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  1. #1
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    New Commuter Advice

    Hi all,

    Just started riding to work a few weeks ago, sporadically at first. 17 mile round trip, mostly on trails. Terrain is paved at the start and end with a big chunk of dirt/gravel in the middle. It's almost all flat, but I get a lot of headwind going home. I'm riding a new hybrid.

    For now, the demands on my time and routine are such that I can only do this 3x a week, and those days are fixed at Tue/Wed/Thurs. I don't have to ride on those days, but I really can't make riding consistently work any other days.

    My goals are:
    1) To get my commute time down in the short term, to help foreclose on the possibility that I get into a spot where I get too squeezed for time to keep going consistently.
    2) To get into a place where I can ride reasonably fast, 5 days a week. I'm expecting my morning routine to get more flexible on Mon/Fri, but not for a few months.

    This is my first week trying commuting three days in a row like this, and this morning I was definitely feeling a much lower output. Took a long time to warm up, and even then I felt like I had to keep it one-two gears easier throughout the ride. Any advice on how I should be riding, within the constrains above? Should I be skipping one of my days for now? Should I be taking it easy all three days, or varying my effort throughout them?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    I would cut the pace some on Tues and Wed and see if you're then fresher for Thursday. Take it a little easier until your legs are fully onboard with 3 consecutive days, then build speed incrementally.

  3. #3
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    You might also think of skipping Wednesday if you can, say, get a 20 or 30 mile ride in on Saturday.

    Three days in a row can be tough when you're just starting out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msilenus View Post
    For now, the demands on my time and routine are such that I can only do this 3x a week, and those days are fixed at Tue/Wed/Thurs. I don't have to ride on those days, but I really can't make riding consistently work any other days.
    Try this: Tues medium intensity... Wed low intensity... and Thurs a high intensity all out effort...

  5. #5
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    If you're just starting out, I'd suggest you keep doing what you're doing. Toss in a weekend ride or two, just for fun. Give it a few months, and see if the consistent riding improves your speed and endurance. After you've got that solid base in your legs, then you can start looking for magic bullets to improve even more.

  6. #6
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I had an employee with a 32 mile round trip hilly commute. He had problems until I got him to use a protein recovery drink upon arrival at each end. Then he was fine. But your commute is so short, that shouldn't be necessary.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice, all. Sounds like this might be normal, but I would probably be well served by trying to position myself such that I can push harder on the last day. I'll try keeping Wednesday in for now, and see how that goes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    If you're just starting out, I'd suggest you keep doing what you're doing. Toss in a weekend ride or two, just for fun. Give it a few months, and see if the consistent riding improves your speed and endurance. After you've got that solid base in your legs, then you can start looking for magic bullets to improve even more.
    Totally agree with suggestion above. Very good advice.

  9. #9
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    Would be much better if you could do Mon, Wed, Fri. If not just skip Wed until Tue, Thu feel insignificant. Drop Wed for a weekend ride is good advice.

  10. #10
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    Been trying things for a few weeks, and wanted to report back. It feels like my improvement has been faster when I do two days with at least a day in between than when I do three consecutive days. That's how it seems to be working for now, anyway.

    Thanks again for all the input.

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