We’ve all been there, alarm ringing, the snooze button looking so tempting, only to tap it and go back to sleep. Skip the ‘no ride’ guilt, here’s how to get out of bed and onto your bike. By Selene Yeager
By Molly Hurford.
Early morning rides can be brutal. Sure, you love your bike, and once you’re moving, you probably remember that, but getting out the door can feel like the hardest thing in the world when the sun is barely up. Want to start your early morning ride right? Try these tips to get out the door peppier, faster, and, of course, ready to crush.
When you’re trying to get up for an early ride, good sleep the night before is a non-negotiable; all the training in the world won’t help if you’re under-recovered. Clean up your sleep hygiene for an easier wake-up: avoid screen time before bed, sleep in a cool, dark room, and cut out that afternoon caffeine.
Pump Up the Jams
Set your alarm to blast a song instead of a foghorn for a more pleasant wake-up call. Psychology PhD candidate David M. Greenberg recently partnered with Spotify to put together the perfect wake-up playlist. “Everyone has those days where it’s tough to wake up and get the day started,” he says. “But there’s a psychology to it. Hearing the right song in the morning can help boost our engine, and motivate us to tackle the challenges and make most of the opportunities that wait for us in the day ahead.”
Not only will a glass of cold water help kick-start your brain by giving your body a jolt, studies have shown that drinking 500ml of water can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent.
Eat Right (and Light)
Eating a heavy meal right before you ride can make you feel sluggish as you start rolling, but heading out on an empty stomach for hill intervals isn’t a good idea, either. Opt for a breakfast that’s easy to digest and fairly small, says holistic nutritionist Anne Guzman—around 200 calories is a good goal, and you can always indulge in second-breakfast post-ride.
A morning cup of coffee or shot of espresso can help perk you up, and it can also boost your exercise metabolism by 15 percent, according to a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Get Your Gear Ready
Before you go to bed, make sure you’re ready for your early ride. You don’t need to sleep in your kit (unless you really want to), but try getting your shorts, jersey, socks, shoes, and helmet all laid out. Make sure your bike is tuned up, your tyres are pumped, and your water bottles are full—that way, when the alarm goes off, all you have to do is wake up, put on your chamois, and roll out. Getting everything set also helps create a sense of having already committed to the ride, so it’s more difficult to bail.
If you go to bed thinking, “Maybe I’ll ride,” you probably won’t. Set your intention before you go to sleep, and make your morning what you want it to be. “The alarm is not debatable. Set your minimum expectation that you’re going to ride today—that you won’t go back to sleep, and that you won’t step outside and change your mind,” says coach Peter Glassford. The first mile might be the toughest as you and your body wake up, but push through it and you’ll get to bask in the glory of riding while everyone else is still snoozing.