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  1. #1
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    Early morning rides good or worthless?

    So far this year the majority of my miles have during the early morning. By early morning I mean 4 am. During these rides my body is half awake and my HR says low the whole ride.

    Since I get bored easily throw in higher tempo rides, hill repeats and intervals but really do not know if it is doing any good. During these hard efforts my perceived effort and my HR do not match. I am sure it is just still being half asleep but can't get my HR level to raise to that of my afternoon rides.

    When I jump out with my group my HR seems to spike easily and have trouble recovering before the next acceleration.

    So are these rides good for recovery only since I can't get my HR up? Anything else I can do? Riding later in the morning is not an option since I have to be at work early and I do not get a set lunch break so that is out as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe

  2. #2
    Slow Recreational Rider
    Reputation: TheManShow's Avatar
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    This time of year we have monsoon, and tempetures in the 110's until about September. Honestly I am on two BP Meds, so the riding is exersise, and therapy for two bad knees.

    I get up and go at 0500, and am home by 0900. I am slow to move when I get out of bed, so between getting me, my bike ready to ride, and filling water bottles it is really 0515-0520 before I am rolling.

    Still waking up for the first mile or so, than what I am doing s for exersise, weight loss, and move old muscles & joints I call bike therapy.
    “Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.”-Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian & actor.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireplug View Post
    During these rides my body is half awake and my HR says low the whole ride.
    It's interesting how you've posed the questions and described the situation. You seem to be implying that you have no control over your intensity. C'mon ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by fireplug View Post
    So are these rides good for recovery only since I can't get my HR up? Anything else I can do?
    One you do a solid, 20-minute warm up, take your pick: High Intensity, Tempo or Cadence. Recovery is not you only option.

    Also, if you don't feel good when you wake up, you might consider going to sleep earlier. Riding shouldn't be a chore or painful. It should be enjoyable. So get plenty of rest, do a decent warm up and hopefully you'll feel like bringing down the hammer on your next ride.
    Joe

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireplug View Post
    So far this year the majority of my miles have during the early morning. By early morning I mean 4 am. During these rides my body is half awake and my HR says low the whole ride.
    Joe
    I think the first question to ask yourself is what is the objective of the ride? For instance, if you are training seriously, then you should be doing only about two intense (interval-type) sessions per week plus at least one long endurance ride. If you are just riding for fun or to burn calories, it does not matter so much.

    I have some concerns about the effect early morning rides on the endocrine system, which I hasten to add are not necessarily based on any real science, but from personal experience:
    1) The effect on sleep. Are you getting enough sleep for recovery, or are you suffering from early morning insomnia and just say to yourself "what the hell, I can't sleep so I'll just get up and ride." If this is the case, be very careful, since you could be stressing your endocrine system unduly.
    2) Pre-ride fueling is harder for an early morning workout. You don't have time to eat a real pre-ride meal, but for rides longer than an hour or intense sessions you need to eat something before hand (e.g. banana, toast and PB/jelly) and take in an energy drink and/or gels while on the bike. Again, proper fueling is critical for your endocrine system.
    3) Although your testosterone is higher in the morning, so is your cortisol. The ratio of testosterone/cortisol should become more favorable later in the day, so you might perform better later. However, if early morning is the only available time, you have to do it then.

  5. #5
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    I ride early like you do, but not on the bike at 4am, most of the time 5 or 5:30am unless it's a weekend Century and I am trying to beat the heat. Either way, I drink a couple cups of coffee when I get up, eat a PBJ an hour later, and sometimes a banana right before I leave and have no problems maxing out my heart rate an hour into the ride. Have no idea what would happen if I hit the bike 30 minutes after getting up, that probably wouldn't work well for me

  6. #6
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    No ride is worthless.

    I ride to work (40KM) and leave at 5AM and although I probably don't have the energy I do mid morning, I still can get my heart rate up. I eat a banana before and take a bidon with GU Brew to keep up my energy levels.
    While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. - Stephen R. Covey.

  7. #7
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    I am now riding from about 6am. I wake up about 10 minutes before I hit the road. My rides are about 90 minutes average heart rate is high 150s. I have been digesting food all night and don't need anything to start my engine in the morning. I fuel up after the ride with a good healthy wholefood breakfast, usually spinach omelette or bacon and eggs and rehydrate well in the shower. Gave up caffeine pretty much 4 months ago and don't miss it. I will have an occasional iced latte on the road to get me home if I am feeling a bit flat. BUT any riding if you are getting enough sleep is better than no riding. The intensity is up to you. Are you getting 7 to 8 hours sleep?

  8. #8
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    Sleep has far more impact on improving performance than riding tired does.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    I am now riding from about 6am. I wake up about 10 minutes before I hit the road.
    I try to eat a fruit, go poop, take a shower, put on my clean riding jersey, and then go ride. That sequence can take me up to an hour, but it's worth it. When I start my ride, I'm light as can be, I'm clean as can be, and I'm fully awake.

  10. #10
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    Making sure to allow myself sufficient time to 'wake up' seems to trump all other variables. Between jockeying my youngest child's morning feed schedule (4mos), work, etc...I get the most out of an early indoor trainer session or outside ride if I've been awake for at least 45min.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    I try to eat a fruit, go poop, take a shower, put on my clean riding jersey, and then go ride. That sequence can take me up to an hour, but it's worth it. When I start my ride, I'm light as can be, I'm clean as can be, and I'm fully awake.
    Why take a shower just to get all sweaty and have to take a shower again?

    Or are you the kind that doesn't shower right after riding?
    use a torque wrench

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Why take a shower just to get all sweaty and have to take a shower again?
    Do you prefer to have sex while you're all sweaty?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Do you prefer to have sex while you're all sweaty?
    No but showering before a dawnbreaker just isn't having a dawnbreaker. At the moment, summer with high humidity, I'll take sweaty.

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    eat, poop, shower, ride, repeat
    sounds like a song , a movie and a manga. Myhui trifecta!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    Originally Posted by myhui Do you prefer to have sex while you're all sweaty?

    No but showering before a dawnbreaker just isn't having a dawnbreaker. At the moment, summer with high humidity, I'll take sweaty. ...
    Check out some of the better known female cyclists, eg Canadian MTB pro Emily Batty, and you might change your mind! ;-)

  15. #15
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    Need I say it????

    wait...

    wait...

    ...HTFU.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Need I say it????

    wait...

    wait...

    ...HTFU.
    Mind: Blown...

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