I'm cycling to work every day. It's 2x8km it takes around 30 mins (depends on weather, traffic and whether I want to push it or just cruise. I'm starting to see it as an opportunity to make it some sort of actual training - HIIT training maybe?
Something like alternate slow/fast kilometers (or 500 meters), or pushing any hill fast and taking the rest as recovery, etc.
Is it likely to provide significant improvements in Vo2 max? Why yes/no and what exercise structure (with given distances/times) would be most beneficial from that perspective?
- It's a good commute (mostly bike path with little traffic or secondary roads, relatively long straight lines in a lot of places, good surface, some hills). However 30 km/h is probably a maximal reasonable speed
- I can run it too - about 35 mins
- I'm prone to shin splint so I wouldn't do things like 1k intervals @ 3:30. Running/cycling uphill would be better (and recovery rest of time).
- I have a cardio watch so I can keep pretty good stats of stuff
EDIT (To add details from comments)
- David/gshenk: I'm actually at about 50 ml/kg/min for Vo2max @ 34 years old (that was ~1 years ago, might have gone down a tad), which as far as I know is not too shabby. The reason the commute is so slow is that it's still a city-ish setup (so I do have2 major intersections eating up a couple minutes because I HAVE to wait my turn, plus a little bit not connected I have to take a path & walk my bike on my shoulder). I'm also doing with a mountain bike (so relatively fat tires, not a gear setup especially given to high ratios). The other thing is that this is in the northeast and yes snow, ice & slush will quickly wreak havoc on your avg speed. Ah and I'm also carrying a small pack (lunch, clothes & sometimes a laptop). Nothing crazy but ~10-15 pounds on average. I know a saddle bag would be better.
- So ~30 + or - 5 mins in winter, probably getting closer to 20min in the summer.
- Criggie: I like your thinking. True I don't NEED to go straight to work (nor get directly back). Excellent idea to remove some constraints.
- Some people seem concern about safety - I do hear the concern, but let's just assume for the sake of argument I'm not a total idiot and I'm not going to risk crashing in a trolley full of toddlers just to keep it in my Zone 5 HR interval....