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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-30-08, 11:10 AM   #1
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Damned efficiency

This sucks.....well, in a good way, I suppose. I took off this morning, no big surprises (no headwind either) and got to work in 28ish minutes. Three weeks ago I started at around 38-40 minutes, then I switched tires and it dropped to 35ish. Today it was 28 and some change. 5.81 miles, 28 minutes....but the suckage that im finding that I was vaguely aware of but not really, is that with increased speed on a bike the time traveled drops, thus (according to calculators anyway) does calorie consumption.

Im sure in there somewhere is a wattage adjustment or something, since ive been powering up the low grades with more speed lately near my home *Prescott Prescott Prescott.....*and i've been using the 3rd chain ring more as well, pushing harder. Should I gear back and start this spinning thing a bit? Im going to look around for places on the way home on some nights, but I really am a morning creature of habit so it would take a little while to adjust to getting up earlier to go trailblaze. What are some of the strategies you guys use to get workouts crammed into a commute ride besides distance? Do you aim for calories burned or just TT's or other self challenges?

You all did this to me.

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Old 07-30-08, 11:35 AM   #2
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Why do you care what your calculator says if you know it's not telling the truth? Work is force times distance. If you're exerting more force to ride faster (and you are, because the drag is greater), you're burning more calories over the same distance, even if you spend less time doing it, and even if the calculator doesn't understand.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:50 AM   #3
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I just use it to track time and mileage. It doesn't figure calories-I go do that elsewhere.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:52 AM   #4
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Take a longer ride home.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:00 PM   #5
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If you expend greater effort, and raise the HR more by riding faster and harder, then the calorie burn does increase, but over a shorter time period.

If you burn X calories over a shorter time span or over a longer span, it's still X calories. The longer time period has you spending more time in the zone where you are operating in the Fat/Protein metabolism rather than the more high energy Carb/Glycogen cycle is the only real difference.

Longer and slower is marginally better for fat burn, yeah, but it's not that critical when applied to shorter time periods like the commute to work. It really applies on longer weekend rides where you are spending hours in the saddle rather than minutes. That is where you'll hit your most efficient fat burn. Enjoy the speed increase and efficiency increase with no guilt, because it's actually a form of periodization and helps keep the body from adapting to a routine of exercise by doing fast and hard during the week and long and slow on the weekend.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:02 PM   #6
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the second poster is correct. No matter what, you are burning more energy (calories) to cover the same distance in less time.

If you are more concerned about calorie burn, put the fat knobbie tires back on and shoot for 25 minutes!
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Old 07-30-08, 12:18 PM   #7
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I've been bringing my HRM on commutes and try to do some distance training intervals.
When I went from a big heavy wind catching Fuji Touring turned Xtracycle to a Bacchetta High Racer recumbent the efficiency vrs wind went way up and my heart rate at the same speed went waaay down. Which led to ruining my weight loss but saved my back/knees/arms.

I can do my whole 42 mile commute including spinning up hills with a near 100bpm heart rate average which is far far lower then it was on my xtracycle or the road bike I rode for a couple months in between. (I'm going to butcher this since I just started this program) I'm training for the texas time trials whether I actually end up going or not so I'm doing some aerobic and lactacte threshold intervals on my commute now one way while I relax the other. I'm probably going to do the 12 hour event unless one of the recumbent teams needs a 4th for the 500 mile so I need distance endurance and heat tolerance.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
Take a longer ride home.
+1 The diff between 6 miles at 28 mins vs 32 mins isn't a whole lot. Extend the ride home at least a few times a week.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:10 PM   #9
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I burned up about four bucks driving to work today...

You are doing OK.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:17 PM   #10
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If you want to know about exact calorie consumption, you need to get a powermeter Not the cheapest instrument in the house, but it will be pretty exact
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Old 07-30-08, 05:34 PM   #11
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well, the basic physics of W=f*dx says that indeed no. If you take the same trip faster you will exert more work. although, w=fdx isn't *exactly* applicable to the complex bike-human system.
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