Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Life changes. I personally never was a morning person, but when commitments mount, the first thing to suffer is usually exercise. I first started to dabble with early morning workouts back when I was a student-athlete. At that time though, it was very difficult to stay motivated because I only had to balance three things: basketball, my studies and a part-time job. While at the time it felt daunting, it pales in comparison to the commitments I now have. I’m sure most of you can relate! Fast forward almost 15 years and two ACL tears later, I was introduced to cycling as a part of my rehab. It quickly became my new favourite hobby. It was able to fill the void left by basketball. It was the little things; fueling my competitive nature, tracking progression and being disciplined to a set of goals. It was during my time in Toronto where I was able to take things to a whole other level. At the. time a good friend of mine told me about a cycling club that exclusively only rode in the mornings. The premise was, you could get your workout done before the day even started. I immediately asked, “how many crazy people are out there like you”? He grinned and responded, “You’ll see in the morning!”. That night, I barely slept due to the anticipation. When I rode to the meetup point, I was blown away by the sheer amount of riders that showed up. There were over 70 riders of varying ability and immediately, I felt at home. For over two years, it became my new normal and below I’ll be sharing my top 5 tips on how you too can become a morning rider! #1 – Lay out your gear/equipment the night before This may sound trivial, but it’s likely the most important. When you are waking up so early in the morning, the less “thinking” you have to do, the easier the routine it becomes. Always prepare the correct layers, and do a good “once over” of all your equipment. Things like:
Charging your bike (Di2/eTAP) if applicable
Charge your peripherals (lights, head units etc.)
Prepare for the weather in the morning and have the correct layers
#2 – Reduce your exposure to light while in bed This means, stop sleeping with your phone in your hand! I think we are all guilty here but many people don’t realize that the light form these electronics does not allow for the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep.
#3 – Put your alarm across the room Getting up early is forcing you to get out of that warm bed. A simple trick is to put your alarm across the room. The best things is to put right by gear so you can immediately begin the process of getting ready. #4 – Skip night time booze While alcohol can help one fall asleep faster, unfortunately, your quality of sleep suffers. I found an article on WebMD which talks about how alcohol leads to the disruption of your REM cycle and leads to the sensation of grogginess the following morning. Likely not the most ideal way to start your day and morning session!
#5 – Have a ride plan! This is where the 05:45 club comes in! The moment you have a community of like-minded individuals you automatically feel a sense of accountability to the group. Misery loves company, right?