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Old 03-04-08, 10:17 AM   #1
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Training Commuters?

Hey, everyone!

If some of you guys are commuters, do you use your commuting routes as training time? If you do, what do you do to push yourself?

I ask this because I tried to use my commute as a training route today by going hard on some sections and relaxing on others. I went hard on some of the slight climbs and areas I have trouble with (Brooklyn Bridge, flat stretches, etc.).

Thanks!
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Old 03-04-08, 10:26 AM   #2
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I use to. Now my training is more specific. Sometimes commuting turns into JRA (just riding around). If you can't really focus on the task at hand, it can become useless.

I will however add commutes on my weeks off from racing. A full day's commute for me is 85 miles with over 5000' of climbing. So it can be helpful when I need some endurance rides.
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Old 03-04-08, 10:27 AM   #3
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I used my 30 mile one way commute last year to get in base miles. It was enough of a workout to carry laptop, business cloth, lunch etc etc in my paniers with me during the morning and evening commute.

The only thing I was trying to do, better the average speed every new morning.
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Old 03-04-08, 10:41 AM   #4
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I have a short commute (6.1 miles), so I can't do too much. I use it mostly to get more SST minutes. I have 10 and 5 minute blocks (depending on lights), and just try to stay near threshold for those.

I also do sprints on the commute sometimes. I am able to get in all six of them. It's a little odd with the backpack, but the PowerTap doesn't seem to care
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Old 03-04-08, 10:54 AM   #5
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I commute all year. It's about 50miles round trip, typically into a headwind going home. I think the hardest thing I deal with (other than crap weather/equipment issues) is the tendency to always ride as hard and fast as I can rather than trying to have some structure to the rides as they are my main form of training other than racing.

Also, if it has been a tough week of commutes (high winds/consecutive rainy days/that sort of thing) it can negatively impact my racing plans for the weekend. Sunday races suit me best for obvious reasons.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:06 AM   #6
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Commuting boosts the weekly hours avg.
To some this is unimportant, but I know every time I trained over 20 hours a week for an extended period, I couldn't help but win, or show at every race.

My commuter bike back then was a cheap little Mt bike that I got 8 easy hours on, to add to the 12-18 normal hours of ''real" training on the race bike. It made the difference between racing good and racing fantastic.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:12 AM   #7
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I do. I don't push too hard on the commutes usually. I save that for other rides. It just adds volume, which may be a controversial concept around here.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:22 AM   #8
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I commute, but only 10 miles a day, 6 days a week. Usually I do these at complete loser/old lady pace for recovery. I usually will do my training rides leaving from work, though so this cuts out the commute home and makes it into a structured training session.

If the weather blows and I know I'll be on the trainer, I may do a faster commute home and get on the trainer before I cool down, this saves a bit of time.

But basically my commutes are recovery rides.

-L
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Old 03-04-08, 12:01 PM   #9
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I commute 1.5-25 miles. I vary the route or intensity based on my goals. Sometimes its just short recovery, other times I'll TT for 14 miles, or do some hill intervals on a rolling route. One route has a stoplight pattern that is good for sprinting... Often I do whatever I'm going to do in the morning and then take the shortest route home in the evening.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:23 PM   #10
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My direct route between home and office is about 8 miles, but 3 or 4 days each week I meet a buddy at the bike trail for a training ride. This morning was a LT workout. 31 miles total with a couple of hard super-tempo (sub-sprint?) segments. Tomorrow will probably be an easy day. During the winter I'll ride the fixed gear to work and work on my spin.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:28 PM   #11
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When the time changes I will be using my active recovery days to commute on my fixie.

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Old 03-04-08, 01:23 PM   #12
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A common commute for me would be to extend the 5 mi. commute into 30 miles rolling terrain on the way in. And then on the way home, I'll do whatever interval makes sense. On KY(kill yourself) days, I'll turn off halfway home to do hill repeats on the LHAR (local hilly-ass road [that's Furman Rd. around here]). On recovery or normal days, maybe some one legged drills or fast spin or something.
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Old 03-04-08, 02:22 PM   #13
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I'll start commuting once a week this Friday. 27 miles each way of rolling terrain.
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Old 03-04-08, 02:54 PM   #14
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I do. All urban. Stoplight drags are fun, too.
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Old 03-04-08, 02:56 PM   #15
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My commute to work includes a lot of gradual climbing with a fast descent, which means the way home is a decent climb with a gradual descent the rest of the way home. It's a great way to keep my climbing legs in shape and do base training, then I add laps around the Rose Bowl on the way home to increase mileage. I'll be adding intervals (sprinting for speed limit signs even though nobody else is racing me) somewhere in there soon.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:01 PM   #16
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I commute ~22 miles roundtrip 3-4 days a week (route can vary) with no stoplights. That constitutes the bulk of my riding most weeks. I have been able to get more 5 day a week commutes of late, but it is tough.

Because almost 9 miles of my 11 mile one way is on a trail that is usually pretty uncluttered, esp. in the morning, it is pretty easy to incorporate various intervals in the workout. If I'm running late, however, it's pretty much a time trial.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:08 PM   #17
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My commute of 6.5 miles is quite short. I go at a slow but not crawling pace in the mornings. Returning home, I have recently been alternating (though with no real strategy) between moderate efforts and going almost at threshold.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:38 PM   #18
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My commute to work includes a lot of gradual climbing with a fast descent, which means the way home is a decent climb with a gradual descent the rest of the way home. It's a great way to keep my climbing legs in shape and do base training, then I add laps around the Rose Bowl on the way home to increase mileage. I'll be adding intervals (sprinting for speed limit signs even though nobody else is racing me) somewhere in there soon.
Hey, I've seen guys do laps around the rose bowl
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Old 03-04-08, 05:09 PM   #19
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Hey, I've seen guys do laps around the rose bowl
Yeah, I'm trying to talk myself into doing my normal commute with that Rose Bowl training ride towards the end some day. It will make a nice 70 mile day with miles 35-65 being a hammerfest.
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Old 03-04-08, 05:57 PM   #20
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I would... But I've always felt weird training in street clothes.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:04 PM   #21
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I would... But I've always felt weird training in street clothes.
I commute in bike clothes. Have a shower at work though...
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Old 03-04-08, 11:05 PM   #22
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I commute in bike clothes. Have a shower at work though...
+1 with the added benefit that I get to horrify my students whose paths I happen to cross before making it to the rec center. What has been seen cannot be unseen
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Old 03-04-08, 11:25 PM   #23
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I commute in bike clothes. Have a shower at work though...
Yep, I drive to work Mon/Wed/Fri to exchange clean and dirty clothes so I can ride in my cycling clothes, wash up, and dress at work.

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+1 with the added benefit that I get to horrify my students whose paths I happen to cross before making it to the rec center. What has been seen cannot be unseen
I'm a middle school teacher. Some students have choice descriptions of my bright yellow jersey and vest and my tight pants.
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Old 03-05-08, 01:47 PM   #24
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I do. All urban. Stoplight drags are fun, too.
I love these, too! There is a 1 km stretch with several lights, If I am lucky I catch two or three green lights and can mix it up in traffic @ 30 mph, otherwise I work on start line jumps if I catch the reds. Havn't done them lately...potholes.
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Old 03-05-08, 01:49 PM   #25
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Yep, I drive to work Mon/Wed/Fri to exchange clean and dirty clothes so I can ride in my cycling clothes, wash up, and dress at work.


I'm a middle school teacher. Some students have choice descriptions of my bright yellow jersey and vest and my tight pants.
are you lucky enought to have a shower, or do you use babywipes and the handdryer?

I'm secondary, when I commute I have great incentive to arrive very, very early.
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