No time and no trainer

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#1
So, as I greatly value the opinion of the esteemed members here...

I seem to regularly be in a situation at the moment where I have around 2 hours only that I can have with the bike. This isn't enough to get to mountains, it's barely enough to get to rivers from where I am (without having to just turn back round again), which seems to leave me with the option of a ride basically around the local area, or finding some other way to keep fit (the 1000 sit-ups, or in my case martial arts etc.)

Any advice on ways to make a 2 hour ride in the suburbs, with loads of traffic lights, effective for maintaining/increasing areas of fitness, or is simply being on the bike anyway worthwhile over doing other exercise?
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#2
Find a loop with left turns no traffic lights close to you and do sprints on the less dangerous sides. Example, around the metropolitan government tower in Shinjuku.

Or just get a trainer?
 
Likes: jdd and Sheep

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
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#3
You mean in any 24hr period you have only 2hrs available for activities other than work?
1) Exercising more consistently , than lengthy is more effective.
2) There is little evidence that exercise beyond 30min or so is increasingly beneficial (if you're after fitness)
3) Based on that - I'd choose a virtual trainer and some loops around the Palace to augment.
4) Try to 'save up' enough time for truly significant rides - like sportifs, gran fondos, brevets or self-organized tours - especially outside of Japan.
5) Shave some time off your schedule (early or late) to ride more. I prefer starting rides earlier and earlier as the Summer bears down - getting an early start of 4am or so still gives most people plenty of time to ride AND work.
 
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May 22, 2007
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#4
From where you are, Sheep, why not pop down to Tōhachi-dōro and do intervals up and down there from light to light. Or ride laps in Tama Cemetery.

I dimiss the 'junk miles' doomsmiths. Any time on the bike is good time. Build strength with heavier gears; spin for faster-twitch stamina; cruise for recovery. The nice thing about summer is that once you're outside away from the aircon your muscles are warm in a few seconds!
 

Sheep

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Jul 27, 2009
285
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#5
Find a loop with left turns no traffic lights close to you and do sprints on the less dangerous sides. Example, around the metropolitan government tower in Shinjuku.

Or just get a trainer?
I don't really want to get a trainer, as frankly the last thing I want to do after being stuck indoors for work is work out indoors. Sprints sound good though.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
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Tokyo
#6
You mean in any 24hr period you have only 2hrs available for activities other than work?
Unfortunately that's basically it at the moment. On weekdays it's less. Weekends I can usually have one day for cycling, but the past few week's that's been difficult. I don't have a 9-5 job.

1) Exercising more consistently , than lengthy is more effective.
2) There is little evidence that exercise beyond 30min or so is increasingly beneficial (if you're after fitness)
3) Based on that - I'd choose a virtual trainer and some loops around the Palace to augment.
4) Try to 'save up' enough time for truly significant rides - like sportifs, gran fondos, brevets or self-organized tours - especially outside of Japan.
5) Shave some time off your schedule (early or late) to ride more. I prefer starting rides earlier and earlier as the Summer bears down - getting an early start of 4am or so still gives most people plenty of time to ride AND work.
30 mins of exercise I can definitely do at home, but I'd do martial arts training for that rather than on a trainer (I often do an hour, and that's something I can do outside).

I love the idea of long rides, but without the training in the meantime, isn't that going to be beyond possible? Would having one longish ride a week, supplemented by 30 min sessions during the week be enough?

I had big plans of having very early rides, but I'm frequently working till very late and I do need my sleep.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#7
From where you are, Sheep, why not pop down to Tōhachi-dōro and do intervals up and down there from light to light. Or ride laps in Tama Cemetery.

I dimiss the 'junk miles' doomsmiths. Any time on the bike is good time. Build strength with heavier gears; spin for faster-twitch stamina; cruise for recovery. The nice thing about summer is that once you're outside away from the aircon your muscles are warm in a few seconds!
These sound good options!
 

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
215
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118
Kobe
#8
Ditto what Tim says: consistency consistency consistency. I would rather get in 5x1hr rides than 1x5hr ride a week. If you had access or the interest in building up a fixed gear bike and have a safe place to ride it, then your time would really be maximized.

Maximize time/effectiveness with intervals, either flat sprints or find a hill you can repeat. You would be surprised how far that can get you, especially if your base fitness is decent.
Martial arts sounds great, but not sure that fitness will carry over much to the bike, still better than nothing and will keep you mentally fresh.
If you are working super late, just be careful not to overdo it.....as yes, you need your rest.

@ Tim/Astuto....why "events outside of Japan"? Agree with you, just curious to hear your thoughts.
 
Likes: Sheep and jdd

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#9
Japan is a pretty cool place to ride - but mentally and physically boring to me (personally) . The ops of going off island for more variety are intriguing, inspiring and economical. I could 'train' (or prepare) for <something> in Japan - just yet, what??? I'm not interested in racing anymore - been there, done that. But I do love aggressive riding and some competition. Japan simply has minimal or no 'Gran Fondo' type events worth doing. Compared to Cingles, PBP, HR, STP, RAAM, L'eroica,UCI Gransport, Tour of Friendship, etc.... One day 'funrides' are expensive, repetitive and very little ROI. My destination is not an onsen or cafe.

Ditto what Tim says: consistency consistency consistency. I would rather get in 5x1hr rides than 1x5hr ride a week. If you had access or the interest in building up a fixed gear bike and have a safe place to ride it, then your time would really be maximized.

Maximize time/effectiveness with intervals, either flat sprints or find a hill you can repeat. You would be surprised how far that can get you, especially if your base fitness is decent.
Martial arts sounds great, but not sure that fitness will carry over much to the bike, still better than nothing and will keep you mentally fresh.
If you are working super late, just be careful not to overdo it.....as yes, you need your rest.

@ Tim/Astuto....why "events outside of Japan"? Agree with you, just curious to hear your thoughts.
 

theDude

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Oct 7, 2011
773
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63
Tokyo
app.strava.com
#10
Sheepman, maybe mix it up a bit and start running? That's what I've started doing, bit easier to just get up and go (and I don't mind running at night, which isn't the case for cycling).

Trainer is still a good idea for a short, focused spin tho. Nicer if you can do it in air conditioned comfort. :)
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#11
When I go for a 2 hour Tamagawa ride, I also spend half it it riding to and from the river. So often I just go for an after dinner ride to Shinjuku and back, along some of the bigger roads such as R246, R317, R20 where I can get up to speed. Riding at night when roads are less busy allows for more aerobic exercise. Early mornings would work too.

How much time do you spend on train rides? Replace as many train rides with bike rides as you can. My son's 19 km bike commute to university actually shaves about 10 minutes off his train commute time. Even if it takes 5 or 10 minutes longer here or there, it will give you the biggest bang for the buck, in terms of minutes invested vs. riding distance added.

I also do all my shopping by bicycle.
 

bawbag

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Mar 20, 2013
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#12
A couple of years ago when I was aiming to just get fit and shed 10kg in the process, I rode for two hours a night starting 11.30pm. Less traffic, next to no people and a really beautiful stillness to the world, especially when the stars are out. My aim over the four months that I did it was to explore every possible loop I could figure out on Google Maps, pushing a bit further every few days. This had a twofold benefit aside from the health improvement - I found some amazing little cafes and restaurants to take my wife; and falling asleep on the last train and missing my stop meant that I could still make my way home when my phone invariably ran out of batteries.
 

zenbiker

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Mar 4, 2008
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Chofu
#13
Yomiuriland is well lit and virtually traffic free at night.
But if your life only gives you two hours a day to yourself, you are doing it wrong...... :)
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#14
Japan is a pretty cool place to ride - but mentally and physically boring to me (personally) . The ops of going off island for more variety are intriguing, inspiring and economical. I could 'train' (or prepare) for <something> in Japan - just yet, what??? I'm not interested in racing anymore - been there, done that. But I do love aggressive riding and some competition. Japan simply has minimal or no 'Gran Fondo' type events worth doing. Compared to Cingles, PBP, HR, STP, RAAM, L'eroica,UCI Gransport, Tour of Friendship, etc.... One day 'funrides' are expensive, repetitive and very little ROI. My destination is not an onsen or cafe.
WHAT???

There are tons of events - JEZUZ.

How about Brevets? How about the 3 Grand Fondo's hosted by Pinarello or the others hosted by Colnago?

You talk about not wanting to race but the list you gave RAAM (RACE across America),Tour of Friendship (Applying for UCI liscense), PBP, HR are races and are pretty much won by Pro's or Ex-Pro's and ARE races.

Really your rants about no races, no events here in Japan is crazy....... There is pretty much racing and fondo/Fun rides all year round here in Japan. Tou of Okinawa, Hokkaido and Kumano Citizens races are basically Grand Fondo events with JBCF races running paralel, pretty much like the Fuji HC we last met at.

Sure there is nothing on a Massive scale such as HR or RAAM but saying there is nothing here is just ridiculous.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#15
Anyway back on track......

Sheep,

Maybe you are looking at this all wrong and it is something that is a serious hurdle for a lot of athletes that have fulltime jobs, family commitments and trying to train or just keep fit.

One thing I would do is sit down and actually break down your daily schedule, weekly and annuual schedule and then if you have a record of your training see exactly how many hours per day, then per week and then per year you spend cycling.

This will give you a much better indicator of exactly how much time you have.

Then look at your life schedule the more focused on this you are the easier it is to wean out the junk. A lot of athletes I work with say the same thing but when you start weeding out things like Facebook, TCC, TV you suddenly find that you have an extra hour or two a day.

Then it’s about shuffling your schedule to see if you can free up more time to get a quality ride in twice a week rather than 4 mediocre rides in a week.

Can you sacrifice certain things in your life? Are you able to give up one late night per week so you can be up at the crack of dawn for a long ride, possibly finishing at your place of work where you left a change of clothes?

Is there a ride and park near your office where you can shower and change after a ride or a local gym that you could become a member of and just use the shower and changing facilities again you would need to make a financial sacrifice as well as time here.

But at the end of the day it will always come down to what you are prepared to sacrifice or change rather than just trying to cram something in.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#16
James - we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm not saying there are NO events, just the ones that are here are fairly sparse, expensive to attend (cost/km raced). Anyway - I could <should> move this rant to another thread. Now I'm living quite close to Yomiland and there are loads of riding training options here, which is great. For those living in Tokyo central, I'd seriously check this side of the river. Keioline takes about 20min from Shinjuku or you can slog out the KoshuKaido (or other routes) for an additional 45min ea way (I do it every day). Also - I think your attempt at setting up an unofficial weekly TT was a great, albeit short lived , idea. This is definitely worth exploring more. Lastly, I still have a set of 'Goldsprints' and may be installing them into a <yet undisclosed> location in central Tokyo.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#17
The TT is still up and running only needs people to come down and ride it - actually the course is even faster thanks to the new paving in some of the areas.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#18
James - we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm not saying there are NO events, just the ones that are here are fairly sparse
Sorry but that I don't agree with I've been at events non-stop since last September racing or competing every weekend (44 in total!) all the events had fun or citizen catergories. This doesn't include all the overlap from events such as Earthride/ Grand Fondo's, Tour De....(Insert ride name here as there are loads) and the Brevets.

, expensive to attend
That I do agee with however I choose to live, work and race here so I'm prepared to suck it up - well until I got sponsored. :D

But really I think you are confusing "No events" with "No Events I want to participate in", which is a huge difference. I can understand the pull of "EPIC" events such as HR or RAAM as It's the same for me regarding UCI events, but really as a manufacturer with a focus on the Japan market I think you really need to have a much better idea of ALL the events that are happening on a weekly basis all year round here in Japan especailly as forgein investors are falling over themselves to sponsor events such as CX Tokyo, Japan Cup and Tour De Kumano which are HUGE crowd pullers.

I could go on about the events here in Japan as I have before but it seems that you keep rehashing the same thing without actually taking a look to what really is going on but to give you a good idea of the sheer volume of events and what it means for local companies Champion Systems had to double it's staff and vehicle pool recently due to the sheer number of events that are happening here in Japan.
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
914
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#19
Japan simply has minimal or no 'Gran Fondo' type events worth doing. Compared to Cingles, PBP, HR, STP, RAAM, L'eroica,UCI Gransport, Tour of Friendship, etc....
Isn't there a point at which the famous events become caricatures of what they should be? Any endurance event where people have to fight off sleepiness-induced hallucinations seems perverse, trebly so if they're sharing the road with gutters, lampposts, cars and trucks. Today's fun read: "Paris-Brest-Paris -- Never again". (NB the author did choose to finish the whole thing in 62 hours, rather than a more civilized 89.)
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#20
Ditto what Tim says: consistency consistency consistency. I would rather get in 5x1hr rides than 1x5hr ride a week. If you had access or the interest in building up a fixed gear bike and have a safe place to ride it, then your time would really be maximized.

Maximize time/effectiveness with intervals, either flat sprints or find a hill you can repeat. You would be surprised how far that can get you, especially if your base fitness is decent.
Martial arts sounds great, but not sure that fitness will carry over much to the bike, still better than nothing and will keep you mentally fresh.
If you are working super late, just be careful not to overdo it.....as yes, you need your rest.

@ Tim/Astuto....why "events outside of Japan"? Agree with you, just curious to hear your thoughts.
I think intervals might well be my saviour. Getting back to commuting to work by bike will help (for various reasons that stopped the last couple of weeks) - though this heat isn't pleasant with no shower.

Yeah, the martial arts are a near 20-year passion, so I do have to still devote a little bit of time to it, just for maintenance - fortunately I no longer fight, but I'll keep something in the bag in case of a need to defend myself against a road-rage induced nutter :)