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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-09-12, 07:12 AM   #1
travelerman
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Best time of day to ride/exercise

Is there a consensus as to how long after waking up is ideal for exercising/riding/working out? I know everyone is different physiologically, but there must be an average or acceptable range that is recommended.

Here is what seems to work for me, and my reasoning about why it is better: Late-morning to late afternoon seems to work best (and this is assuming I wake up around dawn and go to bed between 9PM and 11PM).

For a while after I get up, I have a more limited range of movement, and I need to eat to help fuel myself for later, and to keep my stomach happy. Later in the morning, after moving around, I feel more energized and flexible, and am ready to ride for a few hours. Whether I begin before mid-day, or wait until after lunch, it just feels better, and I am ready to get into it better than I am first thing in the morning.

I can ride in the late afternoon/evening, but it is usually a short (less than an hour) outing; my body is starting to wind down for the day, and if I go too long, far, or hard too close to bed-time, I am not able to sleep as well. A little weight and flexibility training a couple of hours before bed is OK - the muscles have the opportunity to recover over-night.

I suppose stretching would help to get an earlier start, but with the current negative observations about stretching before the actual exercise or activity being counter-productive, I have found the natural stretching that you get just from being up and active more advantageous.

Unfortunately, busy lifestyles and work schedules rule out the "best" time for riding for most people; since I have gotten back into cycling the past several months, I have sadly found myself way more enthusiastic about training and fitness than the job I have to work at 50-60 hours/week...
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Old 01-09-12, 08:42 AM   #2
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The best time is when you need to get somewhere.
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Old 01-09-12, 11:56 AM   #3
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I doubt you will find a consensus as folks have different bodies and schedules. Whatever works for you best is the proper answer.
When I commuted and woke up at 4:00am my morning commutes stunk but after work was much better. Perhaps that was due to the destination.
Now working from home I find early mornings are best for strength training and lunch is best for cycling. I hate exercising in the evening as it makes it difficult for me to sleep.
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Old 01-09-12, 12:02 PM   #4
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I like to have a snack in the middle of the afternoon and then ride right at 5:00. Bummer about the traffic, but look for roads with good shoulders. Then I eat dinner after. That nutrition schedule works for me.
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Old 01-09-12, 12:02 PM   #5
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Best time to ride a bike is when you can ride a bike.

Now, I have to eat something before I start, or my stomach gets really wonky when I start drinking (water). My daily commute routine involves eating, shaving, packing and riding.
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Old 01-09-12, 01:09 PM   #6
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Almost all of my races start in the morning. So it's better to be used to riding in the morning.

Plus, if you get your ride done before work, you're not stressing about working late and missing your ride.
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Old 02-02-12, 01:56 PM   #7
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I like riding/lifting less than an hour after waking up. Not only is the feeling of being outside in the sun, zooming around on your bike amazing, but by starting your day off with a ride/workout, you will notice you feel much better throughout the day. And just a note about lifting and riding in one day: I feel it's better to lift before you ride since you'll have more strength for the weights.
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Old 02-02-12, 03:07 PM   #8
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Evenings work well for me ... anywhere from right after work to within about half-an-hour of going to bed.

Although on the weekends, I like to get going a bit earlier than that.
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