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...
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(!)
Pollys Bott wrote:
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.