Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
Since the beginning of this year I have started full-time commuting, primarily due to going back to full-time work. It is a 43km round trip over a fairly flat on-road route.
When I started I would take it fairly easy as I didnâ€™t want to burn myself out over the week (having no computer at the time also helped in this regard. No temptation to 'maintain the rage'). Then I spent 2 months out of town without my bike (Feb/Mar) and then in April I got back into it.
Up until a few weeks ago, I would get home and feel tired and drained. I didnâ€™t seem to be getting any faster. I would average around 27-28km/h for the return trip. I didnâ€™t know what was going on and just thought maybe my body wasnâ€™t coping. I found it difficult to really push hard and thought I had lost my ability to really crank it over. My other thought was that I had just gotten lazy because Iâ€™m riding on my own/in the dark/stopping at lights/etc.
From a few weeks ago, things have turned a whole lot better. I actually mentioned to my wife a week ago that now when I was getting home, I was fine and could carry on as if I had just driven home. Then last week I thought I test my legs out a bit and even when really pushing home it still didnâ€™t knock me about much. Iâ€™ve been averaging about 3km/h faster than usual and have been loving it.
So anyway, long story short, if you find commuting tough, keep going, it will come eventually. It was easy for me to keep going as I donâ€™t have a suitable alternative, but even if you do have a car, keep it in the garage and push on through.
Nice piece of encouragement there!
In addition to perseverance, I've found my gains have come from a judicious use of "periodization". Being over 40, I take one week in three at reduced volume. Instead of pushing hard continually, every third week I eihter:
* take it easy and keep my commute pace at no more than 70% of my max HR instead of pushing hard the whole way, or
* I cut back a day or two and catch the bus, or
* take the train or ferry for part of the journey.
If under 40 you can go one week easy every 4.
I'm then refeshed and ready to go a little harder into the next 3-week cycle. Since introducing this regular "off" week into my schedule at the end of the year before last, I got off the plateau and started making consistent gains again.
BTW, the idea is not mine, my exposure to it comes from East German conditioning coach Tudor Bompa and is elaborated on in Joe Friel's Mountain Biker's Training Bible.
good stuff.. i commute daily but it's only about 20-25 km round trip. due to the shortness it's tempting to go flat out but i find that i end up straining soft tissue if i do that before warming up properly. it's tempting to move further out to extend my commute distance.
You know you can go further if you want to, without actually moving
I now take a longer route on my commute work-home just to go longer (and it is nicer, but harder work in summer).
this is technically true, however my sloth-like mind will inevitably convince itself that sleeping in for another 15 minutes is a better option, ruling out the feasibility of taking a longer route
Personally, I find extra miles easier to do in the morning. Especially at this time of year...
So set the alarm 15 minutes earlier than that. And go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
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