Pacing Strategies for a Commute

Would love tips on how I can pace myself best on commutes to minimize time but still achieve the desired training focus for a workout. (or tips on where to learn more). Let’s say a generally hard, but not breakthrough, workout.

my commutes are 60-120 minutes (mostly 60-80 min).

my intuition says to do intervals on the uphills and recovery breaks on down hills…and maybe ride at LTP or so for flats?

wondering if it’s better to accelerate fast out of red lights and get up to speed or conserve energy there?

if I see a spot where I need to stop ahead and I’m already moving along fast should I just coast to conserve energy? then hit it harder out of the stop? or just pedal for the XSS and brake?

thank you!

As you hinted at in the intro to your post, it depends on purpose of the ride / focus duration.

I would aim to hit the targeted focus and with as much specificity as possible. So if you need to hit a 5-min focus and that’s 300w, ride for a few minutes at around 300w whenever conditions (traffic, terrain) allow… otherwise ride recovery then endurance pace… if you need to ride endurance focus, keep it below LTP unless you are fresh and in base phase in which case keep it below TP… same principles as a general outdoor ride (and there are plenty of posts about riding to focus duration if you search)

Generally hills are good for high power efforts as you’re going slower / it’s safer, plus you have to overcome gravity and not just air resistance. Coast if you need to downhill for safety, else still ride recovery watts… I wouldn’t see the point of hard accelerations from traffic lights unless that’s the focus. You can do hard efforts on the flat if it’s safe.

You can use Xert’s focus field for real time feedback if you have a garmin, else a bit of trial and error followed by post ride analysis e.g. checking what was the resulting focus and specificity from whatever approach you tried. You’ll see for example that if you repeatedly accelerate hard from lights you will shorten focus, which may not be what you are after