Iron fit & commute

Should I count my commute as training?

9 messages
20/03/2013 at 20:52
I ride 12 miles to work and obviously the same distance home 5 days a week, and I'm religiously following the ironman programme from "Be Iron Fit". Does anyone know if my commuting miles will adversely affect my training programme? What is the best way (speed / h.r. Zone) to manage my unavoidable commute miles?
20/03/2013 at 20:55

If you are getting 24 miles a day in on the bike that is pretty good. I assume you are counting that as part of your training effort. You do need to get a longer ride in though if not 2. Could you extend the ride home one night to make it more like 25 miles? Then get a long ride in over the weekend.


If I had to chose I would select HR zone to work to rather than speed but I dont see why you need to do either. Just bike it.

Edited: 20/03/2013 at 20:56
Doner Kebab    pirate
20/03/2013 at 21:15

imo you either make it worth counting or dont. what i mean is one day do it as intervals - 1 mile on, 1 off or something like that or just take it easy and dont count it. if you just bike it like JB says i think you arent getting a specific work out but it may also take a little bit out of you so that you dont perform when you have to do an interval or TT workout. you only need to rag it twice if you plan cleverly and take it easy the other 3 days or vice versa


20/03/2013 at 21:28
Thanks. Until now I've been using one of the rides as the training ride as per the programme. So I do sometimes lengthen it. But the Iron Fit programme doesn't prescribe cycling every day, and focuses on low intensity Z2 pacing. I'm just worried the extra miles I'm putting in will hamper the recovery of an otherwise well planned programme. Hence I'm hesitant to do fartlec or threshold training in these spare miles. Any ideas if it will be detrimental to the training, or could i get away with keeping a very low intensity?
20/03/2013 at 22:08

Good question

I think commuting gives you lots of time on the bike, and can make you pretty strong, (especially if you treat lights as interval sessions


I used to ride both ways 4/5 days, and found I got pretty tried by the end of the week - the weekend ride is the most important one so if you are too tired and miss that then its a bit self defeating.

I am in london so my solution was easy....
I ended up

  • riding both ways on a monday
  • running x mins both ways on a tuesday
  • longer ride wed morning, x mins run home
  • long run in on a thurday, cruise home on the bike
  • rest on Fridat

hope that helps

20/03/2013 at 22:16
Thanks for all the advice.
meface    pirate
22/03/2013 at 00:11

How ling have you commuted on the bike. If it is a long time then it can be considered as additional to the training load. The same as if you have a manual job.

If recent then consider it to part of your training otherwise you will burnout.

If you striucture the ride to meet the workout goals of the day then consider it as part of your training load regardless.


I know a lovely female landscape gardner. Hard as nails but lovely (just in case she reads this). Early on in the IM schedule she found it easier to cope than other beginners due to her natural hard-as-nails fitness levels. Later on as the volume ramped up the training load and work load started to really take its toll- she wasjust knackered.

Think of your commute as a manual job. It helps with background fitness but ultimately will contribute to overall tiredness. If you aren't getting the specivity of training from the commute and it is stopping you from trainingdue to tiredness then it isn't beneficial.

Hope this helps.



WhizKid    pirate
22/03/2013 at 07:42
Yes you can count it as training as I do with mine as you can use it as a hill work out for example. I am a landscape gardener myself and sometimes if I have a particularly hard day like yesterday I'm knackered so I do take it into consideration and allow for it.... Just be sensible with it, I try too get the bulk of my training in before work so it doesn't matter so much if I'm wrecked after work.... Anyway if I was you I would stick with the commuting by bike, cars are a cop out
citizen 146    pirate
06/04/2013 at 21:03

I commute 6 miles each way , fairly hilly and Definately part of my aspirational 10 hours per week training plan

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