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I'm a total noob at focused cycling training (this is my first year racing). I race in a low-key local series and the races are generally ~50 - 70 minutes long. My training generally consists of 1 - 2 hrs sessions on the bike (road and MTB). However, I also ride my road bike to work and, while there are a number of good size hills which make for nice hill training, it's generally only a 30 - 40 min ride.

Like I said, I'm a total noob at this, but my concern is that by regularly riding only 30-40 min during my commute, I'm getting my body used to working for less than the time required to finish my races. I'm worried that the latter part of my races will suffer.

Am I completely off base here? Is any time on the bike always better than not riding (recovery days notwithstanding)?
 

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I don't think the commute will hurt you

as long as you are getting in a few 1-2 hr training rides after work and on the weekends.

Total time on the bike is important, and generally the more the better. The main thing is that you are alternating periods of training stress and rest. So on your rest days/weeks your commutes should not be taxing your system too much. But in your hard training blocks, I think it would be fine to make the commute hurt, especially the afternoon commute where your body is already a little warmed up.

Theres a lot of info on this forum and in books by Friel or Morris about how different length rides of different intensities change your physiology. At this point in the season, you should probably be focusing on dividing your time between race pace efforts (races or simulated races), above race pace efforts (intervals) and easy recovery efforts. But exactly how you divide that up depends on your genetics and conditioning...just don't burn out by doing too much redlining during training and don't go stale by doing too much sub-threshold work

Happy reading
 
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