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Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...(14 posts)

Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...Fez
Jun 11, 2003 10:17 AM
I have never been a morning person where cycling is concerned. I would love to start cycling in the early hours - like 5:00am. I'm trying to ride my 2 hours in the morning instead of the evening.

My mind wants to go cycling early, but my body doesn't.

Besides feeling a tad stiffer in the early morning, my tank is completely empty. I know I will need the fuel for my ride, but I just can't get myself to eat very much in the morning.

Should I just eat a very light breakfast at home and plan to eat and drink at say, 40 minute intervals throughout the 2 hour ride?

As far as a body that feels stiffer and uncooperative that early in the morning, is the key to start out even easier and budget at least 20 minutes to clear some morning cobwebs out?

Thanks for any tips.
re: Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...mainframe
Jun 11, 2003 10:32 AM
Did it (until first of the year) for about 3 years. My routine was quite simple: a little stretching (five minutes), slam a banana or power bar, go do the ride. Best advice for riding pre-dawn, your *ss better be lighted, headlight and taillight, a MUST!
re: Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...t-bill
Jun 11, 2003 10:32 AM
I think you nailed it. I used to have problems with this as well. You have to give yourself some time to wake up. I usually don't eat much - maybe just a banana and some orange juice.

Eventually you'll get used to it.
Turn off TV and go to bed absurdly early...biknben
Jun 11, 2003 10:38 AM
I have never been an early morning rider. With two kids my bike time is getting pinched. I am slowly getting used to riding earlier and earlier. I leave at around 6:30 for my bike commute. I have to be in bed by 10:00pm. I have to make a concious effort to stay away from the TV in the evening.

I'm not ready to get up for 5am rides yet. I'd have to be in bed just after my kids go down at 8pm
10:00 is absurdly early? Must be a parallel universe!Kerry
Jun 11, 2003 5:56 PM
I leave for work at about 7:00 and am sitting at my desk at about 7:15. 10:00 has been my bedtime for 30 years!
I didn't mean 10...biknben
Jun 11, 2003 6:58 PM
10 am is what I try to do now (although it's nearly 11pm now) when getting up to ride at 6:30am. If I wanted to get up at 5am or earlier I have to be in bed near 8pm. That, IMO, is absurdly early.
Think: CoffeePaulCL
Jun 11, 2003 11:08 AM
I'm an early morning rider. For example, I got up at 5:45 yesterday and did a 30 miler.

My routine: get the coffee maker ready the night before so all I have to do is flick a switch. Drink the coffee, eat something light (banana, peanut butter toast, cliff bar) get on the bike. I think the trick is to have everything ready the night before. I'm usually on the bike within 20 minutes of rolling out of bed.

I'll then take it easy...like any ride...for the first 3 or 4 miles. Your body will get used to it. Oh...two in the afternoon hits really hard. That's when I walk down to Starbucks for my one caffeinated drink of the day.
Better yet, put your coffeemaker on a timershawndoggy
Jun 11, 2003 11:25 AM
I set mine up so that when I'm pulling my rear out of bed at ten till 5, I can hear the coffee burbling out.

Other tricks:
set the bike up the night before (light on, tires full, etc)
fill your bottles the night before
pull your clothes out the night before (your spouse will thank you if you don't wake her at 5 am too)

As for food, I rely on a little milk and sugar in that first cup of coffee of the day, gatorade while on the bike, and if I am going longer than 1:30, a poptart or power bar or some other easily digested carb-bomb.

REALLY, THOUGH... the whole trick to becoming a morning rider is convincing your body that it's time to wake up then. As noted you MUST go to bed early. Keeping the TV off will certainly help with that goal. Also, if you don't ride early every morning, try to get up at that time anyway (I'm a lawyer, so there are always a few hours to bill before the rest of the family wakes up). That way you re-set your body clock.
re: Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...orange_julius
Jun 11, 2003 11:09 AM
I find that extending the time between waking up and
going out the door helps a lot when I go on my morning
rides (usually leave between 5 - 6 am to avoid traffic).

So what I do is shift some "overhead" time from the prior
evening to the early morning. This can be just little
things, like figuring out where to ride, adjusting your
seat, filling up your water bottles, adjusting your brake
pads, etc. That gives my body and mind some time to
start up and a little bit of moving around to get the
morning cobwebs out of the system.

I also found that proper warmup and stretching is even
more critical in the early morning, especially when it's
cold. In the winters I would spend 15 minutes on the
trainer to build up that "heat blanket" on the muscles
to make the start easier. I found that if I can keep
my tempo up and maintain that heat blanket, cold morning
rides are easier to go through.

As far as eating goes, I just eat small amounts of food
continuously (bananas, powergels, what have you) throughout
the ride. In my case my body usually suddenly realizes
that it's being made to work hard about an hour into the
ride and hunger pangs start to hit. Eating continuously
takes care of this problem easily!

Morning rides are great for me, I hate being surrounded
by cars and exhaust fumes! Hope you can enjoy yours more!
I do lots of preparing the night before.dzrider
Jun 11, 2003 11:20 AM
Have a cup of cold coffee ready to slam, clothes laid out, water bottles full, tires pumped up so I wake up feeling invested in riding. I do almost no stretching and for a 2 hour ride would carry some HammerGel, but not feel the need to eat first. Each time you succeed in getting out it gets a little easier. One thing that makes it a lot harder for me is eating in the evening.
re: Cycling in the Early Morning - Give Me Some Tips Please...climbo
Jun 11, 2003 12:30 PM
I just try to get used to getting up early, bed before 10pm usually. No coffee needed, eat as I go. A training partner helps also because you are that much more committed to actually meet someone. If you bail all the time, you will lose your partner in a hurry so it's a mutual thing to make sure you meet each time and "make" the other person do it too.
My routine (I am NOT a morning person!)KG 361
Jun 11, 2003 6:30 PM
Have the coffee ready-brewer with a timer.
Mix up a big glass of OJ and protien shake
Chomp down a Cliff bar
Fill the bottles
Dress (cycling stuff already out to wear)
Pump up the tires
Out the door! (I take it easy the 1st 15-20 minutes)
(Oh, a trip "the throne" is in there somewhere, but that is probably too much info.....)
Simple, use this rule: no ride = no breakfastTahoe Gator
Jun 12, 2003 11:06 AM
I have a simple motivation tool I use:

If I ride, I get to eat breakfast

If I don't, no food 'til lunch

No work, no reward
Alarm + Clif Bar Ice = strong 5:00 am Ride (nm)Fred the Cross Poser
Jun 12, 2003 6:07 PM