How seriously do you take your commute?

jangle
jangle Posts: 114
edited November 2008 in Commuting chat
Morning all,

Just joined this site yesterday so forgive me if this has been a topic before but,

Do you take your commute seriously, i.e. warm up\down and eat sensibly before and after? Or do you just jump on your bike and go?

I started cycling part way a couple of months ago (25miles one way but I am up to about 7 at the moment) to keep fit and beat the traffic and was wondering if you warm up before hand. I feel a bit of plank doing stretches by the side of the road!
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Comments

  • I probably would stretch before and after if my commute was 25 miles.

    Currently, I'm only 10 miles in total, so i jump on and peddle like a nutter till i get home/work.
    <insert witty comment here>

    Also, I have calculated my FCN as 12...although I have no idea what that actually means.
  • AndyManc
    AndyManc Posts: 1,393
    jangle wrote:
    Morning all,

    Just joined this site yesterday so forgive me if this has been a topic before but,

    Do you take your commute seriously, i.e. warm up\down and eat sensibly before and after? Or do you just jump on your bike and go?

    I started cycling part way a couple of months ago (25miles one way but I am up to about 7 at the moment) to keep fit and beat the traffic and was wondering if you warm up before hand. I feel a bit of plank doing stretches by the side of the road!

    I should do, but in reality ... not often.

    It will save a lot of problems, and if you're wanting to loose weight, warm muscles enable the body to loose weight far quicker.

    My (early) new years resolution ... spend at least 3 mins warming up and cooling down, it's easily done.
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  • AndyManc wrote:
    It will save a lot of problems, and if you're wanting to loose weight, warm muscles enable the body to loose weight far quicker.

    :?:
  • AndyManc
    AndyManc Posts: 1,393
    AndyManc wrote:
    It will save a lot of problems, and if you're wanting to loose weight, warm muscles enable the body to loose weight far quicker.

    :?:

    Don't know the details ... I read a report a few years ago.
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  • I do 13 miles each way. First 5 mins of ride and last 5 mins I take it easy, thats what I consider my warm up and down.

    Re eating, I cycle so I can eat carp and binge drink without putting on too much weight :twisted:
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Eat My Dust
    Eat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    edited November 2008
    SPOODZILLA wrote:
    I cycle so I can eat carp

    You eat carp?!?!? God that must be expensive. I stretch to a bit cod now and again!!! :lol:
  • AndyManc
    AndyManc Posts: 1,393
    SPOODZILLA wrote:
    I do 13 miles each way. First 5 mins of ride and last 5 mins I take it easy, thats what I consider my warm up and down.

    Re eating, I cycle so I can eat carp and binge drink without putting on too much weight :twisted:

    Warm up/down means stretching ... peddling slower doesn't stretch anything . :P
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  • AndyManc wrote:
    SPOODZILLA wrote:
    I do 13 miles each way. First 5 mins of ride and last 5 mins I take it easy, thats what I consider my warm up and down.

    Re eating, I cycle so I can eat carp and binge drink without putting on too much weight :twisted:

    Warm up/down means stretching ... peddling slower doesn't stretch anything . :P

    Warm up means exactly that - warming up the body; i.e. muscles, cardio system etc. Cycling slowly for 5 mins or so will achieve exactly that and is a good warm up. Stretching will be required if you then intend to work at a higher intensity BUT only after you have 'warmed up' the muscles.

    If you watch the track cyclists both before and after events you will see them warming up and down on static trainers.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    I take my commute seriously enough in that I do like to actually reach work most times.

    I used to stretch but read something about how stretching cold muscles can be worse than not stretching at all. The first mile or so of the ride I take fairly easy so I hope that counts as stretching.
  • Surf-Matt
    Surf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I frown the entire way. And growl too.
  • Slow Downcp
    Slow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    AndyManc wrote:
    SPOODZILLA wrote:
    I do 13 miles each way. First 5 mins of ride and last 5 mins I take it easy, thats what I consider my warm up and down.

    Re eating, I cycle so I can eat carp and binge drink without putting on too much weight :twisted:

    Warm up/down means stretching ... peddling slower doesn't stretch anything . :P

    Stertching isn't warming up either - it's stretching.
    Warming up is riding slowly to warm the muscles, possibly along with stretching (but not at same time) as going balls out with cold muslces leads to pulled muscles etc. Also starting gently makes for faster times overall. Can't remember ever seeing anyone stretching before TdF TT, although all ride the turbo for some time before they start.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    If you watch the track cyclists both before and after events you will see them warming up and down on static trainers.
    Now I've taken delivery of my Tacx Antares I've got rollers at home and at the office. It's a serious business this commute lark (see SCR* for evidence)




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  • jangle
    jangle Posts: 114
    In all my other sports I have done in the past I used to do gentle exercise, then stretch, then do high intensity which means that in theory I should cycle a couple of miles, then stop and stretch and then carry on. Not that practical on a commute..
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Depends on if I am training up for a tri/rowing or bike racing event.
    : If I am, I take it seriously, use the racing'ish bike and put the mileage in (up to 72miles a day) - the commute becomes a training tool. I will stretch and make sure I have plenty of water and energy bars/bananas to keep my pace up and won't carry my laptop - leave it at work.

    Otherwise, I do 12 miles a day and it is a piece of cake - easy roads and not too busy, so I just hammer it in and back without thinking about it - as long as I get home quick for the dog, I don't give a rats! I don't care too much, but wear good gear, helmet and lights as I don't want to be cold/wet or killed!

    I have found that when I occasionally drive the car on weekends, I have an awful temper in traffic......
  • I think it was the advice given in this article that put me off stretching:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... d-cold-198

    Quotes:
    WARM UP TIP Ride a 5 to 10-minute set loop around the block on an easy warm-up lap before starting your ride proper. Alternatively 5-10 minutes on a stationary bike or indoor trainer will do nicely.

    WARM UP TIP If you want to stretch after an aerobic warm up, keep the stretching light and relaxed. Never use stretching to warm a muscle instead of riding, it's still cold inside and will be straining like mad.


    But then this one says quite the opposite, so i'm confused now:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... ruth-17237

    Quote:
    So, should we forget about stretching? Actually no – just look at pro cyclists and how dedicated they are to stretching. They do it because being flexible makes them faster.
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • You eat carp?!?!? God that must be expensive. I stretch to a bit cod now and again!!!

    Very funny. The spelling error was intentional, not sure how sensitive the swear box is on BikeRadar.
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    I bike, swim, run and use the cross trainer - average about 50-60 hours exercise a month, which will pretty much double over the next 6 months.

    I also *never* stretch. Never have, never will.

    There seems to be almost equal support for views in favour of and against stretching, so I think it's down to personal preference. My preference is not to bother faffing around, I'd rather get on with exercising, as my time is limited enough as it is.

    As I think someone mentioned ealier though, both schools of thought now seem to agree that stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, although I think a lot of people, including fitness professionals, are unaware of this 'new' thinking.
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    Madone

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  • stretching is only really needed when you will be going from zero to flat out all of a sudden. Like for example, football, or anything involving you to sprint. What it actually is is you flexing your muscle as far as you can, as far as it will stretch when you go flat out, so that it won't rip or tear when you do. There is no real need for it in a sport where you will likely have warmed up during a less intense period at the beginning of your cycle. By the time you do get to go flat out your muscles will already have turned the pedals several hundred times so theres not much more you can do to them at that point to shock them.

    If anyone ever did one of those dreaded VO2 Max tests where you have to run a certain distance before you hear a beep, then run back to where you came from before the next, and so on and so on until you collapse (least fun I've ever had in my whole life), you'll know that a warmup/stretch is not necessary as the beeps are so far apart at the beginning that you're well warmed up by the time you get to go fast.

    Thus I'd say it'd be overkill for your commute. Likewise, unless you're going to be on the bike for more than 90 mins or so, I don't see the point of fuelling when out. I can only breakfast moderately as I feel uncomfortable cycling on a full stomach, but then my commute is less than 40 mins each way so its never a problem.
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    The commute (14 miles each way) represents most of my training - rarely get on the weekend - so I try to make it count and watch what I eat (ahem, during the week anyway). With the Richmond Park cull up and running, I'm aiming to extend the route home by a couple of miles each night, which will give me 145-150miles for the week, and then try and build this up to the point where I do an extra 20 miles on top of this once, may be twice, a week. Some weekend time on the turbo trainer beckons this winter, but it's tricky getting out into them Surrey hills. Darn!
    FCN 2-4.

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    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,061
    Jen J wrote:
    I bike, swim, run and use the cross trainer - average about 50-60 hours exercise a month, which will pretty much double over the next 6 months.

    FREAK!!! :lol:

    I'd say you need a hobby but clearly you wouldn't have time :shock:
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  • AndyManc
    AndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Clearly stretching is disputed , but all athletes I know are committed to it's practice and convinced by the benefits and physiotherapists programmes for recovery and stabilisation of conditions (bad backs for e.g.)use it extensively.

    Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific skeletal muscle (or muscle group) is deliberately elongated to its fullest length (often by abduction from the torso) in order to improve the muscle's felt elasticity and reaffirm comfortable muscle tone.[1] The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

    Stretching, in its most basic form, is a natural and instinctive activity; it is performed by many animals as well as humans. It can be accompanied by yawning. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting in confined spaces.

    Many athletes stretch deliberately before or after exercise in order to increase performance and reduce injury.
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  • oh, and stretching also helps flexibility, which cycling tends to be terrible for.
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    I do yoga too - makes you fart allot. Helped me with motorbike racing for flexibility and strength (without using weights). Also - stretching really does stop you pulling muscles. If you have ever suffered a sports related injury, you will learn to stretch and warm up before you do anything. I had to quit rowing due to back problems (common in rowers), however, I don't want to have to quit anything else - so strecthing and warm up/warm down is in my routine everytime.
  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    itboffin wrote:
    Jen J wrote:
    I bike, swim, run and use the cross trainer - average about 50-60 hours exercise a month, which will pretty much double over the next 6 months.

    FREAK!!! :lol:

    I'd say you need a hobby but clearly you wouldn't have time :shock:

    not really... I cycle rounding up for the sake of maths 10 hours a week and gym it for 4. 14*4 = 56.

    I'll say 50 then which is standard pretty much, that before external sports or weekend riding.

    I don't warm up or wamr down specifically but my route doesn't allow me to gun it at the start or end so it's naturally occuring if you will. I find Mondays warm up is a good portion of the ride monday eve-thursday I'm a lot faster and friday is a slog as a rule as the gym and miles take their toll.

    I do stretches and the like at the gym and I'm much more flexible than most
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  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    AndyManc wrote:
    Stretching, in its most basic form, is a natural and instinctive activity; it is performed by many animals as well as humans. It can be accompanied by yawning. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting in confined spaces.

    Stretching in this form I do a lot, however I don't think of it as 'stretching' as such (even though it is ;)). I am a major fidget and am always stretching out and generally can't sit still, but I never do a specific set of stretching linked to any exercise sessions.
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  • Slow Downcp
    Slow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    AndyManc wrote:
    Clearly stretching is disputed , but all athletes I know are committed to it's practice and convinced by the benefits and physiotherapists programmes for recovery and stabilisation of conditions (bad backs for e.g.)use it extensively.
    [/i]

    I agree it helps flexibility, and aids muscle recovery etc, but it's not a warm up, which is what you said.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • SPOODZILLA
    SPOODZILLA Posts: 128
    edited November 2008
    oh, and stretching also helps flexibility, which cycling tends to be terrible for.

    Yeah I'm a bugger for making people stick to deadlines and not letting the kids stay out later than originally agreed. Maybe I should try this 'stretching'.
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    itboffin wrote:
    Jen J wrote:
    I bike, swim, run and use the cross trainer - average about 50-60 hours exercise a month, which will pretty much double over the next 6 months.

    FREAK!!! :lol:

    I'd say you need a hobby but clearly you wouldn't have time :shock:

    I have two other 'hobbies' - work and study. :cry:
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    Winter Hack: Triandrun Vento 3
    Madone

    It's all about me...
  • Stuey01
    Stuey01 Posts: 1,273
    AndyManc wrote:
    Clearly stretching is disputed , but all athletes I know are committed to it's practice and convinced by the benefits and physiotherapists programmes for recovery and stabilisation of conditions (bad backs for e.g.)use it extensively.
    [/i]

    This is very true, but stretching should not be confused with warming up.
    Warming up in it's truest sense is any activity performed in sufficient duration and intensity to up the body's core temperature, a side effect of which is increased blood flow. Targetted warm ups usually consist of repetitively running through the motions of an exercise at a low (sometimes ramping up) intensity which has the benefit of contributing to increased core temperature and increasing blood flow to the specific muscles to be used, preparing them for action. Stretching does not increase blood flow to your muscles, but it can help to increase the range of motion, meaning that you are not loading the muscle at the extremities of it's ROM, which leads to tears etc.
    It is generally accepted that you should not stretch cold muscles as this increases likelihood of a muscle tear whilst stretching, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid by stretching in the first place.
    Stretching can also take several forms, with traditional static stretching losing favour to dynamic stretching (see footballers and rugby players doing leg swings) for most sporting applications (although not being replaced completely!).
    Not climber, not sprinter, not rouleur
  • Jen J wrote:
    itboffin wrote:
    Jen J wrote:
    I bike, swim, run and use the cross trainer - average about 50-60 hours exercise a month, which will pretty much double over the next 6 months.

    FREAK!!! :lol:

    I'd say you need a hobby but clearly you wouldn't have time :shock:

    I have two other 'hobbies' - work and study. :cry:

    Study is cool - I often fall asleep with my SQL manual. :wink:
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