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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-03-12, 05:48 PM   #1
krobinson103
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High frequency training + commuting and fautigue

I know a lot of replies are going to be "ride less" but I want to condition my body to be able handle the load I put on it so...

I ride 30km at 30-40km/h at 5am every morning rain or shine
I commute another 15-40km every work day on the road so I need to keep my speed high 30 km/h+ on the flat and 40-55 km/h descending I ride 100+ km on the other. Often one weekend day becomes a rest day because of family commitments. All of this is done on one of these two bike depending on where I can park and what I need.




Total distance per week is between 300-400km. I've lost 18kg and now weigh 86kg with 13-14% body fat. This apparently is borderline 'athletic' according to online charts. I don't feel all that athletic today though. Yesterday I rode 125km with some mtb tracks and sand riding thrown in for my longest ever ride and felt great after. I followed that up with 10km of walking with the family and a little shopping on my shopping basket bike with my kid on the back.

Today, my legs feel like they want to fall off. I tried for a short ride this morning and had to give up due to the extreme protest of my muscles. So... how the heck do you commute and train hard enough to improve? I think I overstepped what my body is willing to provide given how much my legs hurt this morning. I'm hoping I can improve my fitness to allow these longer rides and commuting at the same time.
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Old 06-03-12, 05:55 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have a pretty aggressive riding schedule. If I were to attempt the same thing, I'd make sure that I was eating healthy & getting lots of sleep. Also, taking a multivitamin can't hurt, just to make sure you're not deficient in something.

No need to ride less, per se, but if you feel like your legs want to fall off, you should definitely take the day off, or maybe two until you feel better. There's a difference between being tired & being absolutely beat. Knowing the difference & backing off when you are beat will help you to continue to push yourself without getting sick or injured.
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Old 06-03-12, 06:49 PM   #3
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You might want to ask in the road cycling forum. But, in general, athlete who train strenuously *don't* do it every day. When you exercise hard, you damage your muscle tissues. When the muscle tissue repairs itself, it gets stronger because it repairs itself by, basically, adding more muscle. The repair cycle tends to happen on the day (or days) after the strenuous workout, but you can disrupt this process if you follow up with another strenuous workout.

So to get the best results, the best way to train would be to cycle hard every other day. (And, ideally, cross-train on the off days).

But, like I said, check on the road forums - I don't know whether your general training pattern counts as being "strenuous" yet. And I'm sure there are other factors that come into play.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:15 PM   #4
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Eat more fruits and veggies and whole grains and go to bed earlier. Seriously. And no alcohol or sugar during the week.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:21 PM   #5
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The general roadie community at my LBS (I'd call them hybridies?) look at me like I'm nuts when I talk about how much I ride. I had one guy call me an outright lier when I said I got up at 4am, cycled 125km, rode some tracks, came home, rode across the esturary, and then went on with a normal day after my wife and kids got back from church. I thought perhaps commuting oriented people might have more of a handle on how to ride a sensible (read midrange and not super light etc) bike hard.

As you can see neither of bikes are what many would call high end. But I can outpace just about anyone I meet on the road/path and keep up the pace until they are well off in the distance so I figure they can't be working very hard. Interestingly they are all riding bikes that cost 4-5 times more than my carefully selected (and perfect for my body) toys.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:32 PM   #6
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How young/old are you?
In the 1970s through '90s we averaged 200 miles a week riding tandem and single bike; that's year 'round for 10,000 miles (NOT km) per year.
Our best/worst year was 13,000+ miles.
Never had an issue with over-riding. Currently 80 years old and still pedalin' 100+ miles a week.
If over-tired, take a day off.
Suggest you join an Inchon, Yong-dongpo or Seoul racing club and see if you can 'outpace' everbody. Sort of doubt it.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:43 PM   #7
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Suggest you join an Inchon, Yong-dongpo or Seoul racing club and see if you can 'outpace' everbody. Sort of doubt it.
Probably not... but then I couldn't afford the cost of entry. If I did buy a racing bike the fights with my wife would never end. Also the ergonomics of a roadbike don't agree with me very much. When I was a teenager I rode one all the time. Now? No thanks. Besides the concept of riding fast close together seems dangerous to me. The last 'tour de Korea' ended up with many crashes every day because the racers had no idea how to ride close and fast. Lots of broken carbon frames though. I suspect the high end bike stores made some cash.

I'll be 39 this year and I suspect I just need to train some more. It was the longest ride I'd tried yet. I'll just have to do some more rides of that length for a month or so and up the distance some more to 160km. After that with a young family it just takes too much time. I'd love to take up randoneering, but that also would not sit well with my wife and kids.
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Old 06-03-12, 10:15 PM   #8
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KRobinson, rest when you need to. Listen to your body. Your muscles need time to repair and grow stronger.
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Old 06-03-12, 10:24 PM   #9
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Resting is as important as training. If you don't rest, exessive training can do you more harm than good. Measure heartbeat in the mornings after a few days rest (off), then measure after training days. If it's higher after day of training, take an easy day, more rest. Don't have to stop, just ride little, so the next morning you're not too tired again.

Also, I'm not sure if one kind of training is that good. 100% bike. Pushups, crunches, running, swimming etc will do you good if you make some room for that. I thought you were 17-25 from your first post.

Healthy nutrition. Vegetables, fruit, meat, no alcohol, sugar etc.

300 kilometres per week is not too much. Not sure about 400 at 39 though. Whatever you do, have enough time for your kids and woman. Be happy, if riding makes you happy, go go go!
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Old 06-03-12, 10:37 PM   #10
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A good mornings rest before work and my commute went smoothly. The power is back in my legs. I doubt I can pull off 125km for a few days but I'm feeling more myself. I figure that if I don't get in shape now its only going to be harder as I get older. I've already noticed that injuries come more frequently and they take longer to heal. Besides... its fun to be almost 40 and pass all those teenagers on their bikes.
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Old 06-03-12, 11:03 PM   #11
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when i was younger, i would run 100km/week ... now, I barely ride that due to time issues

however, the first lesson I learned was that "rest days" were actually much more important than "training days."

for long-term progress (over a time-scale of at least one year) the rest days are essential to prevent burn out.

think about it this way, you've shaved roughly 20% of your body weight off, and wonder why your legs are tired?

rest.

i'd just start riding every other day and start converting the rest days back to training days when your legs don't feel like lead pipes anymore.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
A good mornings rest before work and my commute went smoothly. The power is back in my legs. I doubt I can pull off 125km for a few days but I'm feeling more myself. I figure that if I don't get in shape now its only going to be harder as I get older. I've already noticed that injuries come more frequently and they take longer to heal. Besides... its fun to be almost 40 and pass all those teenagers on their bikes.
Hmmm... you've been given some good advice in this thread but you seem inclined to ignore it. Here is some more advice you can ignore: cross train. Young family... I see a diveorce ahead unless you learn to train smarter. Lift weights instead of riding two or three days a week. Your commute alone already suffices for as much cardio as a middle aged guy needs. What time are you going to bed to do a 5:00am ride?

H
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Old 06-04-12, 02:00 AM   #13
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well... here ya go.

I haven't owned a car for about 10 years now.
I took about 5 years off from "a regular job", I returned to my hospital job last december.

in 2010 I rode a mtb from Banff, AB to Butte, MN in 7 days along the Continental Divide, unsupported.
last March I rode the Solvang Double (200miles) in under 12hrs, the first 100 miles in under 5hrs (thats the first time I've ever done that)
raced a handful of 24hr mtb races, some 12hrs races... road races, crits, blah blah blah blah...
I'm a combat vet... blah blah...

I ride my bike every day.
I don't own a car.

there are endless training programs out there.
these days most people are training by power (using a PowerTap, Quarq, or something similar)
you can go crazy with this stuff.

pick something and try to stick to a training program. maybe even go seek out a fitness trainer.

I've gone thru many months where I had burned at least 60,000 calories while on the bike.

some days, I've burned at least 7,000 calories.

its all numbers. there is a certain amount of value to those references, and then there is your experience(s), and how you mentally process those things.
for instance I can ride my bike to and from work, work a 16hr day, and work 8 days in a row, and not consider this to be difficult. Mostly because of my background, and what I've come to understand as "difficult".

to a certain extent your body will adapt to what your mind puts it thru. however, your body takes time to change. diet, and proper exercise routine.

by all means I am not an expert at physical training.

but on the bike, I have at least 20yrs of daily experience.

I ride a Cannondale CAAD10, custom Hunter 29er, and a Surly Big Dummy.

lately I mostly ride the Big Dummy because I'm constantly carrying things like work clothes, food, laptop, running errands before or after work.
my hours vary from 6am to midnight, so the Big Dummy has become my primary bike. I commute at all hours. Here in Monterey, Ca the worst I get is hail.

sometimes I have to haul about 100lbs of cargo, maybe a tool box, or just a stupid amount of household supplies for whatever reason.

I'm also a certified bicycle mechanic, I've helped with training camps, put on events, etc...
sometimes I'll have to ride 20 miles and climb a 1200ft pass to get to training camp, complete with work stand, and tools.

so yes... being physically fit of course improves your ability to commute.

you might be interested in reading information from Hammer Nutrition.
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Old 06-04-12, 02:01 AM   #14
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rest:

no joke, sometimes I spend days just laying around, doing as little as possible.

rest!
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Old 06-04-12, 03:54 AM   #15
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What time are you going to bed to do a 5:00am ride?
10pm. Leaves me time to sleep for 6 hours. I've found I don't sleep any more than that anyway.

Quote:
I see a diveorce ahead unless you learn to train smarter.
Nah.. training times are designed so they never get in the way of the wife and kids. I get home before they get up and my commute to work is going to take time anyway. Half a day a week in a weekend isn't that much to ask for a little time to myself.

Quote:
rest!
Sigh, staying still is somewhat difficult for me. I suspect I could try and get rid of this skin suit with some weight lifting a few days a week. To me its about the challenge to see just how far I CAN push it before I hit limits. This limit surprised me a little, but now I know how far I can currently push myself in a weekend. I'll arrange it so I do a long ride on Saturday not Sunday and use Sunday as family day (doubling as a rest day). That way I can have my cake and eat it too. As for the week, perhaps getting some more free weights and doing day on/day off between cycling and upper body workouts will do some good.
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Old 06-04-12, 01:09 PM   #16
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Whenever I ignore what my body's saying something breaks and I'm out for a month or two. I do my best to listen to my body when it complains.
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