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  1. #1
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    Training and commuting, way too much?

    Hello,

    I have been racing road, crit, and triathlon for the last two years recreationally. This year I decided to start setting some goals and getting some structure, so I purchased Joe Friel's Cycling bible. I've been reading through and have been getting lot's of ideas, but I keep having the same question that he doesn't answer.

    It seems like all of the training guides I've read assume you only bike so you can race. I also commute by bike 20-30km every day with a single speed. How can this affect training? Is it just extra volume and pure benefit, or could I be hurting myself by doing cycling that is not a part of the training plan?

    Does anyone else both train and commute? How do you ensure you can train to your best and still have energy left over for the commute?

    Note: I do not enjoy training while I commute, stops and starts and no control over pacing don't seem like good things to train with.

  2. #2
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    I do. I am 30 miles each way and commute approx. 3 days a week (that distance is quite a bit more than your commute). Your commute is only 19 miles at best which is ~ an hour of riding.
    In building training into my commute I tend to ride at tempo with some harder efforts.
    Start riding your race bike so that you can train while commuting. I will do long intervals on my commute but do not do any short intervals (little too dangerous sprinting in traffic).
    If you are going to do it just make sure that you stick to the plan. I used yesterday as a working session going home and a recovery ride on the way in this morning.

    What you would need to layout are your goals, time avail, etc in order to truly comment.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    You'll be fine.
    cat 1.

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  4. #4
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    I rest if I get real tired.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I do. I live close enough to work (4 miles) that I can ride in directly and it's no more taxing than going for a stroll. Or, I can take a 20 mile detour and flog myself half to death. If your only route is urban with stop lights every few blocks, it may be tough to make structured intervals work but you can always treat them as ad hoc intervals.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I do. I live close enough to work (4 miles) that I can ride in directly and it's no more taxing than going for a stroll. Or, I can take a 20 mile detour and flog myself half to death. If your only route is urban with stop lights every few blocks, it may be tough to make structured intervals work but you can always treat them as ad hoc intervals.
    Yes my route is entirely urban. I have been experimenting with waking up early, going for a structured workout, coming back home, and then going to work. It's just disheartening when I want to relax after a hard workout but I have to get on another bike and ride with traffic

  7. #7
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    You just have to build your commute into your training plan. It actually makes training well easier, as you can readily build training into your regular routine. Yes, some specific workouts can be hard to do in an urban setting, so you plan those outside of the commutes, or find a different route that supports them. My ride to work is ~8 miles if I go straight there. I also have a long route that is twice that, and a long route 'plus' that extends it, well, as much as I want it to. If I start doing a new workout, I may have to experiment to find a path that supports for that workout, but eventually I get it sorted out.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  8. #8
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    I found the commute + training to be too much, and not focused enough. I had trouble though of keeping the intensity down. But seriously, when its 630am and you are flowing with traffic, it's hard to do 100w and not do 200w. Plus, having to wake up even earlier in order to do recovery, was mentally tough. Or getting home even later because of the same reason.

    When I had a 10 mile commute each way, it was not too bad. I could do it 4 times a week and it was decent training when I wanted it, and easy when I wanted that. But my 18 mile commute each way was the one that tore me down. I couldn't mentally or physically handle the 18 miles every 11 hours. Not to mention all I was doing was z2/3 and no variation other than the weekend.

    I've found it to be much better driving to work and back everyday, and enjoying the training afterwards (even if it means in the dark). The daily commute started feeling like a grind and I didn't enjoy riding my bike as much. Plus, I was doing no specific training, which meant my performance suffered.

    So really, if you think you can vary you commute for whats best for your training, it probably won't be too bad. But don't get stuck in a rut like I do when I commute, or you are better off just training and ditching the commute.
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  9. #9
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    I had some of my best years, with added commuter miles.
    Rode a beater mountain bike with toe clips.
    Gave me an extra 8 hrs a week on avg, which meant I could forgo recovery riding on the race bike.
    And best of all, I didn't have to sit in a car and waste time.
    And even bester, I could eat more.

    OP, don't overanalyze this

  10. #10
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    OP, don't overanalyze this
    this logic has no place here...

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    this logic has no place here...
    This is the 33 not the 41...
    There is a slight bit of logic allowed...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  12. #12
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    more than a little over-analyzing in the 33. Nobody can tell someone what might be too little or too much.

  13. #13
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    more than a little over-analyzing in the 33. Nobody can tell someone what might be too little or too much.
    True - I commute 3 hours a day.
    I think matt is about the same.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  14. #14
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    thats what I mean- matt is super awesome and youre not. Its different for everybody.

  15. #15
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    thats what I mean- matt is super awesome and youre not. Its different for everybody.
    Perfect clarification,
    THanks.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    more than a little over-analyzing in the 33. Nobody can tell someone what might be too little or too much.
    I wasn't expecting anyone to tell me exactly what to do (nor would I listen!), just looking for opinions and what others do.

    A lot of people are mentioning using commuting as a part of the training. I don't particularly like this idea not just because of my urban commute, but I have to ride a different bike due to unsafe locking location.
    Last edited by umcade; 08-14-12 at 02:45 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
    I found the commute + training to be too much, and not focused enough.
    That has been my experience. I have a 10 mile rural commute which I can extend. Keeping things at Z1/Z2 is easy on the way in, but much harder on the way home as I have to climb. I can do certain workouts on my way home, like today, for instance, where I rode Z1/Z2 in and will do short intervals on the way back. But in general, my current training plan is very specific and very difficult. Sticking to the TSS is important. I have a little leeway but not that much, and I have rest days completely off the bike. It just doesn't work out except for rest weeks like this week.

    I commute mainly in the fall and early winter, and early spring. I'll ride down to the single digits on a cross bike equipped with panniers, lights, and a power meter. I do mainly recovery or tempo and do the intervals outside of the commute. Once the race season starts in early March, I don't do a lot of tempo, just intervals and recovery.

  18. #18
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    That has been my experience. I have a 10 mile rural commute which I can extend. Keeping things at Z1/Z2 is easy on the way in, but much harder on the way home as I have to climb. I can do certain workouts on my way home, like today, for instance, where I rode Z1/Z2 in and will do short intervals on the way back. But in general, my current training plan is very specific and very difficult. Sticking to the TSS is important. I have a little leeway but not that much, and I have rest days completely off the bike. It just doesn't work out except for rest weeks like this week.

    I commute mainly in the fall and early winter, and early spring. I'll ride down to the single digits on a cross bike equipped with panniers, lights, and a power meter. I do mainly recovery or tempo and do the intervals outside of the commute. Once the race season starts in early March, I don't do a lot of tempo, just intervals and recovery.
    this from someone who chides me for being a stickler for metrics

  19. #19
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    this from someone who chides me for being a stickler for metrics
    When you're JRA, not training for anything, yes.

  20. #20
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    pretty sure it was when i was actually training for something

    ha, i'm jus messing with you. As i mentioned before, i lump all them together (TSS, ATL, CTL, and FTP) and call it ewang

  21. #21
    Must Go Faster veloboy971's Avatar
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    I commute sometimes during the year to class - granted its only 10-15 minutes each way but hey it counts. Since its close I just treat it as an extra recovery spin - if I'm extra tired or its a day off the bike completely - I'll drive.
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