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5 Mile Commute...

LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
edited February 2012 in Training, fitness and health
What's the best way to make use of it, constructively? To improve general performance, and try and burn as much excess flab as possible? or is it very pointless?

Its 5mile each way, so 10miles per day...

Posts

  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Take a detour and make it longer?, 5 miles is barely enough to warm up in winter!
  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    RCUK have just run this article:

    http://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/trainin ... uting.html

    Might be a good starting point.

    Rob
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Too short to be useful IMO. It'll burn a few calories, but that's about it. FWIW my standard commute is about 11 miles each way (most direct route is 5 miles, but I only do that if I need to get home sharpish) and even that is barely enough to keep things ticking over between actual training days. And in terms of calories burned (based on the kJ figure from a power meter) it makes little difference if I ride hard or pootle since riding hard just means I'm not riding for as long.

    10 miles will likely see you burn <500kCal btw.
    More problems but still living....
  • My commute is 5 miles. Not much good in the winter and I work shifts. To work on days I just go flat out there and go a longer way home. Afternoons is the other way around and don't usually bother on nights. If you are using it for weight control any exercise helps. Still manage to get the HR up and a sweat on so it can't be bad. IMO.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,471
    What's the best way to make use of it, constructively? To improve general performance, and try and burn as much excess flab as possible? or is it very pointless?

    Its 5mile each way, so 10miles per day...

    Might be useful as a recovery ride? I don't tend to find commuting any use for improving performance as riding in London means a lot of stopping and starting. If you go at it hammer and tongs you simply build it up lots of junk miles. So I tend to take it pretty easy. Still burns some calories and saves money on travel, but it doesn't harm attempts to do some good quality training in the evenings.
  • Well, I commute 7 miles from Sileby to work at Beaumont Leys and I've managed to make it work for me - steady for 5 miles then a thrash up Greengate Lane in Birstall then 1 1/2 miles steady again. On the way home a quick warm up then thrash up the A6 out of Birstall, steady down to the Red Lion at Rothley, thrash round to Cossington then steady the rest of the way home. Hardly the most scientific or intensive interval session ever devised but it enhanced my ability to ride at threshold and I got up the two Banks on the Ryedale Rumble whereas the previous year they took me to the cleaners...

    Agree with sentiments about extending it where possible.
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    How long does it take you to cover that distance? Is it stop / start? couple of ideas for you:

    a) add a detour in to one leg of your commute, try and get it up to (at least) a 1.5 hour ride, then you can do some endurance work and / or interval work.
    b) Sprint intervals - if you have a few traffic lights then (after you've warmed up) try sprinting away from the lights, if you have a clear run you can do some "form sprints" (80% of max) or jumps.
    c) If the road is clear enough, you should be able to get in a warm up and 2x5mins zone 5/6 with 5 min recovery.
    d) treat it as recovery and do your best quality work on the turbo.

    Option a is the best IMO. I also agree with a previous poster that in winter it takes about that long to get warm though, so be careful(!)
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • mclarent wrote:
    How long does it take you to cover that distance? Is it stop / start? couple of ideas for you:

    a) add a detour in to one leg of your commute, try and get it up to (at least) a 1.5 hour ride, then you can do some endurance work and / or interval work.
    b) Sprint intervals - if you have a few traffic lights then (after you've warmed up) try sprinting away from the lights, if you have a clear run you can do some "form sprints" (80% of max) or jumps.
    c) If the road is clear enough, you should be able to get in a warm up and 2x5mins zone 5/6 with 5 min recovery.
    d) treat it as recovery and do your best quality work on the turbo.

    Option a is the best IMO. I also agree with a previous poster that in winter it takes about that long to get warm though, so be careful(!)

    Some good comments coming up, i didn't think i would get much value out of the 5miles. In the summer i intend to extend commute home into more of an evening run out, as it is at the minute, i simply can't be arsed, what with the cold weather, the dark miserable night etc...I cover the commute in at about an Average of 17mph and currently tend to just try and get there as quick as possible, which are of course empty miles, but as i didn't think i could get much value out of the distance, it became a hassle riding slowly, though i may aswell just get to the office ASAP instead, theres a few sets of lights, but im never stopped for long, and most of the time the lights seem to stay green for me. Commute home i take a Cycle path, never anybody on it, and no stops, other than about 3/4 mile from home so this might be of better use for some sprint intervals for now, and try not to thrash it in AM as much...thanks for all the links/comments/feedback!
  • But why are they 'empty miles?' To paraphrase a sentence in that RCUK article, if you're on the bike then you have an opportunity to get a training benefit - however short or small. Occasionally on the trip home I'll give it the beans right from the bike shed door (yeah I know, no warm-up is asking for trouble) and believe me, 23 minutes on a well-laden commuter bike trying to keep up 18-20mph is of benefit.
  • GiantMikeGiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Ride your bike as fast as you can. Race anybody else you see on a bike.

    It won't make you a World Champion, but you'll get 50 really hard miles a week which will procudce physical changes in your body to make a difference (but I don't know how much difference).
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,471
    But why are they 'empty miles?' To paraphrase a sentence in that RCUK article, if you're on the bike then you have an opportunity to get a training benefit - however short or small. Occasionally on the trip home I'll give it the beans right from the bike shed door (yeah I know, no warm-up is asking for trouble) and believe me, 23 minutes on a well-laden commuter bike trying to keep up 18-20mph is of benefit.

    Depends on what you're looking to achieve and on the nature of your commute doesn't it?
  • Perhaps so - I'm quite sure that a Cat 1 racer wouldn't gain much from a five mile ride, but personally I've found that I can do different things during a short commute to get a training benefit (which is probably more of a comment on my riding ability :lol:) If the OP is a highly-trained racing snake then yes, five commuting miles will be more 'junk' than really useful miles; but for me they're a good opportunity to chuck in a few short intervals and I've definitely benefitted from doing them.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,640
    Warm up on a turbo before you leave the house and then blast the 5 miles?
  • Or jump on turbo when get home warm-up literally done.
  • rjh299rjh299 Posts: 721
    I've got a flat 5 mile commute that I pretty much just ride at whatever pace I feel like, quite often use it as a recovery after being out in the morning or a warm up if going out in the afternoon. When on nights it's a cruel grind up a massive 4% hill! Gotta love night shifts!!!
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    I tend to just chill out on my commute...like literally 4miles @ 16MPH...Save it for the pain of the turbo in the evenings! As soon as summer arrives I extend to 25miles each way and get my training in with a bag full of censored ...losing that extra weight up hills really helps when you take the bag off :)
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Mine is 18 miles, and I've often wondered what the best way to approach it is. So I usually go at tempo ish pace in the morning and tempo/threshold with the odd bit of anerobic at night.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
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