Following a plan and commuting by bike to work

I just started a plan, the 100mile gravel plan. But I’m unsure how I can combine it with commuting by bike to work.
When I commute I do about 30min ride each way, but with a trailer with baby and up some hills, so the overall TSS for the day is around 80TSS.
I don’t bike every day to work, and I can choose when to go, but if I do the commuting when I have a rest or easy day, I don’t really do a rest day, while if I do the commuting when I have a hard training, then I’m too tired at the end of the day, and if I do the workout before going to work I don’t really rest, while if I do the workout in the evening after coming back, I don’t have the energy to do the workout.

I doubt I’m the only with such problem: what have other experienced as a good solution?

this is a tough one, and one that i’ve grappled with trying to figure out how to fit it all in. Answer is you can’t, unless you have endless energy and a very understanding partner.

i’ve often contemplated how to fit it all in as well, especially in the PC (pre covid) days and even in between the endless lockdowns we had in australia. I could never find the balance to be honest.

About the best you can do is on the days you commute/haul kids is just mark the workouts on those days as done and move on. you’ll exhaust yourself otherwise and not get the benefit your after.

I started with an easier training plan and added commuting so the total perceived work was a bit more than the plan I originally wanted to do. I moved to the advanced plan once I built up a routine and got used to the increased volume. At that point, I had to really cut back on the commuting and build that up again slowly.

Sort of like this:

  1. Intermediate All Purpose Road

  2. Intermediate All Purpose Road + Commuting

  3. Advanced All Purpose Road

  4. Advanced All Purpose Road + Commuting

Thank you for your insights.
But if replace the prescribed workouts with commuting, then it’s no point following the plan, since I won’t be doing the structured workout but some generic bike ride instead.

I guess I’ll have to see week by week which days can be replaced with a 60-70TSS normal ride.
Hopefully with time the fitness will improve and the commute ride will have little stress then now.

My commute is about 25 feet (kitchen to study) so I don’t have direct experience. However, if I did have a commute, I would set up a plan for ideas on which interval rides to do and then do 2 or 3 a week depending on commuting and how I felt. On weekends, I’d either ride outside or do the plan ride. Or, if I had experience with lots of the rides, I’d pick my own hard rides.

My suggestion would be to use something such as, Xert, or even Training Peaks, that can model all your activity and correlate that with your perceived fatigue.

1 Like

I did this:

On hard workout days in the plan, I did these early in the morning then cycled to work at endurance pace as extra volume. The cycle home at recovery pace.

On the easy/active recovery workout days, I dropped the workout and rode the commute.

I only rode one day per weekend instead of 2 so I could get a full day of recovery off the bike.

My commute was around 14km each way and very hilly. I was training for a 200km hilly road race. I was using the advanced Mountainous GF plan. I was religious about getting in enough calories to fuel the extra TSS and prioritised my sleep.

Hope that helps.


I used to Commute 33 miles every day, 16.5 miles each way at least. The first thing to do is not view the commute as a hindrance to your training, but see how you can work it in, if you can keep it to zone 2, it will soon clock up your endurance miles, yes we can all have a generic ride, but if you keep the commutes as generic all they will do is wear you down, either keep it to zone 2 (even with kids on the back, can you go slower) as not doing zone 2 (well) is a common failure

So if you are getting in loads of zone 2, and the plan prescribes the shovel, and you think that is going to be to much, what workout can you do that is shorter and similar in zones, I would argue that even though you are not doing to workout said, you are doing what the plan intended, and the plan is all about progression, and if lots of zone 2 (I do about 6 hours of zone 2 a week) is where you start, that’s not a bad thing

It didn’t take me long to get to the stage where I would do more than the 33 mile commuting when I didn’t have a workout planned, and then did the commute as easy as I could on days that I did have a workout, and if you do the shovel, but can’t get to the end, don’t view it as some sort of life changing failure, that was as far as your training was going to get today, next week (or sometimes tomorrow) will be totally different


@DameLisa These are fantastic suggestions for @Simone_Chiaretta ! An ideal mix of maintaining the goals of the training plan while using easy/active recovery to maintain the commute!

1 Like

Thanks Coach. From memory I set this approach up after talking to Coach Mac a few years ago. It worked really well as long as I prioritised recovery days and weeks. Ended up doing a 35km commute in as a warmup to a 35km fast group ride before work twice a week ontop of 3x week day training sessions and one monster weekend ride. 2 rest days. Huge weeks but very effective for my event training.


What came to my mind was that you could choose the option of the plan with the lowest amount of time and do your commutes on top. That may give you the training load of the moderate or highest time option but should work fine.
If it doesn’t, you could still opt for a custom plan.


Coach Mac rocks!

1 Like

That are amazing suggestions, thx.
I just do 8km each way, with, so 10mile per day in total, nothing like yours :slight_smile:
I guess I’ll just do easy ride in Z2 when I’ve a rest day, and use public transport when the prescribed workout does intervals or “quality” work.