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Is commuting a hindrance to training?

phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
I commute to work every day, not too far but around 10 miles each way. I'm wondering if it does more harm than good during the summer months. Everything I read suggests that quality rather than quantity is key in the summer, shorter intervals etc. replacing longer rides.

If the commute leaves me tired at the end of the day, is therefore worth scrapping the cycle commute and focus instead on more scheduled training before/after work?

Posts

  • Can you just make your commute part of your training - leave earlier and take a longer route? That's what I used to do many years ago when I rode to work - go for a training ride that happened to end up at the office.

    And quality is key no matter the season.

    When I hve a rider I coach who commutes, I do need to take that into account when scheduling their training, because it does have an impact on accumulated fatigue.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I just incorporate my training into my commute...
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    I have a 23 mile commute each way (I take the train in the winter). I take it easy on the way in so that I'm able to at least give the impression that I'm working during the day. I push a lot harder or take the hilly route on the way home. You could think of the return home as the training ride and incorporate interval work or a scenic diversion to increase the miles?
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    I guess living in London doesn't help as you rarely get a clean run to put in any miles non-stop. With traffic lights and congestion it's very stop/start. I used to live on the Isle of Wight and my commute there could easily give you 5-10 miles without having to put your foot down once.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Commuting is a great excuse to ride your bike 10 times a week. Great for training if you do it right.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    phreak wrote:
    I commute to work every day, not too far but around 10 miles each way. I'm wondering if it does more harm than good during the summer months. Everything I read suggests that quality rather than quantity is key in the summer, shorter intervals etc. replacing longer rides.

    If the commute leaves me tired at the end of the day, is therefore worth scrapping the cycle commute and focus instead on more scheduled training before/after work?

    You could always commute 2 or 3 days a week and put in some "clear road" 20 -30 milers around that, on your days off commuting?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    What I often do is park about 10 miles from work and, depending on the shift, have a nice hilly 30 - 40 mile ride in or home, the other leg being a nice flat 10 mile recovery ride...
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    Mettan wrote:
    phreak wrote:
    I commute to work every day, not too far but around 10 miles each way. I'm wondering if it does more harm than good during the summer months. Everything I read suggests that quality rather than quantity is key in the summer, shorter intervals etc. replacing longer rides.

    If the commute leaves me tired at the end of the day, is therefore worth scrapping the cycle commute and focus instead on more scheduled training before/after work?

    You could always commute 2 or 3 days a week and put in some "clear road" 20 -30 milers around that, on your days off commuting?

    That's an option I'm considering.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Commuting is training, but can be a hindrance to competing .
    Try making your route longer, and maybe throw in a few nasty hills if possible. I only work a mile and half from the house, but if I'm training then I'll get up early and do a 27 mile loop before work every day. During race season I'm jogging to work or cycling and doing a recovery ride a few times a week, which will be an easy spin for 10-20 miles.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    Presumably you have a shower at work if you're doing 27 miles beforehand? :)
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Fortunately yes, although I used to sweat enough just doing 8 miles to our old office, which had no facilities at all!
    I wasn't bothered, but some other people may have been :)

    If you don't have a shower at work, add the extra miles in the evening instead if that's possible.
  • For me, commuting is definitely training. I've been doing a 19 mile (38 mile total) commute for 3-4 days of the week. This has really helped me become stronger and this bike time has disappeared from my weekends/evenings earning me brownie points at home. I know what you are saying about stop/start though. My commute only has the last bit in the city and for the most part I can blast it. Leaving early in the morning and later at the end of the day helps avoid the traffic too. I'd second the advice to leave a bit earlier and do some quality miles before you hit the lights and traffic in the city, if poss.
  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019
    phreak wrote:
    I guess living in London doesn't help as you rarely get a clean run to put in any miles non-stop. With traffic lights and congestion it's very stop/start.

    My London commute isn't factored into my training plan for that reason. I treat commutes as recovery sessions and pootle to the office and back, no matter how much provocation I suffer from Bromptoneers and Dynamo jerseys.

    When the plan allows I can divert to Hillingdon or Richmond Park on the way in or home (and have done 2 hours lapping Hillingdon before cycling off to The City for a days work). Otherwise I tend to leave the turbo trainer set up waiting for me in the evening; I arrive back at the flat nice and warmed up so the pain can start as soon as I get in.
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    Ditto, I commute into the centre of London from about 7 miles out. I think the longest time I can get without having to stop must be about 1-2 mins, and then I usually have to go slow due to other traffic. So I either take it easy or try and fit in 2 or 3 hard sprints (not always safe to do so). Then turbo (twice a week) in the morning (up at 5:40am, 1 hour on the turbo, shower, get breakfast, get children ready, take them to breakfast club and head to work at around 8:15am) before work as late evening sessions disturb my sleep.
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    40mins to home = 10min warm-up + 6x5min intervals (3min sprint + 2min cruise).

    Works for me! :D

    Try to take back routes, as fewer traffic lights etc; and coincide sprints with hills where poss.

    All on an MTB though - could get a bit scary on a road bike...
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • LumenLumen Posts: 4
    Commuting can be great for training, whether you choose to go slow and use it as active recovery, or go hard and make it an intervals session.

    If commuting is leaving you tired, you may be going at it too hard, or need to find some other means of transport for a couple of days a week to help you recover properly.

    It is possible to be too analytical about training. I know a guy who only started cycling a few months ago, has done nothing but very long slowish spins, and just did a 1:06 for his first 40km time trial.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    phreak wrote:
    If the commute leaves me tired at the end of the day, is therefore worth scrapping the cycle commute and focus instead on more scheduled training before/after work?

    what are you training for..??
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    Sportives I guess. :) I don't race or anything.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    in that case - I don't think it really matters what you do - just ride the bike and enjoy it.. ;)
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    Just wondering really as my form in the last few sportives has been a bit rubbish. The only thing that's really changed is doing more miles on my commute.
  • LumenLumen Posts: 4
    Form = fitness + freshness.

    You may just be overtraining.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,163
    Aye, it's a possibility.
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