How much commuting is too much commuting?

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How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Brother Al » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:42 pm

So i was doing 180kms a week with the commute to work, which got to the point where it was too easy, and i did it without really trying.

Then i moved house :cry:

Now the one way trip is 44kms, 88km round trip. I managed to ride it in 2 days in a row, but was comletely stuffed to the point i was dizzy at work and could not even consider going a 3rd day. When i got home the second day i could hardly move. I rode in this morning, 4 days off the bike did me well.

for a 5 day working week - thats 440kms. Thats scares my butt, and i wouldn't even know if i had it in me to go that distance

Reckon thats too much? How would i even start to attempt for such a distance over 5 days? There has to be some change in my diet i would assume

discuss.
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by BNA » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:46 pm

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Missy24 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:46 pm

Muscle Recovery aid may help.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby steambao » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:50 pm

How about just commute one way each day
Bike to work one day -> public transport home that night
Public transport into work the next day, bike home that night :mrgreen:
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby silkishuge » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:00 pm

Hi, 180km a week to 440 km a week is quite a jump. No real answer to the question because you have to consider your level of fitness which only you will know. Age is also another issue. How long have you been cycling for? Lots of different variables.

I started commuting about 150km a week, bumped it up to 250km a week by taking longer routes, and than starting morning training rides and it quickly became 350km a week. When I moved to the country, I was commuting about 450km a week. Now in the city again, I do about 350 km a week again. Why don't you gradually increase the number of days you ride to and from work. After a few months, I think you should be able to do a 5 day a week commute and enjoy it.

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:40 pm

Agreed - that's a big jump.

The usual wisdom is to lift your total "training" volume (ie, perceived intensity on a score out of 10 x ride duration) by no more than 10% per week. I've found to be a formula that works for me.

I also add a half-volume recovery week once a month or so. My fitness plateaued for a long while until I introduced this into my routine.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby ajh003 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:22 am

My 5 day commute was 22-25kms each way
Took me a while to build up to every day but then it got too easy
I added about 5kms each way and I was amazed at how it tired me for a few weeks
I have done the same again and now ride 70kms a day 5 days a week and love it

But having undergone surgery in the past few weeks I have just had my first ride back and discovered something I haven't had for 12 months

FRESH LEGS !!!
WOW what a feeling
I now realise that I am basically riding fatigued every day as I don't get a rest
I am seriously thinking of dropping to MON WED FRI and giving recovery time on the 2 off days

I was just so amazed at how it felt to feel fresh and strong
I like trailgumby's idea of the recovery plan but I think I'll try it weekly
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Brother Al » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:26 am

so 440kms a week isnt too much you guys reckon?

did the ride in today. i feel good, but the trip home still has me nervous.

I like the idea of ride in to work, public transport home, and then reversing it for the next day. I will also try to increase rides throughout the summer.

will post results.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby martinjs » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:09 am

Brother Al wrote:so 440kms a week isnt too much you guys reckon?

did the ride in today. i feel good, but the trip home still has me nervous.

I like the idea of ride in to work, public transport home, and then reversing it for the next day. I will also try to increase rides throughout the summer.

will post results.


Possible quite hard to maintain all year around, as if you did it 48 weeks of the year is over 21000 kilometres a year and no BNA member that has registered on Bike journal in the last 2 years has achieved that amount of k's. It's a lot.

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby gdl_gdl » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:27 am

My round trip is between 80km and 85km depending on the route I take.

I usually do this 2 times a week and have recently stepped up to 3 times a week. Given I have to do an 8 hr day at work and I have a young family, I think I have reached the sensible limit.

Cheers,

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Baldy » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:33 am

It would have to depend on your job wouldnt it? Manual labor Vs a desk job. Brickies laborer V's call centre operator kind of thing.

Then next would be the individual, age and any pre-existing injuries or health issues would come into it.
Then maybe the type of route you have? A flat commute must be easier on your body over time?[no idea, just guessing] Riding on rural or open roads its easier to chew up the km's than riding in the burbs, with the stop start nature of bike paths and traffic lights/roundabouts ect ect
Im far from an expert or even very experienced with this but I agree with the others that said it needs to be a gradual increase. If you do too much too soon it will only lead to drama's in my experience.

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby wombatK » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:16 pm

Brother Al wrote:I managed to ride it in 2 days in a row, but was comletely stuffed to the point i was dizzy at work and could not even consider going a 3rd day. When i got home the second day i could hardly move. I rode in this morning, 4 days off the bike did me well.

Dizziness is not good - could be a number of things not being managed well - like hydration and nutrition (hope you're not trying to diet while putting in hard yards like this !). Or it could be your cardio health isn't up to the workload. Dizziness (e.g. on standing) basically means not enough oxygen is getting to your brain. So, assuming you have no reason to suspect underlying cardio-vascular disease, read up on hydration and nutrition at the Sports Dietitians fact sheets and make sure you are getting enough water and enough fuel to burn.

The other thing you body is trying to tell you is that it needs recovery time between big efforts, and time to build up cardio fitness to match new workloads. If you haven't done 80km rides in a day before, you should build up to that target in 10% or 10 km increments - as others are suggesting. Ride in one day, home the next, then rest a day or two. Might also be a good idea to consider carbohydrate loading the night before your ride day (eg. pig-out on pasta). After getting accustomed to the longer ride, try adding a part-way home ride (e.g. part train-ride, or pick-up from wife/friend). By the time you're doing 60 to 80 km in a day, give yourself a two or three day break. And it's ok to wimp out if forecast is for 38 deg on the ride.

As for how many times a week you can do it and your proposed target, Martin hit the nail on the head
martinjs wrote:Possible quite hard to maintain all year around, as if you did it 48 weeks of the year is over 21000 kilometres a year and no BNA member that has registered on Bike journal in the last 2 years has achieved that amount of k's. It's a lot.

I'm sure martin would love the competition at the head of the bike-journal leader board :cry:, but you're more likely to damage something by over-doing things. For example, it would not be good to black-out or feint while cycling home rather than just get dizzy at work.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:21 pm

At ajh003:

My "recovery week" idea is not my own, so I can't claim credit for it unfortunately. It is based on research by famed (East German?) strength conditioning coach Tudor Bompa, and it is a practice that has become widespread among elite coaches worldwide.

Do a google search on the term "periodization in training". I first came across the concept in Joe Friel's "The Cyclist's Training Bible", and I have to say it made a big difference in my cycling fitness. Alex Simmons may be able to shed some further light.

Unfortunately, with almost 6 months off the bike due to my shoulder reconstruction, I'm still climbing the conditioning mountain - but I will get there again.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby ajh003 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:21 pm

Thanks for the references TrailGumby
I'm gonna look them up for sure

I was pretty happy with my progress over the past 17 months .....but then when I had the forced lay off I noticed an incredible difference with the fresh legs scenario
I have decided to TRY to implement some changes to further improve as I start my comeback in the next few days
My Jamis Flat Bar is depressed and is sulking in the garage
Every time I walk past I have to give her a pat to console her
Cannot wait to get back on again
(SNUCK a quick 30k's 2 weeks after op) Paid for it in pain for a week
But back to riding in 2 days - yeeeehaaaaa
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby mikesbytes » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:30 pm

As long as you enjoy it, the distance is entirely doable, there will be an adjustment period and then just ride tempo.

Figure out a forumula to build to, that works for you, for example

W1 M _ W _ F
W2 M _ _ T F
W3 MT_ _ F
W4 MT _ T F
W5 MTW_F
W6 MTWT_
W7 MTWTF (and onwards)

Until you get to week 7 you can carry in the bulk of your clobber on the non cycle days
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:43 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Figure out a forumula to build to, that works for you, for example

W1 M _ W _ F
W2 M _ _ T F
W3 MT_ _ F
W4 MT _ T F
W5 MTW_F
W6 MTWT_
W7 MTWTF (and onwards)

I have seen that formula somewhere before. Yes, it's the socially acceptable position to occupy a row of 5 pissing spots. :mrgreen:
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Fletcher » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:46 pm

Holy Doolie Martin I just noticed your bikejournal kms. Are you gonna crack 20,000?
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby martinjs » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:51 pm

Fletcher wrote:Holy Doolie Martin I just noticed your bikejournal kms. Are you gonna crack 20,000?


No, l'll only get about 18600 k's, very happy if I do get that as I was only aiming for 12,000 at the start of the year and then I revised up to 16,000 and then 18,000. :shock:
Sortta got out of hand somewhere. :D

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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Fletcher » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:30 am

martinjs wrote:
Fletcher wrote:Holy Doolie Martin I just noticed your bikejournal kms. Are you gonna crack 20,000?


No, l'll only get about 18600 k's, very happy if I do get that as I was only aiming for 12,000 at the start of the year and then I revised up to 16,000 and then 18,000. :shock:
Sortta got out of hand somewhere. :D

Martin


That is huge. What an effort.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby Aushiker » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:49 pm

Hi

Earlier in the year (pre-pace maker) I was averaging around 400 km a week (not all commuting but) so I would suggest it is doable. One thing I did find was that when I stopped drinking Sustagen Sport post my longer commutes, my ride the next morning was not good. Going back to Sustagen Sport plus generally improving my fitness my follow-up rides became quite doable.

I am currently back in the re-build phase and sure felt it this morning. 42 km in to 50 km/h headwinds last night took its toll.

Andrew
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:14 pm

Aushiker wrote:I am currently back in the re-build phase and sure felt it this morning. 42 km in to 50 km/h headwinds last night took its toll.

:shock: I thought a 30km ride home in 30km/hr headwinds the other night was tough! :oops:
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby ruscook » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:46 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Aushiker wrote:I am currently back in the re-build phase and sure felt it this morning. 42 km in to 50 km/h headwinds last night took its toll.

:shock: I thought a 30km ride home in 30km/hr headwinds the other night was tough! :oops:

What's with these headwinds??? I had them on Thur and Fri as well... My legs feel damaged! Hopefully 2 days rest will let them recover. Good luck to you both on your recovery.
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Re: How much commuting is too much commuting?

Postby fatherofmany » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:59 pm

my 2c

When your legs are too tired for a long Saturday morning ride, then your weekday commute is too far.

If you just couldn't be bothered getting on a bike for fun, then your weekday commute is too far.

Basically as long as you keep enjoying the riding, as long as commuting long distances isn't adversely affecting your health, as long as you can still afford the maintenance (FOOD, tyres, FOOD, brake pads, and FOOD), as long as the commuting doesn't become a drag then your doing fine.
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