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Are there any disadvantages to training at night?

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Are there any disadvantages to training at night?

Old 05-10-22, 05:05 AM
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couldwheels
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Are there any disadvantages to training at night?

Excluding safety concerns of course. My only concern is receiving quality training in terms of developing endurance and strength on the bike.

I've heard something about the "biological clock" causing differences in training during the day vs night.

Problem is I can't always train during the day (indoor or outdoor). Sometimes, it's too hot during the day for any hard or long sessions or the roads too congested and air quality is horrible.

Sometimes, I haven't finished my work during the day and have to work through the night. I don't train until I finished my work or else, I'll sleepy afterwards and difficult to focus on the job. So my only choice is night training. No worries about safety. I have high visibility with lights and reflector stickers.

So how's night training?
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Old 05-10-22, 09:11 AM
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I do a lot of summer training at night. I am a night person and have tons of energy then so it works great. The only downside I find is I don't push it quite as hard in flats/downhills due to caution in the dark. Yes I do have thousands of lumens blaring but it still is less safe in terms of obstacles. Uphills are just as good a workout since there is no speed problem there.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:33 AM
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There are studies on exercising/training at night and its affect on sleep that you may want to look into.
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Old 05-10-22, 10:05 AM
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In the end, you do what you have to do.

But between missing sleep regularly and riding less often. I just have to ride less often.

I don't know how all you people that get up in the wee hours to ride or do anything else manage to do that. But if you do, then congrats for the dedication!
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Old 05-10-22, 07:12 PM
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couldwheels
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
In the end, you do what you have to do.

But between missing sleep regularly and riding less often. I just have to ride less often.

I don't know how all you people that get up in the wee hours to ride or do anything else manage to do that. But if you do, then congrats for the dedication!
Haha, it's a no-go for me if I'm starting past 9pm for the sake of quality sleep. My "long session" are still under 1 hour but it's a difficult zone 4 continuous effort (time trial) on the trainer or recovery ride outdoor also under 1 hour. I'll be done by 10 pm but won't feel very sleepy until 12 am so I hit the sack at 12am

I also do very short,10 minute z4 to z5 sessions during the day to avoid de-training and DOMS in case I didn't have time for the long z4 session due to busy work schedule.
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Old 05-10-22, 07:14 PM
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For myself, I've always been a "morning" person. And I've noticed that during hard training cycles any tough workouts after about 5pm or so end up keeping me "revved" up for hours. It interferes with a good night's sleep. Far better for me, for getting the day started right (blood flowing, muscles stretched and energized), is a morning workout. Hasn't always been possible, but for me it's far preferable. If only to keep me up and at my best during the best part of the day, and to allow me to sleep better without the body still wanting to go, go, go.

Everyone is different, though. Not everybody's daily rhythms are so ingrained.
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Old 05-10-22, 07:22 PM
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I've never been a morning person and usually can't shut off the motor at night. Since discovering the joy of night riding I get out every night I can. Lots of lights, still have to be courteous with those lights, and slightly reduced speed, but oh there's something of an excitement factor involved. Especially when you see eyeballs in the bushes haha. Little critters become huge! Absolutely love night riding!
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Old 05-10-22, 07:33 PM
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Working a night shift is bad for your health....Training at night is even worse....Nights are for sleeping and rest.
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Old 05-11-22, 12:28 AM
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Hitting the local wildlife at speed...

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Old 05-11-22, 06:17 AM
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If I want a sound sleep I need to wait about an hour after finishing my ride before I go to sleep. I want to do my summer night rides as late as I can, because each hour you wait gets cooler. This is the compromise I settled on after a few really late rides followed by sitting awake in bed. I also only do about an hour max.

Note that the idea that evening exercise is bad for sleep is an old myth. See e.g. https://www.health.harvard.edu/stayi...t-affect-sleep where they quote a recent meta-analysis showing the correlation is in fact the opposite in all the studies done, people on average sleep better after evening exercise. They say after intensive exercise you need to stay awake for an hour, the same thing I figured out by by own trial and error. Of course YMMV, these studies are just reporting averages.
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Old 05-11-22, 07:36 AM
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Too many deer on the roads is the only problem I have had. With good lights and lots of reflective material with flashing lights, it seems to me that vehicles see me better than during the day. I prefer the very end period of night like 4 am to 6 am. Seeing the glow on the horizon and hearing the birds chirp as the world comes alive is a great experience.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:45 AM
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People often worry about stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, is insignificant.
The best time to train is when you have time available. The best activity is the one that fits your life and that you enjoy.
Training at night is fine if it isn't affecting your sleep.
Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
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Old 05-11-22, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Working a night shift is bad for your health....Training at night is even worse....Nights are for sleeping and rest.
More blanket generalizations. Not worth much.
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Old 05-12-22, 11:27 AM
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I find it most enjoyable to finish up & jump in bed. very satisfying
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Old 05-12-22, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I find it most enjoyable to finish up & jump in bed. very satisfying
You got it backwards.... Just ask the Mrs., she'll set you straight.
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Old 05-12-22, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
You got it backwards.... Just ask the Mrs., she'll set you straight.
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Old 05-13-22, 02:46 PM
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Depends. If you have a nice quiet, well paved road and decent lights, it could even be safer than a busy road during the day. Cooler is an advantage too.
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Old 05-13-22, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Too many deer on the roads is the only problem I have had. With good lights and lots of reflective material with flashing lights, it seems to me that vehicles see me better than during the day. I prefer the very end period of night like 4 am to 6 am. Seeing the glow on the horizon and hearing the birds chirp as the world comes alive is a great experience.
As I reply it's now approaching 1AM and I'm preparing to head out to ride my Week 4 Segment for the 2022 Cruzbike Century Challenge Series

Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Depends. If you have a nice quiet, well paved road and decent lights, it could even be safer than a busy road during the day. Cooler is an advantage too.
Roads not too well lit but almost no traffic about this time.
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Old 05-22-22, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
As I reply it's now approaching 1AM and I'm preparing to head out to ride my Week 4 Segment for the 2022 Cruzbike Century Challenge Series. Roads not too well lit but almost no traffic about this time.
One thing I'm worried about riding past 10 pm at night with very little traffic, drivers are less alert and tend to over-speed.

Where I live in the city, while accidents are far more common during the day, they rarely result to serious injuries nor fatalities. Night is where the more serious accidents tend to happen. And as a matter of fact, I have accidentally driven through a red light late at night a few times while driving and I wasn't even drunk, distracted, nor sleepy, just my senses lulled by the very low traffic condition. Although two of them happened outside the city, on a small town far away from the big city.

I tend to avoid riding past 10 pm because of such risk. While the probability of getting hit is lower late at night, the chances the injuries is going to be serious is much higher, there'd be less people around to assist you if it's a hit-and-run, and with the speeds involved, you would have little time or no time at all to react to avoid it.

Last edited by koala logs; 05-22-22 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
One thing I'm worried about riding past 10 pm at night with very little traffic, drivers are less alert and tend to over-speed.
That's a very real concern. We had a 74 yo cyclist get killed by a hit and run driver after dark in February of last year. Driver was eventually caught days later. Depending on the exact section along that road it might have been very dark with no lighting and nothing to give visual clues of distance.
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