Early Morning Workouts

Wanted to see what tips the early risers out there have to get you up and straight on the trainer early AM?

With my family and other commitments it’s getting to a point where getting up early (5.30) and getting the workout done before work is my best option but whilst I am fully motivated at night, when I wake up I feel so lethargic and find it so difficult to jump straight on the trainer. It’s making it even less appealing now it’s turning colder (train in the garage)


Have everything you need for the ride setup and prepared ahead of time. Bottles, food, kit, entertainment, everything. I get it all in place before bed and that way I have zero barriers when I roll out of bed. I get on the bike right away and then eat whatever I think I need during the warmup (usually just a banana, sometimes nothing).

Also - I’m awful at doing high intensity stuff first thing in the morning, I really only do Sweet Spot and below before 6 AM


This is pretty much my routine everyday because of work and family. I have found that it is fine for sweet spot work and over unders but I have a hard time with sprints. It is a great way to get in fasted rides (Baxter, Black while watching TV or listening to a podcast is pretty sweet).


  • go to bed early
  • caffeine prior to getting on the bike helps
  • drink 1-2 full glasses of water before bed
  • reward yourself with a big breakfast

Good luck


I do my rides at about 5am for the same reasons as you. The key things that I find help are:
Make sure everything is ready to go the night before, kit, headphones charged and trainer ready. Don’t have any excuse not to do it
Get into a routine of doing it, the workouts won’t be easier but getting up and doing it does.
And if all else fails remember how great it feels when you finish the workout!


All very good replies above, so I’ll only add that while yes, it’s difficult and the lethargy can be hard to shake off, you’ll get used to it - I promise. I’ve trained early-morning for years and it was never an easy thing to do, but it did get more tolerable and my fitness was fully rewarded for the sacrifice and consistency.


Exactly what @chad and others have said.
When my alarm goes off at 0445, I think, why am I doing this? To be better, stronger, faster of course! After years in the Army, early wake ups are easy for me. However my tips are, when your alarm goes off, get out of bed and stand up right away. RIGHT AWAY!
I have everything preped. Even strong instant coffee in the mug with a spash of cold water. When the kettle is boiled, I make my brew and can drink it fast. After I feed the pride of cats I head straight to the garage and the cold is usually enough to wake me up fully!
All this makes a ‘lie-in’ until 0545 seem like a treat!


Alarm set at 2:15 am for an hour rides Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, yet to do 1 1/2 hour rides which would mean up at 1:45. On the bike by 2:45, done at 3:45, yoga till 4am, breakfast, feed and walk dogs, start my commute to work at 6:20 am, bed between 7 and 8 pm to get 7 or 6 hours, anything less, I’m washed up. Weekends, sleep in till 3:15, bike around 4 done by 6am. No kids, just dogs and the wife.


You are not alone! I struggle this with every month - have convinced myself this next training block will be the one where I make AM workouts stick.

Two things that have helped me:

  1. Invested in a decent espresso machine that genuinely makes me happy (Breville Barista Express) - two shots of espresso straight to the face get me ready to crush the workout.

  2. Asked a good friend to be my accountability partner - we text each other at 5:30 am when we get up to workout to encourage the other not to sleep in. It’s definitely helped on those days I hit the snooze button and then immediately hear my phone go off.

Good luck!


All the above suggestions are great! I’ve been getting up at 4:50am two to three times a week for a while and for the same family reasons. Along with having everything ready to go the night before, consider prepping your post-ride breakfast as well, so you can same some time before its time to head off to work.

Also, if most of your training rides are going to be early morning, make sure you do your FTP tests early as well.


Accountability buddy is a GREAT idea.


Second the espresso machine suggestion. My night before setup also includes getting TR app and my workout loaded on laptop as well as the entertainment cued up, AND my Nesprssso pod for the morning already selected and waiting with an empty cup on the machine.

If it’s going to be a depleted ride it’s just wake, espresso, kit up and go. For harder/ longer when I want some small food I’ll make a half jelly sandwich while drinking the espresso. Eat that on the bike during initial warmup minutes.

Doing all that tonight for Day 1 of new season of base, build, specialty starting at 5a tomorrow!



Job closer to home would be amazing!!


Indoor training removes some of the excuses in a way. Roll out of bed at 445, coffee and something small to eat while you get setup. On the trainer ideally just after 5.

Pray you’re finished before the kids wake up - which is ideally around 6:30 but if you’re unlucky like me this morning you get an unhappy onlooker from 5:30 :grinning:


Alarm goes off - get up straight away. I then grab a coffee and put my headphones in. Keep the headphones going whilst I get dressed and slowly start dancing about. After 10 mins of music, bit of dancing and the coffee is beginning to kick in. then on the trainer.


another early morning trainer here… as others have stated, once you get into the routine, it becomes as natural as falling out of bed.

At this point I got my alarm set for 5 am but, usually up way before that goes off. this is particularly nice during the summer months when you can get out on the road at or near sunrise to ride for a couple of hours before work.

I will stress the routine of the early morning training one more time… as for myself, I know I would not be as consistent in my training if I was to do these later in the day.


For all my ‘Get everything ready the night before’ advice, guess who spent 15 minutes searching for his shoes that he hadn’t unpacked after a race at the weekend…

Do as I say, not as I do! :wink:


Up by 4:45 and on the bike (or run, or in the car to the pool) by 5:00. No coffee – just get up, get dressed, stagger to the garage and get moving. Warm-up can take a while – I need more than 5 minutes of warm-up.

When it is really cold in the garage, bring your shoes inside. That way they are warm when you put them on. Makes a big difference when getting on the bike. I start in a heavy coat and drop it when I start to warm-up.

I don’t like interval workouts in the am. Body does better when it has been awake awhile. Sweetspot is fine at that hour though.

you will get used to it.

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Everyone’s mentioning their morning routine but what about going to bed? What sort of time are you all going to bed/sleeping?

I’m also an early trainer. Alarm goes off at 0530, up, evacuate :poop: , grab Nespresso, feed cats and on the trainer for approx 0600.

I tend to go to bed at approx 2130-2200 and sleep asap on days I’ve got training in the morning.


Personally I hate working out first thing in the morning, but as with a lot of the posts on here, family and work often dictate it necessary.

I echo what has been said that intensity is really really hard first thing in the morning - but what is odd is that I only find it with cycling and running, not with swimming. I can swim and do really tough swim sets on just a slice of toast but if I was to do the equivalent bike or run set (with sprints and VO2 Max work) my RPE would be unbearable.

There must be a physiological and psychological aspect to this?

Same. Up at 5:30, go to bed by 9:30.