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7 days/wk

Old 10-08-08, 02:26 PM
  #1  
firebrandon
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7 days/wk

I just started to use my bike for all my work commuting but I have a question thats bugging me.

Is it ok to bike 7 days/wk for commuting? I go to work 5 days per week, and on my off days I usually visit friends or go to the library. On the day I go to the library I will try to keep that day light for a total of 8 miles that day while I normally bike around 16-20 miles most other days.

Physiologically will I be ok? Are there any studies on this? Anecdotal stories perhaps? Will my muscles get used to it?

~Brandon
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Old 10-08-08, 02:30 PM
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Sweet enola gay, son - the seventh day you must rest, for otherwise you'll burn up and explode into 1,000,000 glass shards.

Short answer: yes.

Longer answer: yes, but if you're feeling tired and/or lacking energy, pay attention to your diet and sleep routines - you'll get used to any muscle groups needing conditioning in due time. Your body is a lot stronger than your mind allows you to think, you'll be able to ride no problem.

I use my bike for my transportation, beit to work, friends or wherever - it may seem like a massive step, but you'll get used to it as part of your daily routine and it just becomes normal.

IOW: Just ride, it's not like you're entering the TdF.
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Old 10-08-08, 02:30 PM
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I don't think it's good for the muscles. They need to repair themselves every now and then. I find my commute difficult Thursday and Friday if I don’t take a day off, so I usually shoot for Wednesday as an off day and commute the other 4 days. And I ride for fun on the weekends…
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Old 10-08-08, 02:31 PM
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Physiologically, you will be better than okay. You'll just get fitter, faster.

Unless perhaps you have some injury that you didn't mention in your post.

Edit: I ride seven days a week myself, unless there's some compelling reason not to. You'll be fine if you don't overdo it. If you're normally biking 16-20 miles, 8 should be no problem.
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Old 10-08-08, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rdubbz View Post
I don't think it's good for the muscles. They need to repair themselves every now and then. I find my commute difficult Thursday and Friday if I don’t take a day off, so I usually shoot for Wednesday as an off day and commute the other 4 days. And I ride for fun on the weekends…
I should've mentioned that if you're not used to the 7/7 routine, work up slowly as your body gets conditioned to it - listen to your body and feed it/stretch well to get things upto speed properly/best. There's no shame in taking a day off if you are just that tired. You'll learn when your mind is telling you you're tired vs. when you're actually tired - it can be easy to convince yourself not to ride when really you can and just can't be bothered.

In time, it will come - enjoy yourself and don't stress it too much.
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Old 10-08-08, 02:37 PM
  #6  
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There are (many) people that are carfree, and they do that much and more with no issues. As far as conditioning, it's going to take a while for your muscles to get used to it. Because i also run, i take a rest day (today, actually. it sucks) just to give my muscles time to rest. Something that more people need to realize is in other countries (Netherlands, etc.) bikes are the main transport for most people. They don't worry about it like we do. It's not bike commuting, cycling, or even a bike ride. It's getting to work, and running errands.

It's all up to you and your fitness level. as far as mentally, well, biking is stress relief for me. so, for me, that's not an issue.
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Old 10-08-08, 02:46 PM
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You should be fine. Just listen to your body. Take a day off if you need it or spin easy when your legs are feeling heavy (call it "active recovery"). The beauty of the bike is that it can be a torture device on Saturday and a therapeutic healer on Sunday.

FWIW, I just checked my calendar and I've ridden on 20 straight days. That's included a 3-day omnium, commutes, rides to coffee shop, and rides around the park with my kids. Mix it up!
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Old 10-08-08, 02:56 PM
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Like others have said, it depends on your personal fitness level. Maybe don't ride as hard as you would otherwise, definitely listen to your body, and eat healthy. Pre and post ride stretching can help as well.

I commute 5 days (30 miles RT), do 1 fitness/distance ride on the weekend, and end up running errands on my bike on the 7th day. I've ridden the last 45 days or so straight with 10 easy-going miles being the slowest/shortest ride in that time. I feel great, in fact stronger than ever. Having said that I do want to be careful and not burn myself out or get injured. I keep trying to have a day of power-couching, I just keep on itching to go pedal around town a bit.
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Old 10-08-08, 03:23 PM
  #9  
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I try to stay off my bike one day a week, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When I get busy and end up riding 14-20 days in a row, I plan extra time on some of those days and make a goal not to break a sweat. It seems to work fine.

If you're not used to it, there's no shame in the occasional "bus day," either.
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Old 10-08-08, 10:20 PM
  #10  
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I've found that after commuting 20 miles rt 4 days per week with little improvement in my speed, I am getting progressively faster and stronger after going to three days and putting one solid rest day in between my rides. YMMV. As others have said, listen to your body. After a while, you'll know if you are riding with tired legs.
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Old 10-08-08, 10:45 PM
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Yes, you can ride seven days a week. The only rule here is personal judgment; want to ride today? Ride. Don't want to ride today? Don't ride.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:08 AM
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I tried to ride to work 5 straight days a couple weeks ago (around 26 miles round trip, uphill most of the way home). I only made it 4. I could've physically done the 5th, but I would've been tired the rest of the weekend. I guess i'm just not physically ready for a 5 day commute... plus by the end of the week, I wasn't enjoying it as much, and that's one of the reasons I ride.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:24 AM
  #13  
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I haven't had a car for the past year. I've ridden 7 days a week for that time, with no negative consequences.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:57 AM
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You'll be fine. Might be sore at first but your body will adjust pretty quickly. Keep in mind our ancestors used to walk everywhere 7days a week miles upon miles a day.

I commute 5 days a week I do longer rides on the other 2 plus I teach karate up to 8 hours. So I am constantly moving and never get much rest until the day is done.
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Old 10-09-08, 04:46 AM
  #15  
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The usual answer is "your muscles need to repair themselves." However, eventually you get to the point where you're not actually damaging your muscles when you commute. When you've ridden enough days that the commute is normal and you're not at all sore, I don't see what the problem would be. After all, you don't take a day off of walking around to let your muscles recover.
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Old 10-09-08, 05:36 AM
  #16  
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I commute 5 days a week, but my round trip is short about 5 miles. I travel it twice a day because I go to PT everyday also. On Wed., my Group runs a 5K (the first half down hill, the last half up hill), and my legs are really week getting home. I like to go out for a couple of hours on Saturday exploring, and on Sundays I go for a ride with my wife to a nice restaurant/hardware store.
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Old 10-09-08, 06:23 AM
  #17  
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Of course a persons job is important as well.

Commuting a mere 25 miles a day and sitting mushy for 8 hours in an "Office" is different than working in a steel mill or say UPS/FEDX which appears to be an 8 hour marathon in itself.

Listen to the body, be aware of your system's requirements and make changes as necessary.
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Old 10-09-08, 06:59 AM
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"Commuting" = "going to work", however you do it. If you work seven days a week, and you are using your bicycle to get to work seven days a week, then you are commuting by bicycle seven days a week. If you are using your bicycle as your primary transportation method seven days a week, but only using it to get to work five days a week, then you are commuting five days a week and using your bicycle as your primary transportation method seven days a week.

And yes, it's perfectly okay (not sure why you're asking though, you don't need a permission slip). Just because it's your primary transportation method doesn't mean you don't take a day off -- that's just a day when you don't go anywhere, but stay home and rake the leaves instead.
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Old 10-09-08, 07:53 AM
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Depends on how fast you go - if you cruise like I do, you could probably go twice as far. If you beat yourself each time you're on the bike, then yeah, it's gonna put the hurt on you.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:02 AM
  #20  
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AT my premium this summer I was doing a 34+ mile RT commute 5 days a week and riding up to 150 more miles on the weekend. All of my rides were training rides (for training's sake) but the longer weekend rides I typically rode more casually...shorter I would pound it harder. I built up to that, and worked really hard on my diet and sleep, but I suffered fewer issues than I do now if I try and ride even a casual 50 miles.
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Old 10-09-08, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
plus by the end of the week, I wasn't enjoying it as much, and that's one of the reasons I ride.
Exactly, after all it is about enjoyment! Once you stop enjoying it is when you've ridden too much or need to change something about your riding or your route. I lose sight of this one from time to time, thanks for the reminder bhop.
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Old 10-09-08, 09:14 PM
  #22  
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Over doing it can cause permanent health issues such as thyroid related issues like Grave's Disease. (I've got it now and it sucks.) But if you listen to your body and your mind, you should be ok. Physically, I can go almost 7 days a week as long as I don't push it too hard. 30 miles rt. But pychologically it gets old after 3 or 4 days straight. So I take a break mid-week and either ride in with a buddy or drive. For my weekend rec rides, I make sure to stay as far away from my commute route as possible. I also mix up the commute route to keep it somewhat fresh.
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Old 10-09-08, 09:18 PM
  #23  
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I ride about 50 miles a week over five to six days, all of it for utility, all of it with a backpack. It really depends on you. I usually don't ride seven days a week because I don't tend to go to the grocery store twice on weekends.
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