Commuting - How many days did you ride when you started?
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06-18-03, 07:27 AM
I try to ride a lot on my days off, and I feel that I may be over doing it. This week I really ate poorly too due to graduation party and other family events. So I probably over did it a little. I'm working on building my endurance. As a mountain biker I am more used to bursts of speed due to up and down hills. My commute to work is pretty much flat, so it's more consistent work effort. I try to ride hard both ways to get the most out of the ride. Maybe I should alternate between hard and easy rides for the time being until my legs are more adjusted to the ride? I also try to ride at minimum the same amount of miles on my days off to try and train more too. Maybe if alternated hard and easy days more often, my legs wouldn't feel so worn out. I also stopped weight training on my legs due to more riding. I keep reading on here people with 25 mile each way commutes. Mine's only 9.5 each way and feel that I should not be as worn out as I am.
Remember, you are riding twice a day when you commute. That's less time to recover--and in my opinion, better training as long as you don't over do it.
I started with the goal of one day per week, then two, then three.... My commute is about 9mi if I go direct, but I usually make it about 10mi in the morning, 12-15 in the afternoon. On those rare weeks when I ride every day, my legs are really tired by Friday afternoon.
I don't do much riding other than my commute these days.
Keep it up, those legs will figure out what you are doing before too long.
And remember, it's not the commuting which tires you out, it's the work in between the commute.
06-18-03, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by sebring
I try to ride hard both ways to get the most out of the ride. Maybe I should alternate between hard and easy rides for the time being until my legs are more adjusted to the ride?
I keep reading on here people with 25 mile each way commutes. Mine's only 9.5 each way and feel that I should not be as worn out as I am.
Alternate hard and easy. You will actually improve more rapidly, since it's during muscle recovery in the easy or rest stages that
your muscles are actually becoming stronger than before.
Also, remember to eat right: protein and carbs in the first hour or two after each ride will speed muscle recovery.
People who ride 25 miles each way (I ride 14 hilly miles) are probably already used to it. But as for me, I don't push myself everyday, and I have less desire to do so towards Friday. I also take a few days off every week.
06-18-03, 11:07 AM
I've always done an alternating pattern of commuting and days off the bike. Even so I'm pretty beat on Friday afternoons after going 3 days during the week, 20 miles each way (in the summer; 13+ in winter), with hills. I go fast, so it's not surprising that I'm tired by the end of the week.
I don't think I could do every day with the distance/pace I keep. I'd have to give up one or the other. Living 20 miles from work, however, limits my options. If I backed off a few MPH I'd end up with a 1h30m commute or more. So, for me, it's riding long and fast, with ample time off the bike for recovery. I cross train on the days off (running, swimming, etc.).
Also you say you are a mtn biker- are you commuting with slicks or knobbies? Slicks will make a huge difference in the energy required to commute.
06-18-03, 11:40 AM
I use slicks.
Depending on the length of commute, regular time of the bike is a must. If you are riding with motorised traffic, relief from the stress is helpful. If you ride shared paths, there is a certain degree of stress involved there, too. And your muscles need time to repair the damage that exercise causes.
I think the priority during and after a commute ride is rehydration. I find that because I'm commuting, I can forget I sweat just as earily (depending on intensity) as I do when on other rides. Dehydration can have a major bearing on your work or outlook at home. Drink!
My commute from home to work is not particularly long (~8km, but a little hilly), but I do take a l-o-n-g way home on most nights (~35km). I also might have out-of-town evening meeting when I ride 50km return. Weekends are for long rides varying between 50 and 200km a day.
I usually take bus for a week every three months or so to regain my enthusiasm. I've just been through the routine, and I was glad to get back on the bike.
06-18-03, 09:26 PM
Personally I ride my commute every day, and always have. However, you still need to alternate the level of effort you put in to it. In my view, commuting is not the time you should be trying to set a cracking pace or ride a personal best. My policy is to ride slightly within myself during my commutes (due to the nature of traffic around here), and use the other rides for going harder and trying to build strength.
If you ride your commute at an easier pace, it will be just like a rest day.
06-18-03, 09:38 PM
The only thing I can add to what's already been said is give consideration to developing a plan. Even if you started out just commuting with no particular goal in mind, a plan is a good way to look at all the suggestions discussed here such as recovery times, proper diet etc. There are lots of good training/fitness plans around that can assist. I combined my commuting with a training plan recently and learnt a lot about what my body can and can't tolerate in terms of hard riding.
My commute is just under 20kms including a 3k climb @5% and I only go hard once or twice a week if at all these days. I tend to keep the heart rate in the moderate zone. If I do go hard one way the next ride will be very slowwww.
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