Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

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Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby open roader » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:48 pm

I've never been any good / enjoyed morning (prior to 10am-ish) rides.

I recently gave myself the opportunity to 'aclimatise' to some consecutive morning rides all around 8:30 - 9 am starts. I ensured I ate well the night before, ate a light energy / carb balanced meal well before rolling off and ensured I was hydrated well the night before and prior to the rides. Despite having no winds to contend with and my prefered cooler temps to ride in, I have failed to get close to my usual speed averages, my HR has been more difficult to control in the morning rides and I have always felt flat after getting out of the saddle and have felt tired, lactic sorness and pretty ordinary for much of the day afterwards.

The later I leave my rides in the afternoon / evening the better my times / speeds are, my HR is lower and does not rise so fast with effort, I feel fine immediatly after dismounting and have virtually no post ride recovery issues. I can perform repetitions, stand on the pedals, climb more easily, sprint longer and generally enjoy the afternoon / evening rides so much better despite battling winds, low angle sun in my face and much more heat than the mornings....

With summer here well and truly now I was hoping to get out in the mornings more often but I feel like it's a health hazard after every morning ride........

Why is this so......?
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by BNA » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:58 pm

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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby Addictr3 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:58 pm

Few questions;

In the PM workouts, are you eating Breakfast, Lunch then riding?

How fit are you? What is your height, weight and age?

Any medical conditions?

Of the top of my head sounds like you could be hyperglycemic in the morning? Try a higher fat/protein meal in the AM before the ride, like Eggs on Toast
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Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby sogood » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:51 am

Hyperglycaemic? Huh?
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby open roader » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:06 pm

Addictr3 wrote:Few questions;

In the PM workouts, are you eating Breakfast, Lunch then riding?

How fit are you? What is your height, weight and age?

Any medical conditions?

Of the top of my head sounds like you could be hyperglycemic in the morning? Try a higher fat/protein meal in the AM before the ride, like Eggs on Toast


The PM rides are usually after work so anytime from 3:30pm to 6:30pm and yes, I've had normal breakfast, normal lunch and always a bar or banana etc and some gatorade + more water pre- ride

I'm a full time gardener working on big gardens so I'd say I have both very good fitness and strength. I'm 40 years old, 180cm tall and weigh 75kg. I used to be able to - and expect now to be able to average 30km/hr on my rides which are a mixture of hills and false flats on loops of 30-60km. Some of the flatter terrain morning rides I'm closer to 28km/hr than 30km/hr.

No medical conditions. I know what a hypoglycemic attack is, the lack lustre feeling I get from morning rides is more of a chronic lethargy than an accute blood sugar drop, but anything is possible I guess. Egg on toast with coffee is precisely the sort of breakfast I eat about 90 min prior to riding........
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby PawPaw » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:39 pm

I've been talking to mates about this very topic recently. Racing is usually early morning 7-8am so I've been doing more training then.
THere's a few physiological points that you have to work through for peak performance early in the morning:

- you've fasted for 9-10 hours
- your blood volume has diminished by as much as 20% (weigh what you pee off from 7pm to 6am)
- your body tissue is not as well perfused and hydrated as it is later in the day after moving around moderately. (compare a 5am hamstring stretch with one at 3pm)
- your nervous system is still somewhat sedate until you get the adrenalin and psychological arousal levels up (compare mental arithmetic at 5am and 10am)
- consider how much you crave a coffee after a morning ride, but not an afternoon one.

Before early morning racing or harder climbs, I try to get lots of fluid and around 45minutes of riding before my joints and muscles, and cardiovascular system are at a level where I can push out 100% efforts. I still have not been able to attain my max sprint speed in the morning. There's about a 4-5kph shortfall. I also note my recoveries are slower after maximal efforts.

Nevertheless, I am going to bed earlier, and think early morning is the best time to ride. The air is cooler and more still, less traffic, beautiful views, etc.

and on that note, goodnight.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby open roader » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:47 pm

Thanks PawPaw. I also think my metabolism is just not up to spec until later in the morning and the bod is starved of what is required to make such an effort so early after 'start up'. I'll have to sleep a couple of hours earlier and wake up another couple of hours earlier to see if I can get my body to wake up and take up earlier. I agree, mornings can be ideal for exercise, too good to waste at this time of year.....
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby vander » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:39 pm

Good advice Pawpaw especially on the hydration. The other thing is think about warm up times it may take a little longer to warm up for most the reasons Pawpaw pointed out so take a little longer to warm up and compare the time you are actually riding properly for morning vs evening and they should be similar. After a good 20min warmup you should be ok (or atleast I am) but it does take a while to get going.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby greyhoundtom » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:59 am

After reading this thread I thought I might have stumbled upon a reason for my ordinary performances on the bike as I only ever ride between 7.00 and 9.00 am.

Then I realised it doesn’t really apply to me because while I rarely go to sleep before 11 pm at night, I’m always awake by 4.00 - 4.30 am and have had breakfast by 5.00 at the latest.

Oh well .......... I will go back to blaming it on old age. :wink:
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby eeksll » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:12 am

greyhoundtom wrote:After reading this thread I thought I might have stumbled upon a reason for my ordinary performances on the bike as I only ever ride between 7.00 and 9.00 am.

Then I realised it doesn’t really apply to me because while I rarely go to sleep before 11 pm at night, I’m always awake by 4.00 - 4.30 am and have had breakfast by 5.00 at the latest.

Oh well .......... I will go back to blaming it on old age. :wink:


or you could blame lack of sleep. Shhesh I'd be falling asleep at work with that much sleep.

I also find morning rides always seem to be harder. Not sure the fasting is the whole story. As my "afternoon" rides happens cause I sleep in till then, I don't really do anything different other than move my whole "morning" schedule 6hrs later.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby David_G » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:00 am

sogood wrote:Hyperglycaemic? Huh?


Hyperglycaemic is high blood glucose


Hypoglycaemic is low
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby Ken Ho » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:07 am

I think it's just the way you are. I am not a fan of early morning rides either, despite being an early riser. I'm also an early morning slug. I like to go out about 10am or later. I've been clocking some really slow rides lately, and just realized they have mostly been early morning, as the traffic sucks here after 0700. I don't have that problem at home, so go out later.
When it comes to running, I much prefer late afternoon and running into the dusk. It's cooler and has a better vibe.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby sogood » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:17 pm

David_G wrote:
sogood wrote:Hyperglycaemic? Huh?

Hyperglycaemic is high blood glucose

Yes, I know that. I was commenting on Addictr3's statement that "... could be hyperglycaemic in the morning". One that doesn't make sense unless the person is a diabetic with additional effects.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby mrs slocombe's pussy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:59 pm

there was a program awhile back on sbs called the body clock or something like that, they said that the morning wasn't the best time to exercise.....but i can't remember the reasons put forward. also people are more likely to have heart attacks in the morning so maybe its higher blood pressure??

having said that i commute to work and much more enjoy the ride to work in the morning than the ride home in the arvo....perhaps its a combination of not being used to it and the body clock.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby Apple » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:10 pm

I only ride in the mornings, all my training is in the morning, weather it is swimming or running. I don't eat breakfast because I am not ready to eat yet but will eat at the end of the training.

I don't ride in the afternoons as I often have a nanna nap.
My own personal experience is that it is just routine and what your body is trained to do. Just like a bowl motion, is it active in the morning or afternoon, habit that's what I think it is all about.

But that is just my opinon.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby sogood » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:44 pm

mrs slocombe's pussy wrote:there was a program awhile back on sbs called the body clock or something like that, they said that the morning wasn't the best time to exercise.....but i can't remember the reasons put forward. also people are more likely to have heart attacks in the morning so maybe its higher blood pressure??

In summer afternoons, the chance of me dying of heat stroke is markedly increased here in Sydney. :shock:
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby BarryTas » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:51 am

it could just be as simple as your body is not used to it.

it takes of regular early morinings for your body to get used to it. also you needs to get up early every/most morning to get used to it, then it will be come natural ie body clock
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby zues » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:37 pm

Just Googled this
Late Afternoon is Best for Exercise
Research shows that the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest, which, for most people is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (body temperature is at its lowest just before waking).
Strength is Greater in the Afternoon
Dr. Hill reported that strength output is 5% higher at around mid-day; anaerobic performance, such as sprinting, improves by 5% in the late afternoon.
Endurance is Greater in the Afternoon
Aerobic capacity (endurance) is approximately 4percent higher in the afternoon.
Injuries Are Less Likely in the Afternoon
Afternoon exercise is the best if you want to avoid injuries for many reasons. We are most alert; our body temperature is the highest so our muscles are warm and flexible; and our muscle strength is at its greatest. These three factors make it less likely that we will get injured.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby Apple » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:59 pm

zues wrote:Just Googled this
Late Afternoon is Best for Exercise
Research shows that the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest, which, for most people is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (body temperature is at its lowest just before waking).
Strength is Greater in the Afternoon
Dr. Hill reported that strength output is 5% higher at around mid-day; anaerobic performance, such as sprinting, improves by 5% in the late afternoon.
Endurance is Greater in the Afternoon
Aerobic capacity (endurance) is approximately 4percent higher in the afternoon.
Injuries Are Less Likely in the Afternoon
Afternoon exercise is the best if you want to avoid injuries for many reasons. We are most alert; our body temperature is the highest so our muscles are warm and flexible; and our muscle strength is at its greatest. These three factors make it less likely that we will get injured.

I would have to disagree, Googling is a dangers thing to do, lots of false information.
It depends on what your body is used too. Everyone is different. For me, my body shuts down after 12md and I need a nap, Morning is the only time I exercise, most swim squads are held at 5am. I see many joggers and riders in the early morning, but that is purely my observation. If I google early morning exercise I am sure to come up with how great it is to exercise in the morning.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby zues » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:15 pm

Agree-Just a generalization.
Personally, I feel better 2 hours into a morning ride.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby Apple » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:35 pm

zues wrote:Agree-Just a generalization.
Personally, I feel better 2 hours into a morning ride.

Yes me too.
The endorphins last all day. Once I change my habits and not exercise in the morning, I am sluggish for the rest of the day.
But mind you when I was young I could run anytime of the day, but I didn’t have to look after a whole family, I was the one being looked after.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby trailgumby » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:55 pm

zues wrote:Just Googled this
Late Afternoon is Best for Exercise
Research shows that ... :lol:

Ah, yes, yet another media generalisation and globalisation of a specific piece of research on specific test subjects. The press, the tabloid press in particular, is particularly poor at reporting on scientific findings and almost always drastically misrepresents them.

1: It is a single piece of research, among many pieces of research
2: Does *all* the research show this, or just this study? What do the other studies show?
3: On what basis is it valid to assume that what was true for the test subjects is true for the population as a whole?
4: What controls were used?

That third one is a cracker, because anecdotally the assertion that people are more alert in the afternoon is pure BS :lol: The reality as most see it is quite the opposite.

Research shows that smoking is good for you ... and we all know whose research that was :lol:
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby zues » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:12 pm

Trailgumby wrote
That third one is a cracker, because anecdotally the assertion that people are more alert in the afternoon is pure BS :lol: The reality as most see it is quite the opposite.

OK wheres the evidence for this :?: :?
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby jimsheedy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:39 pm

I love morning rides. The earlier the better. If i don't get out by 8 it's too late for me. I have to have something in my stomach, A banana and or a muesli bar or an up and go and plenty of water. I feel great about 10 minutes in and get better as the ride goes on. Gives me heaps of energy for the rest of the day and the only times i feel really fatigued is if I haven't had enough sleep the night before.

I find conditions in the morning so much better, no traffic, cooler temps and light or no wind.

I guess the conclusion is that we are all different.
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby open roader » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:25 pm

jimsheedy wrote:I guess the conclusion is that we are all different.


Yes, I concur, another fortnight of morning attempts with rigerous nutritional and hydration measures has me still feeling fairly ordinary after a morning ride. I love the afternoon for rides, we are all different......... :)
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Re: Morning ride vs Afternoon ride

Postby zues » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:49 pm

I have been enlightened :idea:
Prior to reading this thread I thought people who slept in or couldnt get out of bed were just lazy and irritable SOB. Maybe there is a genetic reason for it :shock: :o
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