Top 11 Reasons to Cycle Train Early in the Morning

Pav, a coach for over ten years, has worked with countless amateur athletes training for Gran Fondo and Sportive events. One of the key factors in improving their performance has been determining the time of day they train. As the clocks go forward there's more daylight - opportunity knocks!!!

Top 11 Reasons to Cycle Train Early in the Morning

For some it is mandatory to train at a certain time; work and family obligations may dictate this. For others, there's a chance to explore what time of day they can nail their workouts with a top performance.

Here are my top 11 reasons, from perspectives of performance, logistics, and safety, for why hitting the pedals early can lead to a smoother ride through life and training.

1. Increased Discipline and Willpower

Training consistently improves your mental health as much as your physical. Getting up early, when the lure of more time in bed is oh so strong, and jumping on the bike, is strengthening your self-discipline and willpower. This willpower is transferable, enhancing your ability to tackle challenges both on and off the bike. It’s a reinforcement of your commitment to your goals, cycling, and personal growth.

2. Timing with Event Start Time

Gran Fondo’s are about many things, friendly to the night owl is not one of them. A key factor in training for an event like this will be ensuring your body can get used to waking up very early, eating breakfast, and riding your bike. This sounds simple, but often takes some commitment to do. Early morning rides mimic this and are an opportunity to hone in that event day prep.

Gran Fondo’s typically start very early in the morning

3. Beat the Traffic

While it will never trump inside for performance gains, most people experience a worthwhile physical trade-off in favor of mental gains when riding outside. The beauty of getting up early is that you experience far less traffic, allowing for greater consistent training. It’s an opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted stretches of road, perfect for those tempo rides or interval training sessions where maintaining a steady effort is key.

4. Enhanced Mental Health

Riding alone, as the sun rises, is the closest to meditation most people will get. The rhythmic motion of pedaling, combined with the quiet of morning, provides a unique form of stress relief and allows for a clear mind and a focus on the present. This time can be used for reflection, planning your day, or simply enjoying solitude, contributing to a significantly improved mental state.

5. Improved Focus Throughout the Day

Training in the morning boosts endorphins and blood circulation, awakening your mind for greater possibilities in the day ahead. This physiological boost can lead to better problem-solving, creativity, and productivity. It’s like giving your brain its own warm-up, preparing it for the day’s challenges just as you’d prepare your body for a race.

Riding alone, as the sun rises, is the closest to meditation most people will get.

6. Consistency is Key

There will always be an excuse to not do something. Training in the morning creates a natural routine. By training first thing, you sidestep the day’s unpredictability that often derails afternoon or evening sessions. This time slot becomes a non-negotiable appointment with yourself, fostering a habit that builds over time. Consistency in training is crucial for progress, and mornings offer the best time to develop that consistency.

7. Better Nutritional Choices

Starting the morning the right way - with a good workout - sets a health-conscious tone for the day, making you more likely to reach for healthy and nutritious food. Knowing that you’ve started your day doing what is best for your athletic performance is often enough to encourage maintaining that momentum, leading to healthier eating patterns and better dietary decisions.

8. Quality Sleep

While a late workout is better than no workout at all, some people find the tingle of sore and twitchy leg muscles a blocker to a good night sleep. Regular morning exercise can help regulate your circadian rhythm so that your body becomes accustomed to waking and sleeping at certain times. This regularity can improve the quality of your sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and enjoy a deeper, more restorative rest.

9. Witness the World Wake Up

Even the most vibrant of cityscapes can boast a deathly silence in the early morning hours. It can almost feel apocalyptic in nature and there’s something incredibly magical about being one of the first to greet the day. Watching the sun climb, feeling the bite of cold air, and experiencing the quiet awakening of everything around you. It can provide a profound sense of peace and gratitude, enriching your training experience beyond just physical health.

10. Social Life Friendly

Unless they are joining you on the bike, none of your friends are inviting you to social events at this time of the day. Getting your training done in the morning keeps your evenings free for family, friends, reward, and relaxation. Perfecting this balance aids your commitment to cycling by ensuring there is a synergy between your personal life, training, and work, allowing for a well-rounded, fulfilling daily routine.

Social Life Friendly

11. Feelings of Accomplishment

Starting your day knowing you’ve already accomplished something significant can provide a powerful sense of satisfaction. This achievement sets a positive tone for the entire day, encouraging a proactive, can-do attitude in other areas of life.

Coach Pav

Coach Pav is an Amazon #1 New Release Author and a coach to clients who have set world records (Mark Beaumont), earned their world champion jersey (Steve Bate MBE), and won ultra-cycling events (Matt Seward and Thomas Becker).

Mostly, his clients are those riding a Gran Fondo or two, and some are even riding his personal favorite: the Maratona dles Dolomites.

Coach Pav

As riders gear up for their 2024 Gran Fondo and gravel racing events, the Humango and GranFondoGuide partnership offers the latest in hyper-personalized, AI-powered training technology that will prepare athletes to hit their goals on race day.  

To learn more and get a special offer exclusively available through GranFondoGuide, please visit:

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