Do these training hours count?



Old n' Lazy

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Apr 29, 2007
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I ride to work sometimes (It's about 25km one way) Do I get any benefit from these rides? Or is this just wasted time in the saddle? My standard training is usually about 7-8hrs per week in 3 sessions. I was thinking of using the commuting rides would be used as part of my low intesity hours. Or is a 50-60 min ride just too short?
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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50-60 minutes is definitely not too short for a workout. If there's a benefit to your commutes, and what that benefit might be depends on how you ride them.
 

BlueJersey

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Personally, I only commute to warm up my body to prepare for the first day of my 3 day block training. Or just to maintain my CTL until the beginning of my 3 day block cycle. Otherwise, personally, I don't see any benefit in commuting. The effort isn't continuous because of frequent stops. Intensity isn't consistent enough.

Old n' Lazy said:
I ride to work sometimes (It's about 25km one way) Do I get any benefit from these rides? Or is this just wasted time in the saddle? My standard training is usually about 7-8hrs per week in 3 sessions. I was thinking of using the commuting rides would be used as part of my low intesity hours. Or is a 50-60 min ride just too short?
 

BtonRider

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I commute to work as a recovery ride. The above comments are correct that the effort isn't consistent enough to offer good training. I've personally found that I recover faster when I commute though. I don't always have a lot of time to work in as many recovery rides as I'd like, so the commute is an easy way to work in a few easy rides to a busy week.
 

Spunout

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Sep 21, 2005
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BlueJersey said:
...Or just to maintain my CTL until the beginning of my 3 day block cycle. Otherwise, personally, I don't see any benefit in commuting. The effort isn't continuous because of frequent stops. Intensity isn't consistent enough.
If it is not training, should you then not use the values to prop up your CTL?
 

ihana

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Nov 7, 2006
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I do a 9kms daily commute through town and train at lunch time or occasionally
after work. I find the commute is a nice warm up/down and also gives a feel of
how tired or fresh I am that day.
I think a proper cyclist is one who actually uses the bike for commuting too,
where practical, of course. :)

cheers,

Tom
 

BlueJersey

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Jan 5, 2005
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Nah, the commute would only earn me 1 CTL point the most. 110TSS round trip the most.

Spunout said:
If it is not training, should you then not use the values to prop up your CTL?
 

Nicolai Foss

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Jan 6, 2007
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BlueJersey said:
Nah, the commute would only earn me 1 CTL point the most. 110TSS round trip the most.
If you do a 5 time a week commute at 110 TSS wouldn´t that give you a CTL of around 78? In my wiew if you didn´t take such a large amount of riding into your training plan you would have a large risk of overtraining.

I commute 18-20 km each way which gives a TSS anyw´here from 90 to 180 depending on tempo. One of my routes is best for tempo riding whereas the other has more lights and therefore is better for anaeobic efforts (and ususally ends up with more TSS despite being shorter).
 

BlueJersey

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I just commute once a week. Maybe twice the most. I learned my lesson from last year about commuting. You can rackup high TSS per week but it really didn't make me a stronger racer.

Nicolai Foss said:
If you do a 5 time a week commute at 110 TSS wouldn´t that give you a CTL of around 78? In my wiew if you didn´t take such a large amount of riding into your training plan you would have a large risk of overtraining.

I commute 18-20 km each way which gives a TSS anyw´here from 90 to 180 depending on tempo. One of my routes is best for tempo riding whereas the other has more lights and therefore is better for anaeobic efforts (and ususally ends up with more TSS despite being shorter).
 

turbonium

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Old n' Lazy said:
I ride to work sometimes (It's about 25km one way) Do I get any benefit from these rides? Or is this just wasted time in the saddle? My standard training is usually about 7-8hrs per week in 3 sessions. I was thinking of using the commuting rides would be used as part of my low intesity hours. Or is a 50-60 min ride just too short?
i have only done bike commuting 15km each way. and it got me pretty strong.
 

Pendejo

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Apr 8, 2006
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My guide is: If you're not straining, you're not training. In my opinion, easier rides can help with weight control, mental attitude, and keeping the legs rust-free. But they will make little or no contribution to your competitive efforts.
 

Papote

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Mar 15, 2007
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I have the same doubt. I'm training following Friel's method (The Cyclist training bible). If a certain week I should train 12 hours, I don't know if I should count in the five hours of commuting to work (24 km each day, 12 km commute taking around 40' each way, four days), I ride the commutes below 65% maxHR (recovery), ever lower in the morning (below 55% maxHR, I find it more difficult to rise my hear rate in the early morning).

Or perhaps I could ride those commutes at training speed, but these are short rides... . I commute through the cycling path around Madrid, not too bad for training purpoes.



Pendejo said:
My guide is: If you're not straining, you're not training. In my opinion, easier rides can help with weight control, mental attitude, and keeping the legs rust-free. But they will make little or no contribution to your competitive efforts.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Pendejo said:
My guide is: If you're not straining, you're not training. ..
Which is a direct contradiction of Arthur Lydiard's famous quote: "Train, don't strain"

But I expect I agree with you more or less, cut out the junk miles or at least don't call them training. Training should have focus and require some effort, but it also shouldn't be so brutal that you can't finish the session, train again on subsequent days, do enough of it in the short and long term or be fresh enough for your events.

-Dave
 

Steve_B

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BlueJersey said:
I just commute once a week. Maybe twice the most. I learned my lesson from last year about commuting. You can rackup high TSS per week but it really didn't make me a stronger racer.
I agree. I learned that a few years ago when I started tracking my CTL. Ouch. I was getting a lot of TSS through commuting (without doing any real training during the ride) then sometimes I would train after work on my TT bike too. It got to be too much and my CTL was getting to be way too high (IMO). Once I cut back, and managed my riding through WKO+, I am a much more effective racer. My legs aren't tired all the time and I'm less likely to mentally burn out from too much volume.

Now, I commute generally for one of many good reason: need an easy day, need more TSS "fill", need to open up the day before a race, need some SST, all of which I can do on the way to/from work.
 

Pendejo

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I think the only good use for CTL tracking is to predict how worn out you are - but you already know that.
 

Steve_B

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Pendejo said:
I think the only good use for CTL tracking is to predict how worn out you are - but you already know that.
No, I would argue with that opinion.
 

doctorSpoc

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Nov 18, 2005
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Pendejo said:
I think the only good use for CTL tracking is to predict how worn out you are - but you already know that.
- how about looking at CTL slope and predicting and making a correction to training load BEFORE you get overtrained
- how about predicting fitness by some date in the future
- how about comparing where your fitness is year over year

just a few off the top of my head

as for commuting... basically, it's training... if... it's training. if you're going out and twiddling your thumbs for an hour a day and stopping every few minutes at lights.. then that's active recovery and not really training. you should count it in you CTL because it does add up, especially if you're doing it 4-5 days a week... but it's not really effective training for racing.

commuting's effectiveness really depends on how you ride it. and you're somewhat limited by what is possible to do given your route. for me i can't really do focused intervals of the correct durations given my route, so i limit my commuting to days when i'm doing endurance/tempo... you need endurance tempo rides, but if that's all you do or you do so much of it that it impairs you ability to do focused training of higher intensity it's not good... for general fitness and weight loss it's great.. for training for racing usually not so good... not every day anyway.
 

thekgb

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Dec 14, 2007
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you should count it in you CTL because it does add up, especially if you're doing it 4-5 days a week... but it's not really effective training for racing.

commuting's effectiveness really depends on how you ride it.


Don't those two statements contradict each other? any and all CTL counts towards fitness, which then counts toward fitness during racing. I agree with the second half of thost two statemetns...and the 1000 miles or so i've done commuting in the past 6 weeks certainly count in my sore legs as "training" as most of it was done at SST or L4 level.:)

-Mike
 

doctorSpoc

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Nov 18, 2005
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thekgb said:
you should count it in you CTL because it does add up, especially if you're doing it 4-5 days a week... but it's not really effective training for racing.

commuting's effectiveness really depends on how you ride it.


Don't those two statements contradict each other? any and all CTL counts towards fitness, which then counts toward fitness during racing. I agree with the second half of thost two statemetns...and the 1000 miles or so i've done commuting in the past 6 weeks certainly count in my sore legs as "training" as most of it was done at SST or L4 level.:)

-Mike

holy out of context batman...

i know it's only a few centimetres up but here's the whole quote... i'll ask you to read the part in bold...

as for commuting... basically, it's training... if... it's training. if you're going out and twiddling your thumbs for an hour a day and stopping every few minutes at lights.. then that's active recovery and not really training. you should count it in you CTL because it does add up, especially if you're doing it 4-5 days a week... but it's not really effective training for racing.

if you're doing level 1 you better have a 3-4 hr commute to make you training session effective.

so no... they are not contradictory. just training is not necessarily effective training. one needs to train with the right mix of intensities and durations to be a well rounded cyclist maximizing one abilities (endurance, anaerobic capacity, neuromuscular power, VO2max) and therefore maximizing one's chances of success in racing.

Edit- there's an opportunity cost associated with doing too much of one kind of training or another... it means it's taking time or energy away from doing the workouts that constitute the proper mix of training you should be doing.

you need to read the entire post in context... how most people ride their commute is normally dictated by their route and is usually littered with frequent stops... for instance, in your own case if all that L4 training is all done in intervals of less than 10 min, it's much less effective than a dedicated focused L4 training session with intervals ranging from 10 mins to 30 mins... the point is that more often than not one's route will not allow you to do the type of focused training at the proper intensities and durations that you should be doing.
 

Pendejo

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doctorSpoc said:
- - how about comparing where your fitness is year over year

** And that's what I'm questioning: the relationship between CTL and fitness. Based on my understanding of the CTL algorithm, there are an infinite number of workout combinations, over time, that could give you the same CTL. Some of these possible combinations are obviously more effective (for a given individual) in building racing fitness (and that's another problem: what kind of fitness and what kind of racing?) than others. If what I've just said is correct, the CTL is next to useless in comparing (racing) fitness levels from one period to the next, or from one person to another.