Video: How to do an intense work-out during your cycling commute

Posted on: April 3rd, 2018

Whip yourself into serious shape on the bike by increasing the intensity of your commute with these planned and controlled repeated efforts on your way to work or college. 


Increase the intensity of your cycling commute


Most people are strapped for time in their daily routine, so combining commuting to work or college with training is a must.

Getting a decent work-out done in the morning or on the way home in the evening takes care of your training without it taking over your life.

In this clip former top pro rider Emma Pooley takes is through her routine for getting a decent work-out on the commute.

She warms up at the starts and cools down at the end, and in between those two stages she does three eight-minute intervals at about 110 per cent of functional threshold power.

Your FTP is the maximum level of watts you can sustain in a one-hour all-out effort.

But because Pooley riders this pace for three sets of eight minutes, and not for a full hour, the routine shouldn’t leave you shattered.

You should definitely feel like you’ve put yourself through an intense effort. But you definitely shouldn’t be on your hands and knees when you’re done.

“If you’re going on feel, it should feel hard. Let’s face it; you’re going at 10 per cent over your threshold so you’ll feel a build-up of lactic. But it’s not flat-out. It’s eight minutes of controlled effort.

Pooley also used her recovery five minutes for “spinning nice and easy”.

If you’re doing this routine in the morning or evening rush hour, take a detour or loop to avoid heavy traffic.

It’s OK to warm-up or cool down in an area with traffic. But for putting in hard efforts, roads with the lowest volume traffic possible are best.


Reminder of the routine

  • Warm up
  • Eight minutes 110 per cent FTP
  • Five minutes easy
  • Eight minutes 110 per cent FTP
  • Five minutes easy
  • Eight minutes 110 per cent FTP
  • Five minutes easy
  • Cool down