Make long evenings count

Top up your tank

For most of the year an evening session might involve an hour or so of riding before dark, or in the ‘pain cave’ on your turbo trainer, but for a few months those of us who work regular hours are given another three hours or more of daylight in the evening. If you’re going to make the most of these, then with lunchtime a distant memory, you should make sure you have a carb- and protein-rich snack before your head out. But take something with you too – an evening bonk in fading light is no fun at all. 

Resist the couch

If you sit down in front of the telly when you get home from work, you will vastly increase your chances of remaining there all evening. There’s no doubt that it can be tempting to flop in front of The One Show and become oblivious to the wider world but instead try to eat and drink healthily, get changed and head straight out. You can record anything you really want to watch, or use iPlayer/4oD, and catch up during your post-ride recovery window. 

Get drinking

And we don’t mean after-work beers. A primary cause of lack of energy and focus when you get home can come from not hydrating properly during the day. Make regular trips to the water cooler at work and you’ll be better able to face a longer ride when you get home. As with food, take plenty of drink with you. You’re not heading out for a quick blast but potentially for a ride as long as you might do on a weekend morning. Finally, a quick pre-ride coffee can help increase stamina and energy for the duration. 

And so to bed…

You’ll want to shower and eat when you get home, but make sure your food balances protein and carbs to help your muscles. A protein drink can make for a good instant hit, then after a shower go for chilli and rice, chicken with a jacket potato or a turkey stir fry with noodles. Don’t eat too much, and don’t stay up too late trying to do other stuff. The advantage of exercising later is that your body can recover when you’re in bed soon after so don’t let anything get in the way of this benefit. 

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