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Spice Up Your Commute

by Warren T

On the path

I would love to tell you that I have time in my schedule for various workouts – but I have to be honest; my bike commute is my workout. Perhaps it is the same for you.

There is a wonderful post over at Zen Habits encouraging runners to mix up their workouts a bit. This post could easily translate to an article about cycling with little effort. I encourage you to read the original post but here is a condensed version for you:

  • Most beginners find one speed and stick with it.
  • Variety is the spice of life. Mixing things up a bit makes things interesting and helps you become a better (cyclist).
  • Your body adapts.
  • “After a month or so of doing one type of workout, you body will adapt and you’ll no longer be getting the same kind of benefits from that workout. You need to change things up every 3-4 weeks ” and if you do, you’ll most likely see continued improvements.”

    The post continues with 10 different workouts to try (Fartlek – hehehe) that you can easily adapt for cycling. I know that the whole reason of your commute is to get to work, but there should be a couple ideas here that might challenge you and make the ride to and from the job more interesting.

    If you already vary your commute, what are some of the different methods you use?

     
    Burley nomad 229

    9 Responses to “Spice Up Your Commute”

    1. JoelGuelph says:

      Ride different bikes! I mix it up with my dedicated commuter, my road bike, my mtn bike, and if I’m feeling really ambitious, my old freestyle BMX. You definitely use different muscles on the BMX vs. the road bike.

    2. nathan says:

      I like the different bike idea. I am only able to cycle about 2-3 days/ week. Therefore, it seems like it’s always a bit different. Sometimes I go for speed and others I go for a consistent pace that is sustainable over hills, etc. I think it’d be interesting to do a sprint/ jog rotation about every half mile or mile. I think I’ll try it next time.

    3. Cathy says:

      Different routes, different bikes, different commute times. Last week I rode my heavy, heavy commuter bike and I was worn out at the end of the week!

    4. Fritz says:

      I mix up my routes. And bikes, sometimes. And riding partners.

      Regarding the comment that “your body adapts,” this is probably best summarized by Greg LeMond’s statement that “It never gets easier, you just go faster.”

      Commuting by bike is decent for maintaining some overall level of fitness, but it’s not that great if you actually want to become a stronger cyclist beyond a base level. To become a strong cyclist, you’ve got to put the miles in and do the interval training.

    5. david p. says:

      i’d like to find a resource where people share their routes…. because i’d like to piggyback off their knowledge.

      as it stands right now, i’d kind of like to switch up my route, but i’m also concerned with time. when it’s time to go home, i want to get the hell home. now.

      on cicle’s webpage (www.cicle.org)…. they have a resource called back roads LA” where people share their routes, but i’d like to see a lot more up there.

      so… c’mon… quit being so greedy with your route and share the goods.

    6. Mike Myers says:

      I don’t know if advice for running workouts is applicable to bike commuting. Bike commuting IS interval training, after all. I have to sprint away from stoplights, hammer on a stretch of road which is pretty dangerous, climb a series of hills(Florida hills, but hills nonetheless), then I end up tootling down a trail. Unfortunately, I can’t take a different route due to traffic and safety, but I don’t find my route getting boring. As a matter of fact, some days it’s sphincter-clenchingly terrifying and exciting!

    7. Joe G. says:

      David,
      There is a great resource at http://www.bikely.com where you can draw out your route and view other people’s routes. In my area I’ve found new ways to get places and a new way of long distance training as well!

      I only have one bike, so I vary my route. Some days it will be back paths and side streets with no cars so I can take it easy, and then some days it will be the main 4 lane throughway where I’m hunched over trying to keep up with the speeding traffic. Not super effective, I know, but varied nonetheless.

    8. [...] Warren T added an interesting post today on Spice Up Your Commute.Here’s a small reading:The post continues with 10 different workouts to try (Fartlek – hehehe) that you can easily adapt for cycling. I know that the whole reason of your commute is to get to work, but there should be a couple ideas here that might challenge … [...]

    9. Steve says:

      Mapping Halifax for OpenStreetMap gives me a great reason to find new places to ride around town.

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