Using a commute to train

Does anyone use their commute as training?
I have the option of doing a 20mile commute each day 5 days a week. 2 10mile trips. Probably about 30/35 minutes each way. Just wondering what plan could work? I currently get up early in the morning and do an hour training on a structured plan. Commute could be lengthened . Normally train about 7 hours a week. Happy to follow the base build speciality phases. Appreciate people’s e feedback and advice

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Lots of existing discussion to review:


Go for it!

My main tip is to make sure to keep your easy rides easy and your hard rides hard. It’s easy with commuting, especially if training is on the brain, to go moderately hard every time but this isn’t the best way to get faster.

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I used to have exactly the same commute distance. What I did was simple - I had a schedule where I would extend my commute 3 times per week. I did 2x20 hills work twice per week and then tacked on another hour casual riding - so 2 hours twice a week on the way home. The other session I did was to do a L2 two hour ride mid-week as well. That was partially to recover from other efforts. On the other days where I didn’t tack on extra training I would also train at home.

Just for fun, I also, convinced my employer to let me leave work early, at 1pm on Wednesdays, for 5 months so the 2 hour L2 ride varied from 2 hours to a full 100 mile workout. I was training for a multi-day event of 5 days of 100+ miles per day.

All in all it worked out perfectly for me.

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I would extend the easier rides. Its hard to train on your commute things like VO2 max or super threshold paces, specially if you are caring all your thing. I have a friend who brings all his work cloths for the week one day and commute/wo the rest. His commute was like slightly longer tho…like 16 miles or so.

Alternative if you have multiple bikes (so its not a pain in the butt to put/remove from trainer), you could do the normal training for the day, and extend the cool down with the commute.

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I used to use my 10-12 miles on the Cambridge guided busy to commute. I had 2-4 miles either side of that through town where I didn’t focus on training but other obstacles. Laterally, before covid and wfh I done the journey but only treated it as warm up for a short/sharp turbo session. My take, if you can focus on training on it do it but if you can’t commute anyway :+1:

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I will add, to my own post, I had a really great cycle path (5 miles out of Dublin, Ireland along the seaside) followed by another 5 miles where there was one traffic light. If I didn’t turn of the cycle path I ended up at a peninsula where there was a 2 mile climb with a 3 mile decent back to the start of the same climb. Man I miss that commute!

So the correct answer to the opener question is: It depends on the roads etc you live on. Currently I have a 26 mile commute to the office (which I rarely do) through all sorts of traffic. Its hair raising sometimes and there’s no way I could do anything workout wise except Z2 / Tempo / Survive.


I use the commutes to add easyish volume. They talk about doing a morning petit on the podcast, and my commute is like a shorter petit/taku…it’s a 20-30tss of pretty consistent uphill pedaling (downhill on the way there, so it’s time on bike…but not significant for training purpose).

Generally I find it hard to have motivation to get off work and go right into intervals or sweetspot or whatever, but that’s just me…and I’m normally not that crunched for time.

With a 10 mile commute, if I wanted to use it to train…I’d probably take it easy there each morning, fuel up 2hrs before the end of your day and then lengthen the trip home to 15-25ish miles and if you have good open roads, use the TR outside workouts. Load it up so that’s your M-F schedule with maybe a Wednesday off. If you have lots of stoplights or it’s through a city or on bike paths, that’s probably not an option though…so you’d have to get more creative. Probably keep it shorter and use it for more high intensity work two days a week between stoplights/stopsigns, with the others being lower intensity time-on-bike volume building rides.

I was just waking up earlier some days and doing my full 1 hr trainer road workout during my commute to work. Sometimes, I have left work early or come home a little later and used the return commute. Now, my kids are in school again, so I have mostly been bringing my bike to work in the car and working out at lunch. It helps that there are many good outdoor riding spots near my office. Recently bought some rollers so I may start doing indoor training at my office if it isn’t too loud. With 5 kids, I have to squeeze training in where I can, but manage about 9.5 hrs a week this way.