Home > Consistency, Fun, Tri Posts > Monday Morning and the Return of the Iron Pig

Monday Morning and the Return of the Iron Pig

ride alarm

I love long weekends.  Do you love long weekends!  I love long weekends – especially long weekends with very little in the calendar.  My long weekend this past weekend was PERFECT!  3 amazing dinner gatherings, great times with family and friends, some lovely beers (really quickly becoming a fan of the new Block 3 Brewery that recently opened in the tourist town of St. Jacobs, just outside of Waterloo), some SUNSHINE!!!, the Easter Bunny, and a great long run on Saturday!

What a great weekend!

But the weekend is over, and it’s back to the grind.  Back to the office, and back to the training plan!  And I actually feel really good about both of these things.

This spring hasn’t been the model of consistent training for me.  Maybe it’s the Winter Blahs.  Maybe I came down with a case of Laziness.  Who knows.  Who cares.  We can only go forward from here!

This week marks a new phase in my training plan.  Today was the arbitrary day when the combination of warm (and dry) weather aligned with morning energy and enthusiasm: Today I busted out The Iron Pig for my first bike commute to work of 2014!

My bike commute is 12.5km each way – a handy 25km round trip, mostly through parks and along trails, and away from traffic.  What a good extra boost to my training this will be once I start bike commuting 4-5 days a week (and where the alternate option is the bus – not a car – I’ll be biking as often as I can).

I struggle though with how to define this riding – is this “training”?  Does work commuting count as “training”?  On the Pro side: Time in the saddle is time in the saddle, and I realized this morning how much commuter training really is just as good a workout as any exercise bike (which is how I “trained” all winter).  On the Con side: My hybrid isn’t my road bike – it’s a very different riding position, I’m riding in sneakers on flat pedals (not clipped in, and thus all the work I’m doing is pedal mashing), I’m not following a training plan but rather just trying to get from A to B, and I’m much more restricted by traffic and traffic lights riding through town than I would be on the country roads.  Waiting at a red light doesn’t feel much like training.

So at the end of this week, when I look back at my ‘volume’ of training, the picture could be remarkably different if I include the 100km and ~4hrs of commute bike riding (assuming 4 out of 5 days) than if I exclude it.  By the end of the summer, this could have a huge impact on my training volume, which I guess really only matters if I look back on it in future years by comparison.  And for pride points.  It matters there too.

I’m honestly on the fence on this one, so I’d love your input:

Would you count bicycle commuting as bike training?

  1. sweatingforit
    April 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I’d probably log it separately. Track it and include it as part of your yearly total, but I’d want to know how much time I spent commuting and how much time I spent training.

    • April 22, 2014 at 7:54 am

      I think you’re right – it will be nice to be able to tell the two apart. Good call!

  2. April 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I agree with you, saddle time is saddle time. Just be careful that you don’t rely on a 12.5km bike route to get you through a 40k leg of an Olympic distance race.

    That is always my problem. Would love to commute on my bike, but it really messes up training.

    • April 22, 2014 at 7:56 am

      It really does mess up training! You’re right – it can’t be a substitute for long rides and training rides (though adds to the hours of work the thighs are doing, which makes those training rides tougher).

      I don’t have much choice – short of buying a second car, my options are a 40min bike or a 75min bus ride to work. I’ll take the bike, so long as it’s not raining too hard. We’ll see what it does to the bike training over the course of the summer though.

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