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How to turn your biking commute in to a workout

Many people bike to work, they go the same pace day after day, but do you not want to push your self to higher endurance. Cycling is a fantastic exercise to gain endurance and strength while commuting to work.

I use my commute to work daily as a workout, I have create 4 different routes ranging from 20 to 50 km that I use for commuting. Each route has been divide into zones, the zones are used for interval training, hill workout or high intensity workout.

I focus my training on two types of exercise Aerobic or “with oxygen”, is any exercise that requires increased oxygen intake and Anaerobic, or “without oxygen”, is any exercise of such intensity that the body must use natural chemicals instead of oxygen to draw its energy.

Cycling is mostly an aerobic exercise tills your heart rate moves above the aerobic zone, then it becomes an anaerobic exercise.

To get the right mix of Aerobic and anaerobic exercises through out a week of commuting, I use a number of different training drills during a week, here are drills that works great.

  • Cycling intervals – On a flat road do six to eight three minute intervals at your threshold heart rate (you need to know your threshold heart rate) with three-minutes rest between. Do this once or twice a week.
  • Cadence Drills – One or two other days a week, do cadence drills: crank at the highest cadence you can sustain (110-120 rpm is good). Do 40 seconds on 20 rest, repeating 4 times for one set. Do three sets.
  • Sprints – Warm up 5 minutes – go as hard as you can for 10 seconds – go easy for 2 minutes – repeat for a total of 10 sprints and recovery periods cool-down for 5 minutes – this is a great drill to do between stop signs or traffic lights.
  • Hard, steady state aerobics – warm up for 5 minutes – increase your pace you are moving at 75 to 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate subtract you age from 220. If you can not measure your heart rate, just go at a pace that forces you to breath deeply and rhythmically. You should be able to carry on short snatches of conversation. maintain pace for 20 minutes – cool down for 5 minutes – do this 2 to 3 times a week
  • add in a workout with weights – it will increase your metabolism, that will help you not loosing muscle mass while doing your biking. What will happen is that you exchange the fat you burning with muscles. I do weights 3 times a week after the morning commute.

Having zones build in to your commuting route, allows you to fit in the intervals, cadence drills and sprints.

Keep on commuting and get fit.

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