Being able to ride out in a group is an amazing feeling, being comfortable tapping along and having the ability to join group rides is all we can really ask for… right?
However, finding the time to do your training is a whole new ball game. Do you get up early, hoping you’ll get enough sleep to make it through the working day after a morning session, or do you risk waiting until after work… with quivering will power and determination swirling around the fatigue!
If you’re lucky, you’ll work from home and be able to slip in a lunchtime training session or ride, though, it’ll be a little harder to ride with your friends in a virtual world like Zwift!
Why do people train in the morning
A question even us morning people have asked ourselves once or twice, why oh why do we do it to ourselves.
Well, truth be told, there are often various reasons
- If you live in London, the roads are at their quietest during super early morning sessions. You get to avoid rush hour traffic, parents collecting children from school, children crossing without looking and various other obstacles and hazards
- If you’re a morning person, it might actually be easier for you to train before work
- You’ll be done for the day when you get home from work or whichever commitments you have during the day
- Weather… the weather could play a big role in your choice, especially at weekends. You could get three hours of dry training in from 7am, but by the time you get home the rain might be starting
Pros of training in the morning
- Quiet roads
- You can stop for a coffee before going home – not so adviseable in the evening due to caffeine intake and sleep problems!
- A great way to start your day with all those positive endorphins and get your body working
- When you get home from work, you can literally do nothing
- Some people exercise better in the morning than evening
- The sunrise is astounding, every single time!
Cons to training in the morning
- If you don’t sleep well, you could be adding to sleep deprivation
- It’s not for everybody, some people aren’t early morning people
- You might not get a lie in for the whole week… we all know how tough that can be mentally
- During the winter, it is very dark in the mornings
- Your friends or club may not do early morning training, so you could end up cycling alone
Would we recommend it
There is no science behind training in the mornings, no reason to suggest it is better or worse for you, so it is totally dependent on the individual.
Some of us enjoy it thoroughly. For me, I love the idea of getting home after work and throwing my comfy clothes on to lounge around with family, and training in the morning allows me to do that. However, that said, in the winter I prefer to have a lie in during the week and jump on the turbo after work.
There are benefits to training at any time of day, it really just depends what works best for each person.
Things you’ll need:
- A very good set of lights – front and rear [check out our blog on lights]
- Some hi-viz and reflective clothing [check out our blog on visibility science]
- Take a bank card just in case – depending on where you live, public transport could be difficult early, should you have any issues
Advice for getting up and out of the door
Firstly get this stuff ready the evening before to ensure a quick turn around in the morning:
- Pump up your tires
- Have your saddle pack and lights charged and on your bike
- You can fill up your water bottles before bed and stick them in the fridge
- Lay out your clothes
- Fill your pockets on your jersey with your snacks and pump
We’d recommend waking up to a gentle alarm, and leaving a little crack in your curtains. It will start getting slightly lighter outside which can often help your natural body clock.
It’s also been suggested in the past that waking up at 20 minutes past the hour, or at the end of a 20 minute loop, is when you’re moving into a lighter sleep, so try setting your alarm to match that rhythm.
Once awake, a glass of water gets your systems into action, followed by a little coffee to light the fire and a snack of some sort. This is especially important for women as they shouldn’t partake in fasted exercise. It increases cortisone (the stress hormone) which isn’t very good for them, so if you can’t eat much, have a little bit of yogurt with honey, a fruit bar or a piece of fruit.
We would definitely recommend you find some cycling buddies or a club who trains locally in the mornings should you decide to give it a go! There is nothing better than waking up to a chinwag at 6am, having a lovely warm coffee flowing through your veins and an almond croissant by 8am and then scooting off to work!
So why not give it a go? Find some fellow early birds to ride with, it makes getting out of bed that little bit easier, and go on a route where you can watch the sunrise – Autumn and Summer mornings only…!