Biking to work is good exercise. It can make it easier to meet our exercise needs.

When commuting by bike, what heart rate or power zones do people usually use? What's a recommended target? Should we try to get to work as fast as possible or at a more relaxed pace? Do the commuters decide it based on feel?

Which days should we do sprinting? Should we have similar schedules every week?

An example of a schedule with the zones can be helpful.

Let's say you work full time and you want to break the plateau. You want the kind of fitness improvements that make you bike to work faster and improve race times.

Update Dec 20 Possible fitness goals: Faster commuting times, faster cruising speeds, 30 km/h feels easy, faster sprints to decrease missing green lights, being able to outrun wolves and bears. Getting to work faster on a bike means less need for driving to work or e-bikes!

If intervals are done, does that mean the next day must be zone 1 to be fully recovered to train hard enough for your next interval session? Is the fat burning zone good enough?

  • 4
    Positive integers is a good target.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 7:20
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    Sorry, but this is much too broad for a meaningful question. The typical heart value can be just about anything the heart is capable of, depending on how you cycle. Please edit your question so it asks about an actual problem you face.
    – sleske
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 9:09
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    @Criggie positive real numbers Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 13:01
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    @sleske More information has been added.
    – Brian
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 0:58
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    Target heart rate and power depend on your goals and your personal max heart rate and functional power thresholds respectively. Both are really dependent on the person. For example on my commute I typically target an average of 300-350 watts and mix in some high intensity intervals (e.g., Tabata) 2x a week in the summer so I have the speed and acceleration for club A rides. All I care about is working on my 1 to 5 min power so I can launch attacks. Your interest may be hour long time trials which would necessitate a different schedule. Without know fitness goals it is hard to generalize.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


I would claim, without data so just thinking about my experience with the world, that most commuters are not targeting heart rate or power, they are just trying to get to work. Some want to get there as fast as they are (reasonably) capable of and some are wanting to get there at a reasonable pace that does not require a shower. Many just want to get there. There must be some who try to combine sophisticated training with commuting, but those are few.

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    I reckon there are quite a few who chuck in some unsophisticated training (e.g. take certain opportunities to sprint, push the cadence, etc.) but on the whole you're right.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 9:21

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