he does not put numbers to the various training suggestions so it is a hard to get a framework for a good commuting based training program.  If you have ideas on same please do share them in the related Australian Cycling Forums thread. 

Andrew Priest
http://aushiker.com



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Christopher Jones
About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

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