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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 06-28-14, 03:46 AM   #1
Deet
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Commute + Weekend training too much?

Hi all

Wonder if anyone could advise on taking breaks in training.

I started cycling regularly a couple of months ago, primarily to prepare for a bit of a trip I'm doing with some mates later in the year, and have found I really enjoy it. I've started commuting every day, round trip is 17 miles, elevation's about 250m so not majorly hilly. Hills were probably the thing that kept me from cycling more in the past, I'm pretty big, 6'6", 224lbs, and they don't like me so I'd really like to get as much practice on them as possible.

I'd like to keep commuting every day and then either do a couple of hours hill training on a Saturday then gradually longer (not hilly) rides on a Sunday to get me ready for the long days in the saddle on the trip. I understand, though, that breaks in training are where the improvement takes effect. Are my commute trips enough to be considered training and as such should I only be riding one day on the weekends? One thing I could do is vary my commute route to take in some more hills or something and so not do a hill day at the weekend but living in London that means just going through Highgate a couple of times a day (not exactly the Alps but it's got Swain's Lane!).

So tl:dr, do I need day off?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:00 AM   #2
wolfchild
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It's perfectly ok to commute 5 days per week and then do a training ride on the weekends. You need to vary your intensity during your commuting. The secret to riding everyday and not burning out is not to ride at a maximum intensity every single day. You need to have some easy days in between your hard days...Yes commuting can be a great training ride if you push hard enough and especially if you include some hills and sprints during your commute... Once in a while it's a good idea to take one day off and just rest.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:18 AM   #3
wphamilton
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Nothing says you can't commute at a really easy pace whenever you want to. I took Friday easy in fact, mostly zone 2, and it maybe took 3 minutes longer to get to work (8 miles). I haven't missed a commuting day this year - it's not an issue. I do tend to reserve one weekend day for a short ride or recovery ride when I'm training.
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Old 06-29-14, 01:51 PM   #4
Deet
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Thanks guys, don't know why it hadn't occurred to me to just take it easy a couple of days during the commute - that's a much better solution than missing the chance to head out on the weekend!
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Old 06-30-14, 08:26 AM   #5
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I find that if I ride a lot at high intensity, I can get behind in my recovery. I need 3 days of no riding to get it back. Some might suggest riding but only at very light effort. I find that tough and staying off the bike easier.
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Old 06-30-14, 10:11 AM   #6
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I commute 5 days a week and do at a longer training ride on the weekend. The trick for me as others have said is to mix up the intensity. My round trip is 20mi. My typical routine is:

Monday: Normal day, steady Z3 effort
Tuesday: Hill climbing, target 40-45mi total, 3500+ feet
Wednesday: Z2 recovery for both rides
Thursday: Hill climbing like Tuesday OR HIIT session in the morning
Friday: Normal day, steady Z3 effort
Saturday: Full rest day, stay off the bike
Sunday: 40-100mi training ride with between 3,000 and 8,000' of climbing depending on the route and goal for the week.

Before I was commuting 4 days a week and taking Wednesday and Saturday off completely. I actually feel better with the Z2 rides on Wednesday.
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Old 06-30-14, 12:48 PM   #7
TexMac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deet View Post
Hi all

Wonder if anyone could advise on taking breaks in training.

I started cycling regularly a couple of months ago, primarily to prepare for a bit of a trip I'm doing with some mates later in the year, and have found I really enjoy it. I've started commuting every day, round trip is 17 miles, elevation's about 250m so not majorly hilly. Hills were probably the thing that kept me from cycling more in the past, I'm pretty big, 6'6", 224lbs, and they don't like me so I'd really like to get as much practice on them as possible.

I'd like to keep commuting every day and then either do a couple of hours hill training on a Saturday then gradually longer (not hilly) rides on a Sunday to get me ready for the long days in the saddle on the trip. I understand, though, that breaks in training are where the improvement takes effect. Are my commute trips enough to be considered training and as such should I only be riding one day on the weekends? One thing I could do is vary my commute route to take in some more hills or something and so not do a hill day at the weekend but living in London that means just going through Highgate a couple of times a day (not exactly the Alps but it's got Swain's Lane!).

So tl:dr, do I need day off?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
Being so new i would advice take a day off like mid week- Wednesday. I did this last year starting out and hurt my leg ligament, then had to be off the bike for a month.
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