If you're struggling to find time to improve your fitness, why not add some fitness training to your daily commute?
Here are a few tips on how you can up your ride-to-work performance and make the most of this time, and potentially keep things interesting too.
1. Get the hammer down
Use enforced stops at junctions as opportunities to practice your acceleration.
Get the power on as fast as you can for ten seconds and swiftly flick up through the gears, before settling down to a sustainable pace.
2. Extend your route
You’ve got your kit on and you’re out there anyway, so why not add some extra endurance training by simply increasing the length of your ride?
Turn one standard evening commute into your week’s big training ride and you’ll have more time to play with over the weekend.
3. Vary the intensity
Traffic will influence how hard you can ride, but you can also vary the intensity.
Aim for most of your rides to be at 60–80 percent of your maximum effort, but add a weekly 90 percent blast, if conditions allow, to help boost your top-end speed.
4. Find a new route
Riding the same way day after day can become uninspiring.
Get out a map and find a new route — there are always more options to explore.
5. Add resistance
Use higher gears than normal so that your cadence is ultra-low to stimulate the development of your leg strength.
This will affect your ability to accelerate from a standing start though, so be sensible about where you try it.
6. Fartlek training
Also called ‘speedplay’, this is an interval session where the intensity and the duration of each interval is random.
This is ideal for commuting, as junctions and other road users influence how fast you can ride various sections.
So sprint to the next set of lights, then keep it steady until the mini-roundabout, stay in the saddle up the hill, and so on…
7. Spin fast
Concentrate on spinning your legs fast — about 10 percent quicker than normal.
Resist the urge to shift to a higher gear and, instead, rely on crank rpm to increase your speed.
Getting used to a higher cadence could improve your endurance and acceleration, so focus on it for at least one ride a week.
8. Hone your skills
Practice trackstanding at lights and junctions — it’s a handy skill to have. If you get it right you’ll look super-cool, and that’s vital!
Can you get all the way home without dabbing your foot?
For more ride to work workouts, check out our video below.
We’re not suggesting that you treat traffic like a playground. Concentrating on your own safety, as well as that of other road users, must always take precedence over developing your fitness.
- Sponsored: UK readers — can you go the extra mile this summer? By running or cycling to work you can be a part of Red Bull’s UK-wide Million Mile Commute. Join the club in Strava to be eligible for a Red Bull sample kit to set you on your way. Don’t forget to share your commutes by tagging @RedBullUk and use #MillionMileCommute