Let's Get Physical

Just a moment; I’ve got that image of Olivia Newton-John’s video in my brain.

Okay, with the recent weather knocking my commute by bike vs. car down to a 1:1 ratio, I’ve noticed on the days I’ve gotten to ride recently that I’m taking as short a route as possible and I’m feeling out of shape. I’m going to chalk some of it up to the hyperventilating I’m doing due to temperatures in the teens and the effect of my breath in the balaclava fogging up my glasses (a review is coming soon). Still, I’m loosing my edge.

Sure, people still make comments about how good of shape I must be in because of my bike commute but, truth be told, I’m starting to think it isn’t as much of a workout as we think it is.

All this to point you to a wonderful post by Treadly and Me regarding 11 ways to get cycling fit. Some very good points here which I’ll sum up – you should really go to his post and read the whole thing. Here are some of the things recommended to make the commute more of a workout:

1. Change your wheels (try a different bike once in a while)

2. Race yourself (make each day a time trial)

3. Take the long way home (in my case, I have more time in the morning so that is when I can stretch my route)

4. Change your heart rate (use a heart rate monitor)

5. Head for the hills (try mountain biking)

6. Work on your speed (there is nothing like a little friendly competition)

7. Work on your endurance (occasionally double or triple your commute distance)

8. Work on your cadence (where am I going to find a velodrome?)

9. Load-up (tow something – I prefer my oldest son’s version which involves loading up a backpack with free-weights)

10. Go nowhere (use an exercise bike or indoor trainer)

11. Cross-train (try jogging)

Again, I urge you to check the post at Treadly and Me. Now, what other things can we be doing to (occasionally) make the commute into a workout?

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0 thoughts on “Let's Get Physical”

  1. John says:

    The whole point is weather or not we want to use our commute for training. More often than not, I commute because I like it, and allow 90 minutes for a 10 mile commute and shower.

  2. John says:

    Pt 2. That allows for those bad days when the wind and other factors make the commute tought.

  3. Dan says:

    I often try #3 – take the long way home. I wear my work clothes during the ride in, but I pack shorts and jersey for the afternoon. Depending on my schedule, I can get an hour ride in and take different routes to break the routine.

  4. Mike says:

    Well, it does depend on the length and topography of the commute. My commute is long(ish) and hilly. I live in Florida so people don’t think we have hills, but this area on the central Gulf coast is indeed hilly. Not long hills but steep and plentiful.
    My route in to work is 19.1 miles, and by the time I get to the office I know I’ve had a workout. I change things up—some days I sprint the hills and sprint the downhills, and some days I spin up and coast down.
    I do keep track of my actual time moving each day and try to keep it the same or beat it. Then I play the “how few times can I shift” game, or the “can I not shift out of the big ring today” game. The only downside of my commute being so long is that I need the weekends to recover. I don’t go for long rides on the weekends, but I work half days on Fridays so I’ll take a longer route home.

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