T Nation

Long Commute Activities?

I’m going to be graduating next week, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to move back home. So I’ll be commuting to my job, which is about an hour away.

While this isn’t the most appealing option(not a fan of driving), I figure I can save some money.

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on making it more enjoyable. I was thinking audio books as one choice, wondering if you all had any other ideas?

True. This can be a dreaded daily ritual.

Books on tape are a great way to pass long drives…and think about how many books you’ll be able to “read” over the course of a year. If there’s a Cracker Barrel near you, I believe they have a program where you can sign out books on tape for free. Your local library should be able to hook you up for free too.

Another option is getting foreign language courses on CD. I’ve never personally tried one but have a friend-of-a-friend who did prior to his european vacation. He did one 30 min “lesson” every day for 6 or 8 weeks and came away learning conversational french.

You can also burn your own music CDs if you think you’d enjoy that. Listening to crappy music on the radio irritates the hell out of me.

-Jeff

Listen to the AM dial. I don’t know your interests nor your political inclinations, but I’m sure you’ll find something to listen to and ponder on.

These days I switch from FM to AM on a sporadic basis, but most of the time while I’m stuck in traffic going back home I usually listen to Michael Savage on “The Savage Nation” primarily because he provides interesting insights (in my opinion) and because he cracks me up with the way he delivers his rants.

Satellite radio.

I drive about an 1 1/2 hour round trip to work and I have sirius radio. It’s a lot better than constantly switching cd’s all the time.

[quote]she-ra wrote:
Satellite radio.[/quote]

Thanks for the tips.

No cracker barrel nearby, and since I’m from a very small town, I doubt our library has books on tape, but that’s definately something I’ll look into.

I agree on the crappy music they play on the radio, I rarely if ever listen to it. Satellite radio sounds intriguing and I might have to check into that.

For anyone who has used books on tape, how did you like them? Are some better made than others and where did you get them?

Any other advice welcome.

Pimsluer has great language programs

“Recorded Books Inc”

Is a great company for books on tape.

You can rent them from them if you cant get it from the library.

Or you can do what I often see people do now on the freeway. Read a book while they are driving!

ITs insane, but I see this all the time

Masturbate.

Duh!

Just think of the amount of time you’d save at home getting that out of the way while you’re driving. When you’re at home on your computer, instead of jacking off to porno you could read more T-mag articles, talk about productivity.

Listen to Howard Stern in the morning. You will actually look foward to your commute if you do.

 I would go with the audiobooks, as others have suggested, but I would skip language learning. For me, it was difficult to really concentrate on the lesson while driving. It is not a bad idea for subtle reinforcement though, if you also listen at home. 
 
 I would suggest choosing a non-fiction audiobook on a subject you know nothing about. If you have a bit of interest in the subject, all the better. When I did this, it freshened me up quite a bit in the morning. It dusted off the old neuro-transmitters and made the commute easy to handle. 
 Some subjects I have enjoyed include:

Germs of all types

Poliquins training methods

The life of Jaco Pastorius

The life of Lenny Bruce

The theory of turbulent plasma

lividity (in human tissue)

If you are into the motivational stuff, Zig Ziglar is a great speaker, even if you do not agree with everything he says. I have listened to Tony Robbins’ stuff too, but being a musician, it is hard for me to get past that shitty “motivational” theme music. The worst.

Just my two cents…

Takuin

If you’re even more ambitious, you can get college-level lectures on various subjects in CD or audiotape formats – good if there’s an area of your education that you want to improve, or an area you want to explore. I got one on classical music appreciation for a long drive, and it was pretty good (although I didn’t finish it, and still need to finish the series – I need to take a disc-man on the subway…).

Anyway, here’s the website:

http://www.teach12.com/teach12.asp?ai=16281

If at all possible take a bus or train to work. I commuted into NYC for 15 years (about an hour and a half each way). With some of the hours I was working I couldn’t imagine having to drive as well. I usually used the time to nap. I saved a lot of wear and tear on my vehicle and the extra stress.

Now, if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to highjack this and go in another direction. For the last several months I have been able to train at will due to my recent layoff. Today I accepted a job offer that will require the same commute.

This will require getting up around 5am or so to get ready and catch the bus. I probably won’t get home until 7:30. By the time I grab dinner and get to the gym it will probably be around 9pm (thank god my gym is open late).

Anyone in the same boat? Any ideas/tips on timing meals/training and staying motivated on this kind of schedule?

[quote]njbigguy wrote:
If at all possible take a bus or train to work. I commuted into NYC for 15 years (about an hour and a half each way). With some of the hours I was working I couldn’t imagine having to drive as well. I usually used the time to nap. I saved a lot of wear and tear on my vehicle and the extra stress.

Now, if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to highjack this and go in another direction. For the last several months I have been able to train at will due to my recent layoff. Today I accepted a job offer that will require the same commute.

This will require getting up around 5am or so to get ready and catch the bus. I probably won’t get home until 7:30. By the time I grab dinner and get to the gym it will probably be around 9pm (thank god my gym is open late).

Anyone in the same boat? Any ideas/tips on timing meals/training and staying motivated on this kind of schedule? [/quote]

If you try and get by on such a small amount of sleep, every area of your life is going to suffer, especially your training. Is there any way you could find a gym close to your office and work out on your lunch break? That’s one option.

You probably have weekends off right? Another thing you can do is train on the weekends at the gym, and train at home the rest of the time. Try a program where you only have to train three or four times a week. When my husband ended up with an equally bad schedule last year, we bought him an adjustable bench, a bar, two spin-lock dumbbell handles, and plates that could be interchanged between both for under $350Cdn. If you look second hand, you can probably find a good deal. It’s not a perfect solution, and there might be a noise factor to consider if you live in an apartment, but to me the schedule you are thinking of is just going to burn you out.

yes i’m in a similar situation though i only get up a five once or twice a week. the hardest thing for me is overcoming the crash once i get home. more often than not i would just shut down after my commute and not make it to the gym. to overcome that hurdle i had to keep focus after the commute and get in and out of the house quickly. basically i had a fifteen minute window before i crashed. if i got out of the house in 15 then i made the workout. key to making that happen is eating well all day. and eating on my hour drive home.

i love lifting after work, it’s relaxing, but i find it better for maintenence. i prefer the a.m. workout if i need to focus. also on heavy days i recover much faster if i work out in the morning. i think simply because i get the benefit of all the food i’ve yet to eat for the day. when i lift at night i really only get one meal and a snack. and if i go heavy that’s just not enough. plus the metabolism gets all jacked up and it’s tough to sleep sometimes. and don’t that make everything worse.

[quote]JPBear wrote:

If you try and get by on such a small amount of sleep, every area of your life is going to suffer, especially your training. Is there any way you could find a gym close to your office and work out on your lunch break? That’s one option.

You probably have weekends off right? Another thing you can do is train on the weekends at the gym, and train at home the rest of the time. Try a program where you only have to train three or four times a week. When my husband ended up with an equally bad schedule last year, we bought him an adjustable bench, a bar, two spin-lock dumbbell handles, and plates that could be interchanged between both for under $350Cdn. If you look second hand, you can probably find a good deal. It’s not a perfect solution, and there might be a noise factor to consider if you live in an apartment, but to me the schedule you are thinking of is just going to burn you out.

[/quote]

There is a gym right across the street but it’s the middle of the Village. I’m thinking Soy Protein and Pink tu-tu’s here. It’s a NYSC so I’m thinking it’s got to be top dollar.

I usually spend about 3 hours in the gym because I like to take advantage of the whirpool, sauna and steamroom. A usual training session usually goes for about 1:15 to 1:30. I think I would feel too constricted if I tried to get a session in during my lunch hour. I may have to think about training before or after work (which gets into the rest thing if I don’t do it right).

I am hoping that there is some sort of corporate discount that would make this choice easier. My current gym has alot of ammenities (pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, tanning) and it’s pretty cheap ($39 month).

A home gym isn’t an option right now. I don’t have the cash or the space right now.

[quote]cokeandtaco wrote:

yes i’m in a similar situation though i only get up a five once or twice a week. the hardest thing for me is overcoming the crash once i get home. more often than not i would just shut down after my commute and not make it to the gym. to overcome that hurdle i had to keep focus after the commute and get in and out of the house quickly. basically i had a fifteen minute window before i crashed. if i got out of the house in 15 then i made the workout. key to making that happen is eating well all day. and eating on my hour drive home.

i love lifting after work, it’s relaxing, but i find it better for maintenence. i prefer the a.m. workout if i need to focus. also on heavy days i recover much faster if i work out in the morning. i think simply because i get the benefit of all the food i’ve yet to eat for the day. when i lift at night i really only get one meal and a snack. and if i go heavy that’s just not enough. plus the metabolism gets all jacked up and it’s tough to sleep sometimes. and don’t that make everything worse. [/quote]

Do you do a P+C meal post workout when you workout at night?

I’m hoping that the stress relief helps to keep me going.

Books on Tape are fantastic.

Regular unabridged fiction can be really awesome.

I listened to some in my car when making long drives, and the weirdest thing happened… I actually ENJOYED getting stuck in traffic… instead of the regular frustration and road rage, I would actually welcome the chance to relax and just listen.

I picked up mine used at 2nd hand bookstores. Libraries can usually bring stuff in from other branches, too. You could pick up stuff at a bookstore and then ebay it after you’ve listened to it.

You could also just plain read the old fashioned way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reading novels, reading the paper, reading magazines… It doesn’t always have to be “productive”, you could just make it “you” time.