You bought a bike to ride to work as a solution for not having time to work out and to get you to work a little more cheaply. Sadly, this plan has backfired and your daily commute is now a tossup between a boring ride home and a game of Frogger. Check out these tricks to take your commute to the next level and get the most out of your body.
Don’t Go for The Lightweight Gear
The lighter weight bikes and clothing are meant for speed and aerodynamics, not a full-on workout session. Stay away from the super light bike and grab one with heavier bones. Wear heavier weighted clothing too. No need to put on the plastic sweat suit like boxers wear, but definitely grab regular workout clothes instead of the thin material the pros like. If you really want to maximize the workout, add saddlebags to the bike and fill them up with your gear for work and the commute back. The heavier the bike, the harder the workout.
Try to Not Make the Light
Starting and stopping helps increase your workout by providing opportunities to focus on short, high intensity bursts, rather than just going at a consistent yet moderate pace. Use red lights as your rest period, but as soon as the light turns green, hit it as hard and as fast as you can. Not many lights on your commute? Take it block by block. Push your limits for one block and then slow it up and rest for the next block. Alternate back and forth the whole way home. When using lights as part of your commute workout, make sure you follow the rules of the road and stay safe. The Ladah Law Firm can give you 7 good reasons why following the correct laws can save your life. Always be aware of blind spots for drivers you are next to, make correct turn signals and always stay in your lane when possible.
Change It Up
Get on that map app and find routes that give you a more challenging terrain. Look for something with a lot of hills. Use the hills as your high intensity push and then rest on the way down. The goal is to get your heart rate pumping fast for at least 30 seconds.
Make Your Own Workout
If playing the stop light game and riding the hills doesn’t fit with your commute area, make up your own interval work out. A pretty standard interval workout is 3 x 1. Go hard for 3 segments of time and back off for one. If you are just starting out, try going for 30 second segments. So in a 3 x 1 workout, you would push it hard for 90 seconds and slow down to a moderate pace for 30 seconds.
Trading in the hatchback for a bike is a growing trend in the commuter crowd. It’s economical, environmentally friendly, and a great way to get your workout in every day. But if your workout is less than challenging, try these tips for a better ride.