Approach to commuting

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Approach to commuting

Postby ve safari » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:28 am

Hey - when you hop on your bike to pedal to work, do most of you use it as a training session with specific goals for that session? Or do you just pedal in and not really try and get a solid workout from it? How often do you try and set a PB for your commute? Every ride? Every second ride? Do you even try?

My own observation is that when I go hard on the commute, my energy levels at work suffer and take a while to recover, which kind of impacts my ability to function and peform at a high level. Curious to see what everyone else does.

cheers
Image

For one to conquer oneself is the first and noblest of all victories!
User avatar
ve safari
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Castle Hill, NSW

by BNA » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:43 am

BNA
 

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Max » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:43 am

I use commuting primarily as a way of reducing my stress levels. I get pretty wound up when I'm in the car, trapped in traffic, watching stupid people do stupid things with their cars. My commute route, on the other hand, goes through beautiful, leafy suburbia, with a stretch along the Kedron Brook that is worth it just to see the duckies with their babies. In the first half of my morning commute, I see at most 20 cars for the entire ride. It's peaceful, quiet and safe. Until I hit Archerfield, which is full of trucks and bogans.. but despite that, they have all given me a wide berth and generally treat me with respect. Lots more cars and trucks than the first half of my commute, but still more relaxing than actually driving in it.

I sometimes push myself on my commute, but as you have observed, it leads to tiredness at work. And that tiredness generally makes me not want to ride home. I live on the opposite side of town to where I work, so it's not straight-forward to get a lift home. I must get myself home. So I set aside any desires to set speed records, and just noodle along at a sustainable pace.

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
User avatar
Max
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:29 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Redbull » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:38 am

I only take the bike in on Tuesdays

50km morning - 3 x 15 min intervals
60km evening - easy spin (thats the plan, but sometimes the wind is just blowing in the right direction and I can't help myself)

Spin home due to TT on Wednesday night.
The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass
User avatar
Redbull
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:19 pm
Location: Rockingham

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:57 am

It's only 9km for me, so I guess I have some more options. Previously I have done interval training with a 5min warmup and then 60 secs sprint, 90 sec recovery until I got to work (or on the way home). With my ride being under 20 mins, I found I would get to work pumped. These days, with training rides on Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon, I find I use the commute rides as recovery rides. I need them!
<removed by request>
User avatar
casual_cyclist
 
Posts: 7178
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Kewdale

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Missy24 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:04 am

My commute is 9.6km... I like to do it as fast as possible
Missy24
 
Posts: 7198
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: Brunswick

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby provoked » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:53 am

Mine is 20km - I push as hard as I can for 80% of the trip.

I don't feel tired as such at work, my legs feel stiff for a while though. I feel worse when I don't ride in or just "cruise" in.
Giant TCR Alliance 2 '09

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. - John Milton
User avatar
provoked
 
Posts: 1110
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:01 pm
Location: Mebourne - North

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby deryans » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:34 am

same as others, I push as hard as I can, especially hills, and I try and organise my commute so that it's not flat as it's pretty short only a touch at 7/8km
1996 Ellis Briggs Rosa/Green steel 8 speed campag athena, '96 Shamals 12 HPW
2007 Giant Bowery commuter
User avatar
deryans
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:59 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby ve safari » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 pm

My commute is 28km in, 30km home. I only ride one direction a day (drive in with bike on car, ride home, ride in next day, drive home with bike on car - repeat). I try and set a PB with every ride, which is OK on the ride home because I can recover in private, but the ride in makes it tough. My job is demanding, and requires too much of me at the moment to ride both directions every day... :( Be a good way to get the miles up though.
Image

For one to conquer oneself is the first and noblest of all victories!
User avatar
ve safari
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Castle Hill, NSW

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby goneriding » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:43 pm

I do around 50km's in the morning and between 10 - 20km's in the afternoon 4 days a week.

I tend to push fairly hard on every ride especially on the hills. When I first started commuting I did struggle at work with being tired but I am now used to it and don't find that my work suffers (apart from having to put up with me!) but then I have a sedentary job.
Image
User avatar
goneriding
 
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Strathfield

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Pax » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:18 pm

My commute is a 56k round trip, I try to do it 5 days a week (when I am not interstate)

Yes, well...commuting is "training" for me in the sense that everything done on the bike is training for whatever target-event I am working towards, or simply being fitness focussed.

Due to all of the variables on the commute that are outside my control (traffic & traffic lights primarily) it is hard to be too specific with "training" targets however this is my approach:

I set myself intensity targets, ie ride at a perceived intensity of X (pick a number between 1 and 5...with 5 being full intensity and 1 being so slow that grannies overtake me). I generally aim for 3-4 with a bit of 5.

Sometimes it it an intensity target for the whole ride, sometimes it is just for the hills.

Someitmes I set technique targets: eg focus on pedal technique or particular cadence levels

I generally ride relatively high intensity Monday to Thursday and take Friday easy because I do a long ride on Saturdays, so having an easier Friday is a good idea.

I don't find that hard trainig in the morning leaves me tired at work, if anything it is the opposite, I am energised. Lack of sleep has a bigger impact on my tiredness than training does (but maybe that means I am not commmuter-training hard enough????)

Having said all of that....ENJOYING THE COMMUTE is the most important thing :D
User avatar
Pax
 
Posts: 1207
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Pine Rivers, Qld

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Fletcher » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:12 pm

Unless I'm feeling poorly, like yesterday and today, I approach the commute as a fitness exercise.
I time myself, keep note of my relative speed and cadence(it's an estimate, I don't have a meter).
Right now, I don't aspire to race. However, it would be nice to have that option if, one day, I'm good enough and if I get the racing bug. If I ever do, It'll have to be vets though :oops: :(

Edited because it was thoughtless post and read like gibberish.
Last edited by Fletcher on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fletcher
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:50 pm
Location: Melba, ACT

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby ve safari » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:33 pm

Fletcher wrote: It'll have to be vets though :oops: :(


No need to be embarassed about that!
Image

For one to conquer oneself is the first and noblest of all victories!
User avatar
ve safari
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Castle Hill, NSW

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Fletcher » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:50 pm

ve safari wrote:
Fletcher wrote: It'll have to be vets though :oops: :(


No need to be embarassed about that!


Cheers, I've never raced before. At the age of 39 I've just gained interest in it. It'd be an interesting exercise getting amongst vets who've been racing since their teens. I guess that's why some clubs probably have an E grade for vets - for when blokes like me turn up.
Fletcher
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:50 pm
Location: Melba, ACT

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby justD » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:37 pm

ve safari wrote:
My own observation is that when I go hard on the commute, my energy levels at work suffer and take a while to recover, which kind of impacts my ability to function and peform at a high level. Curious to see what everyone else does.


I have the same problem. At first I was riding harder in the morning and taking it easy in the afternoon, but finding that I struggle to stay awake at work, I've swapped it around. Now I do 23kms in the morning at an easy pace and 36kms in the afternoon at a higher pace. My aim is to do that 3 days per week with a fourth day of casual/slow in both directions, but as I've only just sorted out my knee pain (I hope), I haven't done that a full week yet.

I think it will improve with time though. When I first started doing 23kms in the mornings (even at crawling speed), I struggled to get through the day, but now it's pretty easy. I've read other people saying that you need to ride hard for it to mean anything and I agree that it has much more benefit, but I ride for the love of it and I think any time on the bike is better than on the couch.

cheers,

Dirk
User avatar
justD
 
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:50 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby martinjs » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:48 pm

My direct commute is only 8k's but I almost never do that, between 25 and 30k's most mornings and the pace depends on how I feel each day. :D

Martin
Image
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!
User avatar
martinjs
 
Posts: 3387
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:54 pm
Location: Fivebough, Leeton

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Max » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:41 pm

justD wrote:I ride for the love of it and I think any time on the bike is better than on the couch.


+infinity :D

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
User avatar
Max
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:29 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Cranky Jim » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:50 pm

The purpose of my commute is to get me to work in one piece while taking my morning exercise. Speed is no consideration and although it's a steady ride I'm never in a hurry to get to work.
User avatar
Cranky Jim
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 1:08 pm
Location: Bayswater, Vic

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby recumbenteer » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:59 am

set the heart rate monitor to "fat burn" range :oops: to get the "engne" to run efficiently, :D generally avg of 20kph or so...20k commute...1 hr or so

fitness...weightloss...n enjoy the scenery. :P ...why rush. :shock: ..its only work...it aint going anywhere, :wink:
User avatar
recumbenteer
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:36 pm
Location: Fairfield 2165

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Baalzamon » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:21 pm

I cycle in as hard as I can over 27kms, coming home I'm hitting a headwind and I'm still pushing as hard as I can, but as my commutes get extended, I'm going to be dropping my speed back and aiming for a 25kph avg compared to 30-32 as my commutes will become 100km's....
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
Image
Baalzamon
 
Posts: 4565
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:23 pm
Location: Yangebup

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby gdl_gdl » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:24 pm

My commute is an 84k round trip which I do at least twice a week. I don't set time targets as there are too many factors outside of my control e.g. wind, traffic lights, general energy levels on that day.

However I use my HR monitor and make sure I sit on at least 140 - 150bpm (after a 10 minute warm up on the commute) so I know I'm having a good work out irrespective of what the climate is doing. I'll also do intervals at random points when I hit clear stretches of the road or PSP.

I know a few people who are obsessed with getting a pb for his commute home. I know one person has a pb time from when there was a SW tailwind of 50km/h+! In my view such targets are meaningless and a ride in June / July in rain and headwind would be a far greater fitness test than a coastal cruise!

My tip would be too buy a HR monitor if you were keen to measure the effort of your ride.

Cheers,

Gary
User avatar
gdl_gdl
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Mindarie, Perth

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Aushiker » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi

I generally use two morning commutes as interval training sessions (fartleks), the remaining morning ones are LDS rides. Sometimes go for PBs; really depends on the day.

Ride "home" in summer are just survival rides into the Fremantle Doctor; unlike Gary :)

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 19928
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby gdl_gdl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:23 pm

Ride "home" in summer are just survival rides into the Fremantle Doctor; unlike Gary

Survival for me as well mate! You try and keep below 40 km/h when you have a SSW behind you! (As per the forecast for tonights ride home) :D :D :D

Cheers,

Gary
User avatar
gdl_gdl
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Mindarie, Perth

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby ve safari » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:13 pm

Well I jumped on the bike this morning and just felt blaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Flat, tired, wished I was in my car. Decided to say sod it and enjoy the ride for what it is. Took 5 mins longer to get in than PB (1:08), and reasonably happy with the time considering how I felt.
Image

For one to conquer oneself is the first and noblest of all victories!
User avatar
ve safari
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Castle Hill, NSW

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby Toolish » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:47 am

I have just started commuting this week and have ben using it as a casual roll into work.

For those who treat it as training wat are you carrying in. I can't imagine training hard carrying a backpack like I am currently.

Also I commute in 'normal' clothes...can't imagine the looks I would get showing up here in lycra!
Image
User avatar
Toolish
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:38 pm
Location: Mildura, Victoria

Re: Approach to commuting

Postby provoked » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:36 am

Toolish wrote:I have just started commuting this week and have ben using it as a casual roll into work.

For those who treat it as training wat are you carrying in. I can't imagine training hard carrying a backpack like I am currently.

Also I commute in 'normal' clothes...can't imagine the looks I would get showing up here in lycra!


Extra weight = harder work = better results :D

That said I don't carry much anymore. I recall carrying the laptop and always felt slower when I did.
Giant TCR Alliance 2 '09

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. - John Milton
User avatar
provoked
 
Posts: 1110
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:01 pm
Location: Mebourne - North

Next

Return to Commuting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU



InTouch with BNA
“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter