My workplace is 18 kms ( 11 miles ) away from home. I am planning to commute to and from every workday, 5 days a week.

My stats -

6'1" (185 cms ) 82 kgs (180 lb )

I generally average around 22 km/h while going and coming (13 mi/hr). The commute takes about 50 mins, I am in the zone for 30-35 mins.

I am able to follow this routine, but worry that I am overdoing it. I feel that I am loosing muscle mass.

So far, I do no weight / strength training. Eat a normal and healthy 3 course.

Can anyone please give me idea about -

  1. Diet regiment. ( I really hope suppliments can be avoided.)
  2. Body weight exercises if any is required. I hope I can avoid the gym.

The aim that I am able to achieve is to keep continue cycling with this routine hopefully generally around 15mph ( 25 kmph )

  • You normally don't want to commute very quickly on a bike since you don't want to show up sweaty to the office. It also sounds like you haven't started commuting; picking your route appropriately and riding it will make you quicker over time. – Batman Sep 22 '17 at 16:08
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    take a shower after going to office :) – Swayam Siddha Sep 22 '17 at 16:10
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    This sounds like a pretty standard commute -- I did more or less the same for about 20 years before I got old and lazy. So long as you eat a halfway balanced diet, don't severely restrict food intake, and don't have any medical conditions that would factor in you should have no problem. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 22 '17 at 18:15
  • Point #2 is precisely what's happening to me. I am gonna try for a week and update you then. – Swayam Siddha Sep 22 '17 at 18:23
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    25 KM = 15.625 miles. You conversion is a tad bit off. – Kibbee Sep 22 '17 at 19:53

You will lose muscle mass (apart from cycling muscles) if this commute replaces going to the gym. That's pretty much inevitable unless you can find the time and energy for weights sessions. When I did a little less than that commute my shower was at a gym and I did a mini session (upper/core) most days. You may or may not have that option. If you don't, consider whether with a small investment of money you could get some suitable weights at home. Time-wise the key is to get your weights in while you're sweaty and warmed up anyway.

I chose to have protein bars as recovery snacks after my morning ride /gym session. That might help, but most people don't need extra protein. With that amount of exercise, you can pretty much eat what you like in terms of calories; your dentist (for example) may have other things to say.

If you started fit but not muscly you'll build your legs and the rest won't suffer. What you'll lose is fat.


If you are feeling physically worn out by the commute and you are not used to, well, you are just tiring yourself out and not allowing you muscles to recover between rides.

Keep riding and your body will eventually adapt. Maybe you want to do this commute every other day for a while, or at a slower pace to help you your body strengthen itself.

Simply riding will build strength and endurance. Doing some body weight core exercises will probably help stabilize you torso and let your legs work efficiently.

  • With that commute, you are probably burning ~1000 kCal/day more than you would without that commute. Are you sure you're eating enough?
  • I've had cyclist friends who complained of constantly being tired and not being able to build strength. It turns out that these friends were eating enough calories, but weren't getting nearly enough protein. It sounds like you might be in the same boat. I'm no nutritionist, but from what I understand, you should be eating 1-2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight per day, and you should space that out over the course of the day, since your body can't absorb it all at once.
  • The best way to get faster at cycling is to ride faster. I realize that sounds glib, but there are a lot of tutorials for interval training, etc, on the web.
  • All valid points, but I very much doubt they apply to a daily 36km commute at moderate intensity. From personal experience the hunger after exercise would be hard to ignore and a “normal”, “western” diet usually has enough protein for exercise at this level. Unless OP is e.g. a vegan and/or seriously overdoing protein-poor food like rice. – Michael Sep 23 '17 at 17:01

I seriously doubt you are losing muscle mass. The body only consumes muscle mass in extreme situations. There is also a layer of fat under muscles so loss of fat may look like loss of muscle mass.

Many people train much harder than that.

No need to for special diet. Add some healthy calories if you feel like you are losing too much fat.


personally, I commute 11km each day to and from work, with general traffic. I take a shower at work, where we have a bike-to-work club with lockers and showers, and then I hit the gym during lunch, either for crossfit, squash or spinning. I then bike back home at the end of the day. My tips for a good commute are as follows :

  1. Optimize your route in terms of safety and shortcuts

spend time on Google Maps and find out a route that has dedicated bike lanes or lots of roads that are not major. Also, try and avoid stop signs and red lights.Your safety is very important when you go fast, so taking the time to figure out a good path is crucial.

  1. Observe other bikers when biking yourself

while I would never usually run through stop signs and sometimes red lights on small intersections, if this is the norm, it may be worthwhile to follow the other people. I cannot condone this behaviour, but if a motorist is used to everyone running stop signs, they may act in a way that is dangerous to you and them if you do not do as they expect .

  1. split up your day, and rememeber to stretch

I personally do not believe that just biking is good for your health, so it is important to do other exercises, and especially do stretches at the beginning.

  1. Chamois creme

you will need it for the first few weeks.Even after just to make your ride comfortable.

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