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Does Commuting count as training?

I commute to work by bike 5 days a week - 20k each way. Does this bike ride count as training or should I plan which rides are training rides (intensity, speed, effort) and which are only used as transport from home to work?

I also do two run and two swim sessions during the week, which means I complete 4 back to back sessions (swim/bike or bike /run) and 6 bike rides during the work week. I am aiming for OD and maybe half Ironman and the routine (I think) lacks longer distances, as I ride max 30k a session/50k a day and run 5 to 12k a session. My first training session/commute is at 6 am, my second session/commute around 7 pm, so that's the day gone for me from getting up at 5 am and coming home at 8.30 pm. By 9 o'clock I hit the pillow, if I want or not, and usually even miss the end of CSI NY!

Having a family with two little kids means that my weekends are pretty busy with rolling around on the floor, exploring new playgrounds and building brick castles. There is little time spare for training on weekends, especially as my little angels are early risers at 5.30 am ....

How can I get more out of my available training time and still juggle the demands of training, a busy job and family life?!


  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262

    If you are just trundling along, avoiding being killed, you are exercise your cardio vascular system, building strength in muscles and ligaments, and developing skills (motor/reflex type stuff). You are probably working on the core a bit (back in particular - a lot is going on as you balance).

    But not the only training you should do!

    What you are not doing is working in speed/power lactate threshold type exercise.

    However, your commute miles should take a proud place in your training log.

    (If you are an elite athlete, then this might not be the case, but in general terms).

    You can also extend your commute - take a detour on the way home - and turn it into a longer run as the evenings get longer.

    But 40K a day is not to be sniffed at.
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Sounds like you have your bike base fitness well under your belt, so yes, your commute is valuable training time. In fact I'd say you put more miles in in a week than many weekend-only club cyclists are able to do.

    I used to do most of my cycle training by commuting - shorter distances than yours. Day in day out for 3 or 4 years, bar heavy snow or if I was sick. I reckon you'll find that if you went out for a 2-3 hours spin with some club cyclists you'd easily hold your own. I was well able to do a 3 hour cycle after a few months of just doing 35 mins twice a day.

    I lost my job a while back and the think I miss most (apart from a monthly pay cheque) is my daily cycle.

    You should probably try and do some interval work or hill work just to up the intensity.

    What I did in my first OD season was, having built up a decent degree of running fitmess, was to run the 7 miles home from work a couple of times a week.

    I only really started swimming that April, for a June race. I was under-prepared but had done enough by swimming twice a week for 9 weeks to get through the 1500m at Windsor.

    I too have 2 young 'uns and it's all about carving out what little bits of time you can find. For example, my daughter gets swim lessons on a Saturday so this gives me 30 mins in the pool every Saturday for 40 weeks a years these days. Not enough to significantly improve my swim times but enough to give me a half-decent base swim fitness to build on in the 8 -10 weeks pre race season.

    It sounds like you're relatively new to the sport and if you're like me, your first goals are just to get it all done at a semi-respectable pace. You're well on track I'd say.
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    there was a link on this a few weeks ago!

    50% of my training is done communiting, im lucky in that i get a lot of down time with my job but those who actually have to work for a living i dont know when they get time to train! To and from work is ideal.

    Im hoping to start running the 12 miles soon, do it once a week there and back and thats it for the running side! if only there was a river running parallel to the route i could do some proper bricks!
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Thank you for your valuable feedback so far! I feel a little unsure about the whole thing as it can be quite overwhelming for a newbie.

    Here is the deal, I started cycling in November last year after moving to Kingston because I could not believe how expensive public transport into London was. I have never cycled before and over a period of four weeks increased from one day a week to 5 days a week commuting, 20k each way.

    Six weeks ago a friend of mine entered me into a sprint triathlon and suggested I give it a try. Well, I have not been swimming since I was about 12 years old, so I started to go to the pool twice a week before my commute to work and have slowly increased the distance. I can now do 432m at Hampton pool in 8.43 and manage to do 1.3k per session.

    I used to run once or twice a week and now manage to do 2 sessions a week, one of 5k (first time beginning of the year 34 minutes, now 25 minutes after my commute to work) and once a week a longer run of 10 to 20k. PB for 10k after commute is 54 minutes .... slow! Sometimes when it rains, I leave the bike and run to work and the 20k take me about 2 hours.

    My first triathlon is on 4th May and I believe I am ready for a sprint distance. I would like to do a OD later this year and had my first longer bike ride last week, 80k in 2h55m, which I found very slow in comparison to all others that seemed to sprint past me. I also did a brick session yesterday, 42k bike ride (1h27) followed by a 10k run (54m), just to see how it feels like to do a longer distance.

    So that's it so far for me in regards to multi-sport. 5 months of cycling, six weeks of swimming and try to keep up the running. I am very enthusiastic, but I think I am lacking a plan! Good thing is that I lost 32 pounds over the past six months, so I am very pleased about that. I used to be a gym rat, but enjoy the variety of triathlon much more!

    Again, thank you for the support and feedback, any advice is welcome!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Sounds good. You are well prepared for a first sprint, and you will do very well! You just need to focus on some of the more detailed bits - i.e. transitions, brick sessions etc.
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    just2tri sounds like your gonna be fine mate!

    Great progression and good times!
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