General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Training and Time of day... Rss Feed  
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2013-10-08 4:13 PM


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Subject: Training and Time of day...
I am wondering if there is any advantage in doing your workouts in the morning as opposed to the afternoon and evening?

My work day starts pretty early, so getting up extra early for workouts doesnt seem logical, especially when I have ample time in the
afternoon and evening to get my training in, If I was to get up that early, I would be hitting the pillow while it is still light out, even during the fall.

My question is, will my body refuse, or resist greatly to perform at peak performance for races that start in the morning?

Or will the proper amount of warmup and preparedness be enough?



2013-10-08 4:55 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Mentally, I seem to perform better in the afternoon (around 4ish) when I train after work. Early morning training (other than massively long bike rides or bikes in the summer here in AZ) seem to be not my bag. I just don't "feel" it until the 3rd mile running or at least 30-45 minutes into the ride. I haven't tried a swim that early yet.

I think you should try it and see what works for you. It's all about you. I train at all sorts of times of day (schedule permitting) and have found what works for me. Give it a whirl and see if it feels good and note what your results are. Compare it to other times of the day, etc.

Best of luck!
2013-10-08 5:02 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Most people have an optimal time of day to train, but mostly you just have to work with what your schedule allows.

Don't worry about race day because adrenaline will take over... just make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning to take care of things like bathroom issues. This may take some practice to know how much time you need if you don't normally train in the morning.
2013-10-08 5:23 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
It's very individual, but there are two reasons that you may consider if they apply to you:

It's cooler in the early morning, many perform better when it's not too hot. Definitely matters in the summer.

There's less pollution, less traffic overnight and the dew settling means the air is cleaner. Also, ozone is a byproduct of chemical processes of NOx with the air and these are driven by the heat and sun. This is definitely an issue if you're asthmatic. This summer I had to go running after sunset or, better yet, early morning.

And some just enjoy having it all for themselves - or sharing with other equally crazy athletes.

BR
2013-10-08 6:25 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...

Another plus, most races are early, so you get accustomed to working out early.

I'm not SURE if that helps or not because I personally feel a lot more energetic and excited to train in the afternoons than getting up early for them and never felt an issue with getting geared up for an early race.  The only time I do get up early is for group rides.



Edited by Kido 2013-10-08 6:25 PM
2013-10-08 6:56 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
There are some who would suggest working out before eating breakfast has some benefit. Some others say you have greater mental acuity in the morning. Some would say the mental toughness developed through working out when tired in the evening is worth something. I personally work out twice a day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, always in the mid day. Works for me.


2013-10-09 1:39 PM
in reply to: Kido


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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Originally posted by Kido

Another plus, most races are early, so you get accustomed to working out early.

I'm not SURE if that helps or not because I personally feel a lot more energetic and excited to train in the afternoons than getting up early for them and never felt an issue with getting geared up for an early race.  The only time I do get up early is for group rides.




This was more my concern, working out in the afternoon, and having trouble "getting ready" and performing my best for morning starts.....

is there a considerable advantage to workout in the mornings to get your body "used to" morning activity,
Or if you prepare enough and warm up adequately, is it not a big deal?
2013-10-09 1:59 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...

Originally posted by chumpmann

Originally posted by Kido

Another plus, most races are early, so you get accustomed to working out early.

I'm not SURE if that helps or not because I personally feel a lot more energetic and excited to train in the afternoons than getting up early for them and never felt an issue with getting geared up for an early race.  The only time I do get up early is for group rides.

This was more my concern, working out in the afternoon, and having trouble "getting ready" and performing my best for morning starts..... is there a considerable advantage to workout in the mornings to get your body "used to" morning activity, Or if you prepare enough and warm up adequately, is it not a big deal?

I do most of my workouts at mid day during my lunch break with a couple early ones on weekends.  That said, I've never had a problem with an early start on race day, as mentioned before adrenaline helps

2013-10-09 2:07 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Originally posted by erik.norgaard


And some just enjoy having it all for themselves - or sharing with other equally crazy athletes.

BR


I'm out the door running or biking at 4:15am and if its a swim day I'm the first one at the gym at 4:30am. Love the time to myself. With a wife and 3 kids at home it is really the only alone time that I get. Plus i just don't seem to have the drive to work out at night. I've tried before, but I always tend to think about all the stuff that I did during the course of the day and it makes me feel tired. At least when I wake up in the morning, I have no excuses because working out is the first thing that I am doing.
2013-10-09 4:38 PM
in reply to: MOlsen


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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Originally posted by MOlsen

Originally posted by chumpmann

Originally posted by Kido

Another plus, most races are early, so you get accustomed to working out early.

I'm not SURE if that helps or not because I personally feel a lot more energetic and excited to train in the afternoons than getting up early for them and never felt an issue with getting geared up for an early race.  The only time I do get up early is for group rides.

This was more my concern, working out in the afternoon, and having trouble "getting ready" and performing my best for morning starts..... is there a considerable advantage to workout in the mornings to get your body "used to" morning activity, Or if you prepare enough and warm up adequately, is it not a big deal?

I do most of my workouts at mid day during my lunch break with a couple early ones on weekends.  That said, I've never had a problem with an early start on race day, as mentioned before adrenaline helps




I guess I was over-thinking it, just wondering if anyone had noticed a difference between training in morning or night in regards to morning races.

I guess as long as I get up and get ready, I will be ok....
2013-10-09 6:17 PM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...

I do all of my riding/running in the evening after work except on Saturday for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I do not sleep well and I get my deepest sleep in the morning hours.  I need that rest.  I've never been a morning person because of this.  Also, as I get a little older, I am generally stiffer in the morning.  As the day goes on my muscles loosen up and I feel pretty normal by the time I head out the door.

Saturday's are the exception.  I always get up fairly early for the weekend (about 8:00) and do my long run.  It is pretty ingrained in me that on Saturday morning I will either get up and run long or I'll be racing.  I am so used to it that I'll wake up without an alarm.



2013-10-09 6:46 PM
in reply to: chumpmann


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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
I looked into this a couple years ago, and without having the research in front of me, I thought it consistently said afternoons are a better time for workouts than mornings. Athletes performed better in afternoon workouts compared to morning workouts. I recall one article listing an equalizer, however. When adding a cup of Joe before morning workouts, the morning and afternoon workouts drew even. It was enough reason for me to enjoy a coffee before heading out!
2013-10-09 7:33 PM
in reply to: bschley34

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
IMHO: The very best time to work out is when you're working out.
2013-10-10 2:06 AM
in reply to: bschley34

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
Originally posted by bschley34

I looked into this a couple years ago, and without having the research in front of me, I thought it consistently said afternoons are a better time for workouts than mornings. Athletes performed better in afternoon workouts compared to morning workouts. I recall one article listing an equalizer, however. When adding a cup of Joe before morning workouts, the morning and afternoon workouts drew even. It was enough reason for me to enjoy a coffee before heading out!


Define "Performed Better". Are we talking about faster race times, faster training times, or some other unit of measurement? All things being equal, one may not care as much about fluctuations in performance during workouts, just as long as they hit their goals on race day.
2013-10-10 7:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
I don't think it matters what time of the day you train, as long as it works well for you and you can do it consistently. I've struggled with this issue for years--I'm really not a morning person, but my schedule is very full during the week, and the times when I can run and ride outside are severely constrained by heat, traffic, and, in rainy season, heavy rain (which tends to fall in early afternoon to evening). In the past I did most of my training after work. This worked well for trainer rides and swimming, but I struggled with running, esp. speedwork. I'd be too tired after being on my feet all day at work to run well, find it difficult to work my way around people and traffic, have a meeting go overtime and get my workout cut short, or get rained out. I didn't find, though, that it was hard to do morning races after training in the afternoon. Adrenaline more than takes care of that, plus a little help from coffee!

This fall for a number of reasons I've switched to running very early mornings (starting at 5:15-5:30 on weekdays and 6-6:30 AM on weekends). It definitely was a struggle at first but I started with easy runs and gradually added speedwork. I've found that at least for me, the workouts tend to go a bit more smoothly and I recover much better. If I do a hard run in the evening, I'm definitely sore/tight during the night and the following morning; that doesn't seem to happen after a morning run. My job has me on my feet and up and down stairs much of the day, sometimes as long as ten hours. Oddly, that seems to keep me from cramping up after a hard workout. My training has been much more consistent this year than in the past since it's less prone to random interruptions from work and weather. While getting out of bed is still tough (though I now have an early-rising cat who's the ultimate tri coach/alarm clock), I really look forward to the peace, quiet, and relative lack of traffic of my early runs--it's the only chance I have for it all day!

I think you just need to experiment and find what works for you, and, if needed, be ready to try something that doesn't seem optimal at first and give it a chance.

Edited by Hot Runner 2013-10-10 7:24 AM
2013-10-10 9:06 AM
in reply to: bschley34


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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
This was kind of what I was looking for.

Looks like as long as you wake your body up in the morning you will perform as well as you do when you train in the afternoon.



2013-10-10 9:43 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...

Originally posted by Hot Runner I don't think it matters what time of the day you train, as long as it works well for you and you can do it consistently. 

I think that sums it up well.

Mark

2013-10-10 10:09 AM
in reply to: chumpmann

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Subject: RE: Training and Time of day...
I can't say scientifically if my body performs at peak levels when racing but I can say I haven't had any issues on race days.  I probably train 80% of the time at night.  I work out late for a variety of issues and have often wondered the same thing.  Also not a morning person as others have said but I do at points in the year make an effort to run before work.  It always feels like a slog fest to me.  My optimal workout time would be around dinner time I think since that's when I feel the best and have the most energy.  I just couldn't confidently say if I am performing better at that time or not and if it reflects on my race results.  I do not necessarily tapper for all races but I do at least take it easy or off the day or two before any given race.  So my body tends to be feeling pretty good on race morning.  Plus I am up and moving around usually for an hour or two before a race.
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