Thursday, August 5, 2010

Making The Commute Count

Yes I'm riding a road bike on the dirt...

I live about 8 miles as the crow flies from my house to the office.  On a good day, depending on traffic lights, I can straight-shot this on my road bike in 15-20 min - faster than I can drive usually.  For a long time this is what I would do on the 2-3 days I rode to work each week. The ride back home was a steady climb and I could push pretty good for 30-45 min.  Not bad considering I could be sitting in traffic with everyone else wasting time.

This year I started incorporating more training into my ride to work.  Rather than a straight shot I started leaving earlier choosing less direct routes with more elevation loss/gain. That 8 miles turned into 22+ one-way.  Add an extra 10-14 lbs in a backpack with a small laptop, lunch, and a change of clothes and I was set up for a pretty good workout.  Still all I was doing at this point was riding semi-hard (hard at times) for 1-2 hours.

Some weeks these commutes are all I have to keep my fitness up with the demands of work, family, life, etc.  Recently I decided to take things to another level with some more specific training in the form of 20-40 intervals.  I like these because they are simple only requiring a good steady climb and 4-5 min per set to complete.  I got the idea from Dave Wiens in his ROAD TO LEADVILLE: RUN FOR THE HILLS blog post (I am self-coached currently and try to glean what I can from the professionals).  No doubt there is much more I could be doing, but these are simple and straight forward and one can "throw a set into a ride at anytime, early on, toward the end, etc".  

I've been experimenting with different sections of my commute to find the perfect hill I can get a set or two in on without too much interruption and may have it dialed in.  It will be interesting to see how I feel  next month in the Park City Point-to-Point with a few more weeks of these under my belt.

I found another 20-40's quote from Wiens in this post.  "I’m toying with throwing in a set of 20-40’s, too, like I did yesterday. That’s the cool thing about 20-40’s, you can just drop a set in anytime you want to, even riding your townie to the store or the pub. People might think you’re off your rocker but who cares what people think anyway, right?"

More Training Links From Dave's Blog:

No comments: