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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Tips how to be not tired when riding before work in the morning

    Most of my rides are done first thing in the morning before work.
    I usually get 5.30 - 6 in the morning and start riding around 7. Usually 1.5 hours.
    I normally manage to get at least 6 hours of sleep before riding and ride 1 day on 1 day off.
    I noticed that often I am pretty tired and can't give 100% during my rides. Sometimes I manage to wake up once my heartrate goes up, but sometimes even that doesn't help. That results in riding in zombie mode. It seems to have alot to do with how I wake up.. its kinda random. I can wake up fresh after 6 hours of sleep or I can wake up super tired and then its zombie mode until I go to sleep in the evening.
    Normally I catch up sleep the next day as I am riding one day on and one day off.
    I was wondering if there are any supplements I can take to wake up better (besides the obvious coffee/tea).
    I was hoping I'd get used to waking up at these hours after doing it for a year, but it doesn't seem to improve that much.
    The funny thing is that if I go to sleep at 2 am and wake up at 8am I won't be as tired as waking up before 6.

    Any tips will be welcome.. even the obvious ones (sleep 8 hours before rides... doh)
    Evil The Following MB 2017
    Canondale Scalpel Team 2015
    Kona Raijin 2014 SS

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I get up early (4:45am) to ride 4-5 days a week. If I do more than two of these in a row I'm exhausted (all day). But I do find I have decent level of energy most mornings. I'm getting avg 6.5 hours sleep on these days...a bit more on rest days. In the 40 minutes from when I wake up to when I ride, I eat some granola with fruit and yogurt, and have one or two cups of green tea...I then do a light stretch for 10 minutes. A little slow to start, but within 10 minutes I feel good.

    Hope you sort it out!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Have you tried to have a regular routine- go to bed and wake up at the same time?

    I recently went to a sleep dr and one of the first thing he suggested is to go to bed later- between 10.30 and 11.00

  4. #4
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Normal warm-up for me is about 20 minutes no matter what. My early day rides are out the door before 7am for maybe 2 hrs. I often eat after - or during if it's going to go much longer than 2 hrs. I've tried to start out really hard (to "maximize my ride time") and it makes me feel bad so I am resigned to the ~20 minute warm-up. The rest of the ride is usu. really good. I have an "off day" once in awhile, but not in a long time. I tried to track what might cause an "off day" but it is so random it's too hard to figure it out so I just count on having an easy route to bail out to if I'm not feeling my mojo.
    I am often barely getting 6 hrs. of sleep.

    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I would just try to get more sleep. I'm normally up no later than 5am and I ride everyday at 6am.
    I try to be in bed by 10pm and some days I go even earlier.

  6. #6
    Just Ride
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    I find a lot of my recovery depends on how clean or healthy I eat and how often I eat. Yes sleep helps. If I eat clean throughout the day and consume a lot of water after a tough ride. The next day I am ready to go back at it. If I eat like crap pizza, burgers ect........ I am lucky I can crawl out of bed! lots of healthy carbs the day before a ride.

    my two cents

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    chug a glass of water and stretch your whole body for 5-10 mins as soon as you get up.
    and poop. take a huge poop.

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    Have you tried to have a regular routine- go to bed and wake up at the same time?

    I recently went to a sleep dr and one of the first thing he suggested is to go to bed later- between 10.30 and 11.00
    Yep, that's what's doing it. It doesn't necessarily mean one should go to bed earlier or later, but your body's "clock" will get used to whatever time you wake up and go to bed, and if you try to change this, it will resist. If you constantly change it, you'll get chronic fatigue. This is why it takes 1 day to recover from each time zone crossed. I do a lot of travel where I cover multiple time zones in a day, and you just can't go to bed earlier than you "usually do", you'll lay there wide awake until you fall asleep at the time your body thinks is "normal". Same with waking up, if you want to be a zombie, wake up earlier than you usually do. You also notice as you get older, it's simply not possible to stay in bed and sleep until 11am, again, you just don't "sleep" after the time your body decides it should be up.

    It sounds like you need to concentrate on getting closer to 7-8hrs of sleep/night EVERY night and not trying to "catch up" the next one. The "catching up" part doesn't really work like that. Your body will revert to what it's used to, which sounds like what's happening.

    Some more facts about sleep:

    The first 4 hours of sleep are usually the most critical (although all of it is important). This is the deepest sleep and where the brain/body does the most "shutting down". After this, the periods of sleep are shorter, lighter and "interrupted", in that it's usually not continuous sleep-there are semi-conscious moments in between the cycles. They get progressively lighter until you usually wake up. This becomes more defined as we age. It's also how some with weak bladders can still get decent sleep to a point, because they completed the first or first few cycles, then had to pee, then continue the lighter cycles.

    As a pilot and regulator, this is one of the things I have to consider in my job, and whether other people are able to get the sleep that they require. Usually we are dealing more with acute fatigue, like when I went camping a few weekends ago and got up at 330am both days to go fishing (caught a bunch of salmon though!). It was hard because I wasn't getting the core-sleep mentioned above, so I felt like absolute hell at first and even later. Conked out big time when I got back home and got back to my regular cycle. This isn't too bad if you "sprint" it and do it for a day or two and then go back for a week or two, but you don't want to be changing up the hours every day or multiple times a week. It takes a few weeks usually to adapt to a new schedule and the corresponding circadian rhythm. You gotta do something IMO to keep your sleep at mostly the same hours, otherwise, chronic fatigue.

    That said, eating healthy and being healthy is important and the more fit you are, the better you can deal with some of these things. I have gotten to a point where I can do multiple things in a day, workout, rock climb, run, mountain bike, and feel great the next day. It wasn't always like this, one thing and that used to be it for me and one hard ride and I'd feel like crap the next day. Riding early is setting yourself up for failure because you haven't had the 2hrs to digest complex carbs. This means you'll be either trying to burn fat, which significantly reduces your output, or sugar from breakfast, which will increase the possibility of bonking with the associated crash if you try to push hard. These can all be managed, but you've got to realize the limitations and proper preparation.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    What time do you eat before going to bed. Remember you are fasting while you are sleeping. So if you don't eat after 8 (common myth), you are working on 9-10 hours of fasting before you then ask your body to produce on a ride.

  10. #10
    In dog years, I'm dead.
    Reputation: burtronix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Make sure you are well hydrated. Get some carbs, but nothing to heavy on the stomach. I like Cliff gel, but only half packet to start. Warm up slowly. I stretch after rather than before.
    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I think the 6 hours of sleep is a pretty obvious flag. Our culture glorifies sleep deprivation as a sign of mental or physical toughness, but the science is pretty clear: the vast majority of humans need 7-9 hours of sleep, and getting by with less means you're NOT going to be able to give 100%.

    And athletes actually need more sleep than sedentary people.
    Kick In The Mojo is my blog about mountain biking, fitness, and looking forward to the 2015 BC Bike Race.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brunomu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    When i wake up for a early ride the only thing that work is a triple expresso and a very short shower (2minutes), i found over the years of riding early mornings that what you have for dinner is more important that what you have for breakfast, my best super early rides are just expresso and that it, i can pedal up to 3 hours at good strenght but i have agood dinner of pasta or other complex carbo.

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