Finding Time to Train

Another failed panda. Why am I not looking up? Because there’s a car coming at me.


I had such high hopes for the spring. With the warmer weather, I would get out and be able to do a training ride at least every other weekend. I would be challenged by other riders, or go solo in working on intervals. And maybe, just maybe, my speed and efficiency would improve noticeably.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

I seem to have trouble finding the time to do everything that needs to be done. I have to work the occasional weekend. The apartment always seems to need cleaning. The laundry piles up. The husband needs attention. The dog needs attention! And let’s not forget that I need to practice music, yet another discipline that I need to keep up. How do I find the time to ride, let alone the time to just sit down and relax?

I’m just riding when I can find the time, and I enjoy it when I can do it. But I’m not getting better at it, at least not in the dramatic way that I had envisioned. I’m thinking that for training purposes, I need to get a heart rate monitor to figure out my intensity levels, and I may need to actually bike to work more often, even though I don’t always enjoy doing it.

How do you do find the time to train? And can you give me any pointers on panda shots?

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9 thoughts on “Finding Time to Train

  1. Lisa: i don’t commute by bike and wish i could – well i guess i could but choose not to. i was going to make a point about forcing yourself to bike commute and how much you might decide you love it……but i would be a hypocrite. On the other hand, i do find other times to ride so bike commuting is not such a big deal with me. I should commute by bike now that i think about it…..durn! never mind!

    • Ha! I do commute to the Metro station every day (which is challenging enough), but I don’t bike all the way to work every day. Last summer, I biked to work 1-2 days a week, but I got sick of it, for various reasons. I’m trying to get back into it by trying different routes.
      I’m glad to hear that you find other times to ride. I hope I see you on the road again!

  2. Panda shots… I LOVE THEM! The key is finding a quiet road. For example, Hains Point and Ohio Drive are prime panda shot training grounds.

    Re finding time to train: I am lucky that my partner and I do much of our riding together. That said, one of the ways to work in more time in the saddle is by commuting. AND I know some people would freak out at me for writing this, but I also think spin can be a good supplement. Of course, nothing can replace a ride on the open road, but spin helps with developing overall cardio fitness and does imitate cycling. I also found it helped my seated climbing, though I’m not sure why. Good luck. It’s always tough to balance everything, no?

    • It is tough! Sometimes I think I should pare down how much I do….
      I discovered that working out on a stationary bike really builds up my leg muscles, so I can see the value in doing that. I think the secret for me is to mix up my training, so I don’t get bored.

  3. Bike commuting consistency is the key for me. Almost all of my non Randonneuring rides are bike commutes. I very rarely do specific “training rides” instead, I train during my commute home. (Take it easy in the morning – hammer on the way home). Bike commuting is my way of getting in training time at almost no cost to my other responsibilities. For example, my bike commute takes just over an hour door to door. My regular commute takes about 40-45 minutes door to door. My family barely notices (if they notice at all) the “extra” 20 minutes. From their perspective, I leave the house in the morning and then I am back in the evening- it makes no difference to them if I am sitting on a train or on a saddle to get back and forth from work. So for just 40 minutes of “invisible” time. I can get in 2 hours of riding. That is SO much easier than doing a regular non-bike commute home then leaving home again for even just one hour to ride after work (or before). I basically bike commute year round and try to get at least three trips completed a week. In addition to bike commutes, I go on one or two long rides a month. And that about does it. On that schedule I have not only completed a rides of up to 600K,I have also gotten a good bit faster as well.

    • You are an inspiration, Iron Rider! I hear a lot from people who, when they commute, take it easy in the morning and then push it in the afternoon. I’m the opposite– I like to work out in the morning, and then relax in the afternoon. The problem is if I do that, I get home rather late…. But I think using the commute to train is something I need to think about.

  4. I don’t have any answers specific to riding, but for running, and fitness in general, the only thing that works for me is making it nonnegotiable, I try to get after it everyday.

    • I totally get that. I feel that way about practicing music, too. Otherwise, I waste time on the computer…. oops, gotta go!

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