Bright and early bicycling
Last week we looked at how to make the most of the extra hours of daylight in the evening at this time of year. But since some cyclists are early birds rather than night owls, we’ve put together some how-to-get-out-there tips for ‘morning people’.
Take it slowly
If you’re looking to get up an hour earlier than normal, don’t try to do it all at once. Use your first week or two to slowly readjust your sleep patterns by going to bed (and getting up) 15 minutes earlier, then 30, then 45, and then an hour. This does mean you’ll have to fit your training into shorter evenings initially, but it will increase your chances of eventually sticking to your new start time.
Training first thing in the morning actually starts last thing in the evening. Sort out the kit you want to wear and leave it handy so you can get dressed for action straight away. Also make sure that your bike is in good working order so you can jump straight on. Once that’s done you can wind your day down earlier than normal with a milky drink and a spot of light reading to help shut your brain down.
When the alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button. A good trick – if you sleep alone or have an understanding partner – can be to put the alarm clock out of reach, forcing you to get up to switch it off. Once you’re up, stay up, get dressed and get yourself ready. You might want to grab some fruit for an energy burst, but don’t hang around in the kitchen – your bike is waiting for you.
Having a plan in place for the training you are going to do each day, and knowing how it will benefit you, will motivate you. The gains you see from regular training – instead of being forced to skip evening sessions due to other pressures – might be reward enough, but also promise yourself a coffee and a good breakfast when you’re done. Try not to undo your good work with regular fry-ups though!
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