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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much of a training benefit is commuting to work on a bike? My ride is about 10 miles each way (30 - 40 min, depending on my mood, effort, and/or wind direction and speed), so I log in 100 miles a week, + any extra miles if I do lunch time road rides, which are 20~22 miles for a little over an hour with my co-workers. So, the most I ride 100 - 140 miles a week. I know for maximum cardio benefits, I should do some longer 2+ hour rides, 3 - 4 hours would be great, but is VERY difficult to fit into my busy family life. I would like to do some Southridge races this winter, or maybe sooner, in the beginner mens 30 year old catagory.

BM
 

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formerly Giantxc
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Is it going to help your results as much as a carefully structured workout regime? Probably not. Would it help you racing more than driving that 10 miles? Heck yeh.

I started commuting by bike a couple years ago and noticed that my short commute paired with whatever I could mix in before or after work helped dramatically for racing (before that I would ride the roads for a couple hrs after work when I felt like it). The best thing about it is you can't make an excuse for not riding after a tough, late day at work!
 

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Having a busy family life means that you have to be creative with finding the time to train. IMHO commuting is a great way to do that. There's no reason why you can't do some sprints on the way to work or take the long way home. The commuting time is essentially "free" bike time, since it doesn't take anything away from your family. Do the really long rides early morning on the weekend. Maybe you could do better if you had no family or totally neglected them, but that would just be stupid. Be thankful for your daily commute and family.

-BD
 

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80% of my training is by commuting and I have been doing it for the last few years. IMO it's the best of both worlds when you have a family. Further, it keeps you from over training.

Check out Peformance Cycling by Morris, his ideas about high intensity lower volume may work well for you with your time constraints.
 

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I started commuting a few months ago and feel it has helped my racing. I don't feel required to go on as many "training" rides in order to stay in race shape. I think my commuting rides really compliment the other rides I do. Depending on what you do, you can make your commute your training. Even though my commute is short (about 6 miles each way), I can still get some good workouts. Some of the roads I have to ride on are very busy and I want to be on them for as short as possible. So I basically get 12 miles of sprinting every day. :)

One idea is to leave a few minutes earlier in the morning and take different routes on your way in to get more miles. Try different things on different days to mix it up. Not only can it be used for training, but it can add to the "fun" factor of your normal commute.
 

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my commuting is VERY short. I use a late-80's Schwinn Paramount roadie for commuting. My old house was 0.9 miles from work with slight gradient. Going to work I'd just pedal hard for a bit and then cruise along at traffic speed. Going home I would usually drop the hammer and try my best sprint home. the slight uphill made it tough and many times I'd show up at home totally in the red and need 20 minutes to cool down and get my legs back. I enjoyed it, though, and I figured that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Now my ride is up to a whopping 1.7 miles each way with both uphill and downhill. I don't think these short rides are much for training, but like someone said it is free ride time.
 

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Thats what I'm doing for training, make sure

that you are actually training, no just doing wasted miles unless you are dooing recovery work or you are just tired. Because you will log on miles but no real improvement for racing purposes. You need to do intervals flat or hills as you find them, just try to develop a plan and you will see benefits. Find your LT and other numbers so you have something to work with, get a computer so you can see cadance and speed that way is harder to cheat, also you can see if you need a rest.

My commute is about 50 miles round trip and I'm on my third week of the distance and is kicking my butt a little hey but at least the cramps are gone:rolleyes:
 

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Commuting is great training

I have several routes, hills, speed burns etc.

I know each section and have best times etc.

If i am to pissed off sometimes I will do a much longer route.

This can form the basis for any or all phases of your training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool... thanks for the replies. I do try to hammer out the hills and stuff when I can, and depneding on how I feel I race home for my best time. The rides in are usually more of a spin, for two reasons: 1- I just woke up and I'm tired, and 2- I'n not in any hurry to get to work, if you know what I mean. My hills aren't that long or steep, but I try to get up them w/o downshifting most times.

On measurable difference is that I've lost 10lbs since I've been commuting! I got lazy, didn't ride much, and at a lot of crap over the winter and only started losing it after I started commuting.

BM
 

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95% of my training is my commute.

Last year I started racing- and riding for that matter in 30+ beginner class and was a mid packer. I started commuting this spring 13 miles one way w/ hills and gravel. I won my last race very easily and will now go to sport for my 5th race. Lately, I am out the door at 5 am most days due to the time constraints of family etc. I am blessed with 2 kids and a wife that like to sleep in:rolleyes: It can make a world of difference depending on your effort as mentioned before. And the "fun factor" is huge. I have half a dozen ways to get to work depending on when I get done eating breakfast...
 
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