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Early morning rides - getting used to it.

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Early morning rides - getting used to it.

Old 04-04-10, 04:51 AM
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Early morning rides - getting used to it.

Due to some work-related issues, I have recently started getting up early in the morning and getting 1-2 hours of riding in before work.

However, I seem to be suffering more-than-usual levels of fatigue during the day (incl feeling extremely sleepy in the mornings). Now, I am not a morning person and usually ride in the evenings, so there is probably some adjustment there.

But it seems as though the fatigue level is higher than it should be, and no, I am not over-training.

I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to speed up this adjustment (diet suggestions, stretching/post ride cooldowns, etc). Sleep more is the obvious one, and I'm trying to get to bed as early as I can. Anything else (other than HTFU)?

Thx.
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Old 04-04-10, 05:23 AM
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what are you eating before the rides?
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Old 04-04-10, 05:56 AM
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Only thing that ever worked for me was having a newborn in the house...that way I'd been up for hours already and needed get away from the diaper bin.

Seriously, while I've been keeping my rides to mid-day, early runs demand food about an hour before or I completely crash. I tolerate banana, juice, bagel, or oatmeal pretty well. Then if i'm out for more than an hour, keep eating while on the road. Easy and cheap to try.
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Old 04-04-10, 06:16 AM
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I'm exactly the opposite - I feel more sluggish if I don't ride in the morning (though my morning ride is usually only a 30 minute commute). I always try to eat a little something before heading out (toast with PB & honey, banana) and lots of water...

Oh yeah, and I've been an espresso addict for the last 5 years - I have triple latte every day before 6am...
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Old 04-04-10, 06:42 AM
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I have been eating a banana or a yogurt before I leave... and I pack a sports drink (Heed) and energy bars for the ride. I have had decent energy levels of the ride itself (am re-doing my base training after almost 2 months of minimal riding, so the rides arent that hard either). I have another yogurt or banana when I return, and then breakfast within the next hour or so.

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Old 04-04-10, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
I have been eating a banana or a yogurt before I leave... and I pack a sports drink (Heed) and energy bars for the ride. I have had decent energy levels of the ride itself (am re-doing my base training after almost 2 months of minimal riding, so the rides arent that hard either). I have another yogurt or banana when I return, and then breakfast within the next hour or so.

V.
This does not seem enough before the ride to me. When you were riding later were you eating more pre-ride?

I have to have a couple of eggs equivalent of protein. No science, it just works for me.

I hate breakfast so I struggle with morning nutrition. I try a smoothie with tofu etc.

Oh and HTFU
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Old 04-04-10, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
Due to some work-related issues, I have recently started getting up early in the morning and getting 1-2 hours of riding in before work.

However, I seem to be suffering more-than-usual levels of fatigue during the day (incl feeling extremely sleepy in the mornings). Now, I am not a morning person and usually ride in the evenings, so there is probably some adjustment there.

But it seems as though the fatigue level is higher than it should be, and no, I am not over-training.

I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to speed up this adjustment (diet suggestions, stretching/post ride cooldowns, etc). Sleep more is the obvious one, and I'm trying to get to bed as early as I can. Anything else (other than HTFU)?

Thx.
Getting plenty of sleep is what made my early morning rides possible, and I factor in "wake up time" as well plus stretching.
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Old 04-04-10, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
Getting plenty of sleep is what made my early morning rides possible, and I factor in "wake up time" as well plus stretching.
I have found I can ride on very very little sleep.
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Old 04-04-10, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin View Post
This does not seem enough before the ride to me. When you were riding later were you eating more pre-ride?
For 2 hour or shorter rides, I'd just up and go, and do ok with whatever I had in my belly (usually, it would be lunch or late breakfast from a few hours ago). But it would pretty much be a lot more than what I have in me now.

A big meal before riding is simply out of the question, as I wont get up that early, but I could certainly eat a little more before leaving (ugh - rarely hungry early in the morning), and fuel more during the ride.

I do wonder how much of a factor is adaptation and my body simply getting used to riding early? Anyone else been in a similar situation and found it got better?

Oh and HTFU


V.
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Old 04-04-10, 08:30 AM
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When I get up at 5:30 a.m. to cycle I'm not the least bit hungry. But I find that forcing down some breakfast helps sustain my energy. Maybe more food.
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Old 04-04-10, 08:31 AM
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i just had a thread about how i love to do an iced coffee on the bike in the early morning hours. that really jump starts my system when i have to work the day of a morning ride.

i find that post ride nutrition, as opposed to pre, in the morning is key to making it through the day. look into some good fruit smooties or whatever works for you almost immediately after you get out of the saddle in the morning to see if that helps. (everyones different, and its probably just you adjusting, give it some time and experiment a bit)
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Old 04-04-10, 09:11 AM
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^^ Yeah, will experiment with various feed strategies and see how it goes. Perhaps I need to douse my muesli with diet Coke, instead of low-fat milk

Damn that bed is seductive at 5:45am!
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Old 04-04-10, 09:55 AM
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I get up at 4am in the morning for a 2 hour ride before work. I am one of those people called "a morning person," also called "sicko" for the same reason by some of my friends. I love mornings. My suggestions - HTFU, eat a light, but carb heavy meal for dinner the night before, if you don't already, love coffee and oatmeal, bring a banana, and enjoy..
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Old 04-04-10, 10:27 AM
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I go out for my morning rides 3-4 times/week at 3:30 AM. Nothing to eat usually until about mid morning. I am NOT a morning person by any means, but this is the only way/time to get it done. It takes several weeks (>6-8) of doing this regularly and going to bed consistently earlier to compensate for it, and get used to it. It does happen, but it will take an adjustment period for your regular circadian rhythm to get adjusted to the new activity time. It does take several weeks to get there, but it only takes a tiny bit of effort to throw it all out the window and be back at square one.
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Old 04-04-10, 11:05 AM
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How much sleep do you actually get? You say you're going to bed earlier but I'm guessing you're getting up earlier too. My guess is sleep is a factor more than nutrition.
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Old 04-04-10, 11:11 AM
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Keep at it. It takes a while to re-train yourself to be a morning person.
Make sure you get to bed early enough to give yourself a decent night's sleep.
If you are not hungry in the morning try eating less dinner.
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Old 04-04-10, 11:20 AM
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I doubt it's a food/nutrition issue....more likely a (lack of) sleep issue.

If you are getting up an hour earlier than usual, you should probably go to sleep an hour earlier at bedtime. It may take you a few days to train your body, but I believe that is the solution.

Good luck!

in other words, what rob! said.
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Old 04-04-10, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys - good to know it is "trainable".

Right now, I've been getting 6-7 hours of sleep, but am trying to increase it to 8. Will play around with nutrition as per the ideas suggested. I need to get through 5 months of this, and then i can go back to a more normal life

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Old 04-04-10, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rollin View Post
I have found I can ride on very very little sleep.
same.
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Old 04-04-10, 12:12 PM
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I switched from PM rides to AM rides. The group leaves at 6am so I'm usually up getting ready by 4:50. Before going I always have a bagel and a half and if I feel hungry on the ride I have a clif bar. The rides last between 1.5 and 3 hours. For the rest of the day I feel like I had a good work out but not extremely fatigued or sleepy. I'm usually back in bed by 9 PM so I'm usually close to 8 hours of sleep but I understand that isn't possible for everyone. It did take about 2 weeks for my body to adapt to the new schedule though, and daylight saving time through it off again but overall, you get used to it.
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Old 04-05-10, 08:49 AM
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i tried my first AM ride this morning. Alarm at 6am, didn't get out the door till 625 (need to speed this up), just had a coffee before i left.
i can't really get more than 13 miles in just yet. should i be stuffing food down before i go?
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Old 04-05-10, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin View Post
I have found I can ride on very very little sleep.
I can as well but it just makes the waking up period longer then the lack of sleep catches up with me later in the day. There have been times when I get home really late and have a group ride early in the morning, but it's not something I'd want to do on a daily basis.


Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
i tried my first AM ride this morning. Alarm at 6am, didn't get out the door till 625 (need to speed this up), just had a coffee before i left.
i can't really get more than 13 miles in just yet. should i be stuffing food down before i go?
Stuffing food before a ride doesn't work for me, I'd rather go the route of eating a carb heavy dinner the night before and eating something light before riding.
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Old 04-05-10, 09:14 AM
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I'm guessing you are getting up significantly earlier than you used to? I'd be willing to bet that is more that cause of your drowsiness than the ride itself. It takes some time to relearn your sleeping habits (ie reprogram your internal clock). If you keep getting up at that time, you'll eventually get used to it and the drowsiness will go away.
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Old 04-05-10, 09:48 AM
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Practice makes perfect - also your body needs to get used to your new Circadian rhythm of earlier hours. I was a night owl for 39 of my 46 years alive and now I get up well before the alarm clock!
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Old 04-05-10, 10:00 AM
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Might want to watch what you are eating following your ride. You could be experiencing a glucose crash as your system corrects for blood sugar levels.
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