Commuting and training. How's people doing it?

Recently I’ve started commuting a fair bit on my bike. Because of this my training sessions on my plan are suffering a bit. It’s about 40 mins each way. I’m thinking just commuting and trying to take it super easy at least one day of the week and do a session after and hope for the best I’m not too tired. Think I’ll attempt this tomorrow. Just to see how I get on. Does anyone else cycle home from work and jump on the turbo and hit a good threshold session? I can do vo2 outside easily enough but I like to see my progression on Trainerroad and don’t always use my power pedals on my commuting bike


Same as you, I commute everyday (5 days a week) about 30min each way and jump on the trainier when I get home in the evening.

I think you just get use to it and it doesn’t fatigue you.

Stay within z1 and very low z2. Shouldn’t impact your training at all.

However, 1 hour of commuting a day at 130-150w or so is probably close to 300 calories so make sure you are fueled for your workout at the end of the day.


I’m back in the office a 2/3 days a week. I take the train one day, commute (similar time to you) one or two other days, and then try to fit in my (Low Volume) workouts around that on the days I’m WFH/ Weekend. Double days do take it out of me more than a workout or straight 90min spin would though.

I guess it depends on your goals, but some of the strongest endurance riders I know do (or did pre-covid) 5 days a week commuting, with one or two weekend club spins.


I used to commute 1hr each way.

Definitely takes its toll. Eat more, sleep more, its all volume at the end of the day.

keep it steady, zone 2, try and extend it on the way home for an outdoor workout maybe? I always find coming home and having to get on the turbo a faff, especially if you get rained on or have lots of kit on.

Your body will get used to it, just takes a bit of time.


Yeah, I’m going to try it one day a week probably on a Friday and do my other interval session on a Monday and just drive and see how I get on, and how much extra I need to have for lunch. It will maybe be bit of a faff as stated but if I can at least get the two interval sessions done I should be good

2 interval sessions a week is plenty. Try the polarized plans.

midweek volume with an interval or two, one or two days of good volume on the weekend is enough to bring massive gains

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I’ve been doing sustained power and with all the OU’s and such makes it difficult to follow outside and I didn’t think of this. Maybe I’ll do that today

I find if you are doing plenty volume off the trainer, polarized’s intensity is plenty for the week. I had much better results from polarized at 12hr/week than sweet spot or any other plan. intervals every day I was on the bike was too much physically and mentally.

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Makes sense totally. One hard interval session on the polarized would do the job, probably on a Friday evening on a hill. The rest is zone 2 pretty much. I’ve uploaded it to my calendar and had a look and it looks like I could manage it.

Another question, will hitting these intervals outside give me progression points?

If you set your ride as ‘outdoor’ and push to wahoo it does.

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I have a slightly shorter commute, and am normally at home at least one day a week.

It can build up over time, especially the need to eat more to cover it all, but I have no difficulty doing some intervals one day, and a fast 1.5 hour club ride another day midweek after riding home. Just take it easy.

One better option once summer hits is to do an extended ride home after work, hitting 30-50 miles & some hills before heading home. Requires less motivation than getting home and starting up again for me, and is much more fun. Helps if you don’t need to carry any luggage of course.


Very similar situation as OP. I just moved house, and been commuting on the bike 25km each way which take 45m-1hr which I have been doing 3x week. I burn 500-600cal per ride. So far, I’ve been enjoying it a lot!

On my non-commute days, I have been doing Zwift races, or occasionally endurance rides on the TR. I think it would be more beneficial to do some structured vo2 - so should incorporate that instead.

I commuted in today - i dont really feel like jumping on the turbo when i’m home.

But but, I am super looking forward to when it warms up, even just a tiny bit so i can do early morning laps round the park before i get to the office.

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My commute is between 40 to 90 minutes each way, depending on route. I’m currently doing SSLV, but I intend to go back to polarized because it was more effective (for me). But for right now:

I drive in Monday (swap clothes, bring in extra food to the office), and Tuesday (childcare related), and otherwise ride in. I always do one set of intervals on the day I drive in (Monday). If Sunday was a rest day, I do Threshold/Vo2 back-to-back on Monday/Tuesday (hard, but doable). If I managed to do a long ride Sunday, then Tuesday is a rest day and I either do the workout on my Wednesday commute or I commute and then jump on the trainer when I get home. Thursday is a commute + optional easy-ish group ride. Friday is easy z1/z2. And I skip the SS intervals, or I incorporate them into my Thursday or Friday rides if I’m feeling like it. Saturday is the hard group ride.

This has been working really well for me since ~December. I have yet to hit a specialty phase, so I don’t know yet whether I’ll need to tweak things when the SS workouts turn into anerobic workouts.

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Hey there! Good question and great discussion going on!

@C_Nay nailed it with their points! 40 minutes each way is a decent chunk of extra volume, especially day after day. Keeping your effort level at zones 1-2 should help make sure you have enough in the legs for your structured workouts if you’re doing them at the end of the day. Fueling for that extra ride time is crucial as well!

If possible, it’s also helpful to have everything set up for your workout once you’re home – stuff like bottles filled, kit laid out, etc. That way, there’s less to sort out before you get started with your workout. It’s much easier to be able to hop on and get in the zone for a workout when everything is already prepped. :+1:

Some athletes I know can turn their commutes into workouts depending on the route they take, while others prefer to keep their commutes easy while doing their structured work later on. It could be worth experimenting with different approaches to find out what works best for you!


I use my commute as training and it works awesome for me.

The consistency you can get from commuting easily trumps a couple structured workouts a week hands down, to the point that I don’t bother with structured work during the week besides commutes since I Get 10 sessions a week already just from that.


Thanks for your input! I agree with everything you say, makes total sense. I reckon on a Friday, I have a good hill that takes me around 4 mins at a hard RPE to get up. I think I can utilize this on a Friday evening if the weather is correct and I only have to do one other structure session during the week. I also run a bit too, probably 3 times a week. I drive on a Tuesday so I reckon I could get my threshold session in that evening, then keep my RPE / power well down on the other commutes, have some tea and a snack then get a run in. I’ll experiment over the next few weeks, figure out what kcals I’m burning and how I feel and plan accordingly. If I have to drive the odd day to beat the fatigue and get the key workouts in then it’s not the end of the world. It’ll get easier once I get through this wet windy Irish winter

Thanks folks!

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I do about 30-40mins commute each way, 3 days a week (used to be 5 but working arrangements changed). Largely because it’s quite stop-start, I keep it basically in z1/2 ( my average HR can be less than 100 on vaguely downhill morning commute).

It probably helps that I’ve done so for 10yrs+, well before I started structured training, but found it impacts training less than the work itself does. As others have said, make sure you’re reasonably well fueled though - if you start feeling hungry on a ride home, inclination to do anything else may wane.

As we start to get lighter evenings, I generally extend my commute and either as it just as endurance, or put any intervals part way through.

I also find flexible work hours help in making sure sessions don’t finish too late (though this possibly applies irrespective of commute method).

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I’m only commuting one day a week at the moment and I often do a good VO2max/ Threshold session when I get home after 11 hilly miles (23 miles round) and a hours train journey. In my last job though I’d cycle nearly 30miles round 4-5 days a week on a heavier Triban BTwin 500 (the flat Cambridge UK Busway though) and some of my best sessions came after that. I’d get in have a couple of pieces of Soreen whilst I casually took 30mins to warm up. In my job before that I altered between long & hilly and short (8miles) and flat commutes and commuted 5day a week. Usually saving the short/flatter commutes for workout nights and got some good session in after that too. I think the commutes warm me up/ set me better and place me in the right place to know how hard to go.

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Depends how you are tackling those 40 mins each way. Endurance / tempo, threshold, VO2 a bit of a mix?