Using Your Commute as Part of Training

As the weeks progress into the end of most peoples build phase of “race training” I am left to wonder what to do as I am crunched for time and simply hate riding the trainer.  I am left to look at my daily commute.  The weather is slowly getting better in Charlotte, NC (it was 70 today!) as well as the day light is getting longer.  Instead of pinching my commute to be as short as possible I am slowly looking at making it longer.  Taking the 20+ mile option into work and then by the end of January doing the same to get home.

Do any of the readers use their commute to get ready or stay in shape for racing.  What is your normal mileage?

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0 thoughts on “Using Your Commute as Part of Training”

  1. Jeff P says:

    Started commuting again today. And your right, its starting to get nice in Charlotte. Once the sun got up this morning it heated up pretty quick. I’m still debating on racing this season, but I typically take a longer route home. Heading in to work I ride from Monroe to Matthews going up Monroe rd. (12 miles). Ride home – head towards Mint Hill following the Bikes East route making it some 20+ miles.

  2. xcskimt (Robert) says:

    I have been commuting through the winter in Green Bay WI trying to get from point A to point B in the fastest shortest way possible. The roads are starting to clear up and the temps warming up to mid 40’s the route will become longer. Working and having a family the commute becomes training. I will start to inch up the mileage to 20+ by March. The only problem I have with commuting and training is the carrying my laptop and clothes etc.

  3. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    I don’t get into “racing”, although I do enjoy keeping up with the fast dogs during my commute. Also, I started back rollerskating since I started biking,and found how much easier it is now. And last month I started ice skating and xc sking, and both are comeing easier than I had thought. So, yes I do year-round commuting to train, for “life”… : )

  4. Tim Dreyer says:

    Unfortunately, my commute is a bit too short to do much training (only 2 miles). I may try to find a longer route so that I can get in some decent training though… Good idea!

  5. Quinn says:

    I don’t race, however, especially having Spina bifida, I look at commuting as my own way to stay fit, and I too commute to train for life, I Definate notice the difference between summer, when I commute and recreationally ride and winter when I just commute.
    My advice- do all you can by bike, and spend less time “training”.

  6. Jim Mitchem says:

    I haven’t resumed commuting by bike yet since I get to work at 7:00 and my route is busy with commercial traffic- stopped riding in early December when I was almost hit by a tractor trailer – I had a bright headlamp and flashing led taillight.

    I am an hour north of Charlotte and this warmer weather has me eager to resume my commute, but I will wait a little longer.

    as far as training goes, I carry a weeks worth of clothes with me on Mondays in a bike garment bag. I can then strip down my bike and do my training on the rides home in the afternoon until friday when I carry my stuff home again.

  7. Dingbat says:

    I’m in the same basket as Tim Dreyer (@2, above), with a sub-2-mile commute. Two or three days a week I spice it up by dropping my daughter off at daycare, then riding 45-60 minutes before going to work (my work has a shower).

    Two of the remaining days I will ride early (5:00-7:00) then head home to do my bit of the morning family routine, drop my daughter off, and then ride to work and shower there. Having the work shower means that I can do the short rides, yes, but it also opens up the other mornings since my family’s time schedule can’t always bend to accommodate my training.

  8. BiggerDummy says:

    I do 15 Miles each way on my Big Dummy with studded tires. It’s slow and heavy – like a virtual 15 mile climb.

    Dropped down to 3 days a week over the winter, ramping back up to 5 over the next few weeks.

    As training? Well… we do a few 24 hour mountain races over the summer. The mileage is great for base miles but does nothing for core strength or explosive power and I found my offroad handling skills suffered for it. I may mix it up with a fixie or my road bike this season to keep me fitter and make sure I get more trail time in.

  9. Dingbat says:

    BiggerDummy reminds me to mention my bike (ok, I’ll admit it, brag on my bike!). I’ve got it set up now as a fixed gear with a low (42:21) gear ratio, fine for hauling the trailer. For some morning rides I leave the trailer at home and keep the gear ratio to work on my spin: 2 hours at a cadence of 106 or higher is my goal. Why 106? it’s the beats per minute of “Staying Alive” so I can check my speed by singing to myself.

    Other times (this morning, for instance) I’ll want to work on power or handling (I’m a cyclocrosser, really, not a roadie), and I’ll go play around in the dirt and on what passes for hills in Chicago!

    Or just haul the trailer into the wind for a while (I mistyped “trialer” there, and man, it’s the truth sometimes!).

  10. Kwvin Love says:

    The answers to your questions are:


    1.2 km.

  11. welshcyclist says:

    I don’t race at all, I just commute and take leisure rides, because I love to be out in the fresh air as much as possible. Neither activity is classed, by myself as training, I just do it to help me keep in some kind of shape, as it helps me in all aspects of my life.

  12. Dan says:

    I use my commute as hours, but more in a ‘recovery’ mode than anything else. When the daylight gets longer I might extend into some actual training/interval workouts on the way home, though.

  13. Adam says:

    Since quitting the Gym (due to the cost) I now use the commute as a cardio workout. 1 hr per day for 5 days. Some days I will do a spinning commute (rpm > 100) and others just hill climbing, just by varing the route.

    I find that by using your commute to work out you have so much more time left in the day. Weight sessions are now shorter due to no need to do cardio and also it just great to be out on the bike in the fresh air and working out.

    However………there is a downside. I really do miss all the nice ladies in gym kit 😉

  14. welshcyclist says:

    That settles it Adam, I’m joining the gym, I don’t get to see any nice ladies on my commute, if I did I’d probably go alot faster.

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