When to ride the indoor bike trainer, that is the question. Morning or evening? It’s something I’ve asked myself for years now. Mountain biking is a big part of my life and riding inside during the winter months is a priority for me. Because they’re a priority, I want to make sure I’m scheduling rides for when I have the best chance of actually doing them.
“I’ve now switched over to morning rides and I’m sold!”
In my early days of trainer riding, my work schedule demanded that I start early in the morning. So early that morning rides weren’t an option for me. I would come home from work, get on the trainer and ride. More recently, my schedule has become more flexible. So I’ve now switched over to morning rides and I’m sold! Riding in the morning helps me start my day off feeling more focused and alert. My rides don’t fall by the wayside when I have a bad day. And, when I’m not looking forward to a ride I don’t have to spend the entire day dreading it.
Hit the ground running
These days, when I get up in the morning, I head straight to the trainer. I’m not a morning person, so it’s tough, but once I’m done riding I feel like a million bucks! I’m more alert and ready to start the day. My mind is more focused and, as a result, I can better concentrate on the things I need to get done.
Riding the indoor trainer in the evening has the same effect. That’s not a good thing. Evenings aren’t the time of day I look for extra energy. I want to relax and wind down. Sometimes after an evening trainer ride I would even have trouble falling asleep if there wasn’t enough of a gap between the time I finished a ride and the time I went to bed.
For a more scientific discussion on how training in the evening can affect your sleep, check out this great article by TrainerRoad. And, if you’re in the market for an online training program, TrainerRoad is great!
The early bird gets the worm
If you’re like me, it seems like your life is getting busier by the day. Busy days can mean that rides easily fall off the radar. If unexpected things pop up, it’s tempting to make up that time by cutting a ride. But if you do your trainer ride first thing in the morning, you’re done, and nothing else that happens for the rest of the day can change that.
Prioritizing rides can be very important if you’re training for a specific event, such as a mountain bike race. Workouts that are part of a training plan tend to build on each other and missing too many rides can mess up the whole thing. If you prioritize those workouts by doing them in the morning, there is less chance something will come along and throw you off track.
Out of sight, out of mind
Some people love riding the indoor trainer. Some people hate it. And some fall between those extremes. I belong in the ‘in-between’ category. Some days I enjoy my time on the trainer and other days I dread it. When I was riding in the evenings, I would have all day to think about my ride that evening.
” You just get up and do it!”
I would spend a good part of the day coming up with every excuse I could think of to skip my ride. Maybe I’m too tired. Or maybe I’m too stressed and a ride will only make things worse. We’ve all been there. But getting up and riding first thing in the morning leaves little time for making excuses. You just get up and do it!
It’s worth a try!
I realize that riding an indoor bike trainer in the morning isn’t an option for everyone. For years it wasn’t an option for me. I did my rides in the evening and was perfectly happy (most of the time). Many years and many training hours later, I had the chance to try something different and found that it works for me!
If your schedule permits and you haven’t given it a try, I would say give morning trainer rides a chance. Even if, like me, you’re not a morning person, you may surprise yourself with how well it can work for you and your schedule.
I’d love to hear from you
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below, or you can contact me directly from our Contact page.
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