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Do you train or just pedal?

rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
edited May 2010 in Commuting chat
Curious really because I'm not sure I don't just pedal.

I started riding again in late 2008. I built up my commuting over last year completing 2200 miles in 2009. In 2010, already I am well over 3000 miles. I extend my commute to take in extra hills climbing at least 1400 feet a day.

At weekends I ride sportives or go for rides on my own - I vary them from shorter to long, flattish to hilly. I don't pay much attention to my speed because, until now, I have been hampered by heavy bikes making it hard to compare my performance (I can cruise the 28 lb Dawes Horizon at around 20mph on flat or gently undulating terrain though).

I've just done the Keswick Mountain Challenge and found it pretty straightforward and managed a respectable time and would hope to do the Fred Whitton next year (but I'd expect it to be fairly doable unless the weather is really hot) and I have vague ideas of doing the Etape (one thing I'd thought would be cool to do, before I got into cycling, was a full TdF stage).

Thing is though, whilst these are aims, I can't think that I am actually training as such for them. I'm riding a lot, and varying what I do, and that is making me fitter but I'm not training.
I pop into the training forum in Road bikes and see a load of stuff about max heart rate etc and think I ought to work this stuff out but it seems a bit tedious and doesn't get done!

So am I making poor use of my time in the saddle? Is everyone else taking it a bit more seriously? Do tell!
Faster than a tent.......


  • SimonLyonsSimonLyons Posts: 203
    I read the title and thought you meant "do you use the train" until I read the thread to which I would have said yes when I am not on my bike.

    Do you train, my commute is my training - keeps weight down and heart healthy, I am not bothered about getting "stronger".
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Sounds about the same as my "training" really which only started to include fortnightly Sunday rides from the start of the year :-)

    Mine all came about as I've signed up for a nice big sportive ride next month and I'm having a crack at breaking my imperial century duck.

    Over the past 5 months I've been trying to keep a track of my performances, concentrating on improving my climbing (need to learn to pace myself!) and even started doing whole commutes in a single gear, which I gradually increased to higher gears, to build some extra strength into my legs.

    I read the articles in C+ that talk about HR zones and doing intervals etc but really CBA with all that faff (at least not unless I get a Garmin 705!). Besides I get some sort of interval training on the commute with the SCR action :-)
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  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    I've barely done anything other than my 4 mile each way commute for months. Had a brief spell of doing laps round Regent's Park in an evening, but that got a bit boring.

    300k in a day is gonna be interesting next month...
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,332
    A year or so ago, I might have said yes. I own an HRM, so I must be vaguely interested in at least cycling in a better way. I don't think I was training for anything; I just wanted to be able to ride a bit faster/longer, and 'do it properly'. Since the little one has arrived, i have been for maybe 3 or 4 non-commuting rides and they have all been short Sunday morning runs before wife and littl'un wake up, so definitely not training. Having said that, I do try and think about the way I ride, and have been tweaking my route to get in a bit more climbing (such as London can provide) so maybe applying training principles to my riding is the most accurate description.
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  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    All my commutes are training sessions, either endurance rides, tempo rides, or recovery rides, these are all done based on HR Zones. Just depends on what I need to do that day, then again I race as well.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I don't train. Never do intervals, never label any ride "recovery", "tempo", "threshold", etc. I just ride my bike.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    Agent57 wrote:
    I don't train. Never do intervals, never label any ride "recovery", "tempo", "threshold", etc. I just ride my bike.

    +1 I'm doing longer distances atm to get more miles in for doing L2B and back (120 miles) on the 20th but also just to improve overall stamina and fitness. So its kinda training but not really.
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  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I've just started training and my schedule goes something like this

    Week 1 10-12+ hours total with 2.5 hours high intensity (with your long 3-4 hr steady ride at the weekend)
    week 2 8 hours total with 3 hours high intensity
    week 3 7 hours total with 3-4 hours high intensity
    week 4 4-5 hours total with with 4 hours high intensity including the target race at the end

    Any commute outside of the schedule I take as a very gentle recovery ride. i work out the intensity through my heart rate zones, although I've noticed now I'm racing 1-2 times a week they've shifted considerably. I can now hold a heart rate of 160-170'ish whereas previously anything over 160 used to have me feeling sick. I try to vary my high intensity work between hills, sprints, hill intervals and some longer rides as baseline work.

    I've only been doing this a couple of weeks but the effects are definately noticeable over my previous approach of simply banging out the miles.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I kinda train - but only to do my ride quicker - which is a little bit of a futile exercise as the difference between 19 & 20mph over 15 miles is about 2 minutes - I could save that by showering and changing quicker.

    By training, I push myself hard and I take the odd rest day etc I'm sure I could be more structured and I would be if I had an event I was targetting.
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