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Commuting and how it fits into my training plan..

Hi all, it has come to that time of the year when commuting is much more viable... the questions I have is:-

· Does commuting count towards my training? I currently plan specific session while commuting but I want to cycle more frequently...

· Can I commute too much that it becomes over training?

· Will it generally have a positive effect on me, even if I take the journey easy?

I have this idea I’d like to drive as little as possible over the summer months but in the same time don’t want to screw over my training...

All thoughts welcome



  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    - Damn right!

    - Yes (I always take it easy on a Friday prior to my Parkrun 5K TT on the Saturday)

    - Yes (You need to train easy sometimes)

    If I didn't run / bike commute I wouldn't get any training done!

    Seriously though. Heart rate goes up. You burn calories. THAT's training![;)]
  • danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    I make running to work a crucial part of my training. If not, I'd never hit my mileage targets. Sometimes I take the bike instead and take it easy, which I would never consider a workout, but as long as you are getting into your aerobic zones for 30 mins or so then commuting to work covers 1 or 2 workouts a day.

    What I like to do to mix it up is bike on a Monday morning, run home in the evening, the run in the next day and bike home so that you don't end up with a 14 mile day when you really wanted 6 or 7 miles.

  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270

    i try to cycle to work at least 3 times a week and usually add a run on the end to make it a little brick session, It also means going there and back adds a little tiredness into the equation and i find myself pushing hard on the way home to beat my time there.

    It saves so much time, although as its only 12 miles i still need to get out and do a long ride at least once a week.

    Once i can run again the plan is to run the train stations in building up to the point when i run the whole way.

    So to answer your question commuting to work can be as good a training session as you want it to be. Saves a fortune in petrol too
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Scott, I reckon its one of the easiest ways to integrate training into your daily life. Depending on how far you have to ride, its a good way to increase the number of hours pedalling, and sometimes if you have neough energy and depending on traffic throw some hard interval training in on the ride home. Maybe weekly or fortnightly leave the bike at work/home and run in. If you live further away, train closer to work and run the rest. A bowl of porridge when youve cooled down and you will be set for the rest of the day!!
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    I'd agree with all here. I'm actually on googlemaps now trying to find myself a longer route into work. Currently 5.5k and not far enough. Like the idea of cycling in then running home will mix that in I reckon!

    And Bman... sorry got to ask. Is that you in the picture? And are you in fact walking a cat?
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    I've heard from some cyclist friends that 50-60 mins is the ideal commuting time; long enough but not so long that you don't want to do it. If you found a route and cycled there and back three times a week that could make a real impact on your training.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Commuting is my only way of getting volume in. However, I'm only in the office five or six days a month, so that cuts the opportunity down a bit.

    2007 - I cycled to work. Got put off by having a near death experience every third ride in.

    2008 - Switched to running - it's 8 miles each way, so is great for a bit of "free" volume.

    2009 - Been too injured, only did the run on two days in January :-(

    I do the trip in at "easy" pace. It's all about base, economy, and not getting too sweaty. And we don't have a shower so I have to be a bit careful - although to be honest you can get pretty clean with a hot water and a flannel!

    Coming home I go a bit harder - simply because it is 8 miles of pretty steady up hill (from a bit over sea level to almost 1000 feet).

    So, yes, it counts.

    Organise your training around it so that you don't over train (e.g. look at your quality sessions, then use the commute to provide the easy/medium intensity bulk).

    It takes about 1hr to run in, and about 25 - 45 to drive (rush hour congestion). So I can get a 16 mile base level run in for only 30 minutes of time - 15 mins in the morning, 15 mins in the afternoon.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Flavadave, sorry to say its not me, but if I had a cat who was up for a jog, Id be out there with it. Dunno about the outfit though, although I must say Ive seen some pretty outrageous trisuits.

    Juleso, when you say 50-60 min, you mean each way? Im doing 50min altogther each day and finding it good whereas a few years ago 90 min one way was a killer. Talk about crashing when you get home, I was a zombie! Ok maybe my fitness has got better since, but still..
  • Cheers guys..

    I have a 10mile direct route which I use when I want to do bricks or a speed session and a long cut that is 18miles so it fits perfectly in with the advice (40-60mins).. I have also been known to run to work.

    Jack - you're dead right about the rush hour timings - I can get up at the same time and cycle to work, have a (cold!!) shower and breakie in the canteen or get up shower and eat at home then drive in and get to my desk for the same time!!

    I think I just need to slow myself down - I'm still in mindset of every journey should be faster than the previous one......
  • danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    scott_burrows wrote:

    I think I just need to slow myself down - I'm still in mindset of every journey should be faster than the previous one......

    I do this constantly, and sometimes it gets me into work looking like I'm ready to go to bed again. The mileage is great, but when I decide halfway through a run that instead of being "tempo" that it should be at LT instead, and want to breeze the last mile above my race pace... things go downhill. Instead of a recovery 5 mile run, it turns into 35 minute dash which is sometimes great, but mostly not what you need.

  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    @danny_s: do you have an HRM? I find it's the only way I can run slowly enough. Set the limits to +/-5 around your target rate - then let it beep at you when you go outside the limit. After a while, you just want to shut the nagging beep up, so you stick within the limits.

    On the other hand, I love to start off with a 60 minute easy run, after 40 get so bored so decide that doing the last 20 minutes at LT speed will be a good idea. I've not really seen any training plans that say you can combine easy + threshold in the same workout.. but I can't see why it isn't a good idea!
  • Xyzee_ukXyzee_uk Posts: 100
    Quality - Thanks for the info guys,

    I have just moved jobs from one that is a 4 mile round trip to one that is a 20mile round trip. So this has answered all my questions as well. When it becomes too easy I might have to change jobs so I am further away!!
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Bit of a tardy reply - but yes - 50-60 mins both am and pm. A good way to build up the miles.
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