Evening and Late Night Workouts

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the early morning workouts post and even gave that a try for a while but I’m thinking it might be best for me to now try evening or late night workouts.

I’m hoping this post can be similar to the early morning one where people can share tips/tricks or stories around working out in the evening.

I’m making the switch for 2 reasons. I already have to wake up at 5:30am for work so getting up at 4 or 4:30 seems extremely difficult. Especially if my only real time with my wife is when our two kids are asleep after 8/8:30pm, making not so ideal to sleep early. My wife is already in the habit of workout late so it’s actually a good to spend some time with her as well. Weekends are flexible since we each give each other time to also complete workouts.

The biggest battle for me has been motivation. I’m always ready for bed after putting my kids to sleep even if I don’t actually sleep until 10pm, how do you catch the second wind needed to complete a workout?

Would love to hear from anyone in a similar situation or any tips and tricks to help me out.

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My biggest challenge with working out late was always getting to sleep afterwards. I get too wound up and have a hard time falling asleep.

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Finally a thread I can get behind. I do pretty much all of my workouts after my kids go to bed, so I’m right there with you. They usually go to bed between 8-8:30. I usually start between 9-9:30.

A few things that have helped me:

1.) I don’t change clothes after work. The more comfortable I get the less likely I’m getting off the couch.
2.) We still lay with our kids until they fall asleep. So I listen to audiobooks or podcasts while I lay with them. Otherwise I’ll fall asleep too.
3.) Bought a big wall calendar and x off days I do my workout (rest days count if I rest). Try to get the longest chain I can.

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I work out in the evenings but I am conscious of not beeing too late for two reasons. 1) I need time to wind down or I won’t sleep an 2) I am conscious of the impact on my neighbours. That’s also the main reason I don’t do early workouts.

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This^^^. I regularly start workouts between 2200-0100 hours. But, if I do 60-90 min on the trainer, I’m usually up for at least another two hours after that. It takes that long to cool down (as in core temp post ride), stretch, and for the “runner’s high” to fade, etc.

I’m a nighthawk, I work shiftwork, and I don’t have young kids anymore, so it’s not a big deal for me if I’m hitting the sack at 2-3am. But, for those who lead a conventional life, this could be a big issue.

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It is pretty tough. I started adding sleepy time tea into my recovery regimen.

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When I was in grad school the tri team swim practices were 9-10 pm (and I had 8 am classes). By the time I rinsed off and rode back home it was about 10:30. Then I’d eat some food and get ready for bed. Best case scenario I was in bed by 11 and asleep 15-30 minutes after that. But as others have mentioned sometimes it’s tough to bring myself down and relax enough to fall asleep. So realistically I didn’t expect to be asleep until midnight (so 2 hours post workout). I think of you have the right routine (and didn’t have to commute back home post workout) you can cut that down to an hour

Some things I found helpful:

  • a cold shower as soon as possible after finishing the workout to drop the body temp
  • eating/refueling as soon as you can after the workout. If you are on the trainer it might work a bit better since you can start this during the cooldown
  • a consistent relaxing routine before getting into bed. A lot of this is stuff you would find in sleep hygiene tips. Chamomile tea works for me wether it’s placebo or an actual affect
  • probably goes without saying, but unlike AM workout you will have to avoid using any caffeine

I was only half listening to this weeks episode but I believe Chad was talking about the sympathetic and parasympathetic system and being able to switch between. There might be some tips you can glean from that

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I’ve been dealing with a double whammy of insomnia and my toddler’s very inconsistent wake-up time. So night rides have been a blessing as I’m already not tired and my daughter is asleep.

I used to do early morning rides, but if something went wrong (say, I didn’t fall asleep until 11 or midnight, or my daughter woke up at 3, or both…), I would pick sleep over riding.

I quite like late night rides and I do them fairly often. Unlike what others are saying, I actually found that they can help me fall asleep. Not only that but you can go to bed with a clear mind and a feeling of satisfaction that comes from completing a session on the trainer. I think they are a great idea (and WAY better than morning rides!).

Bad idea. You have to eat well and then go right to bed. Not a good recipe for restorative sleep.

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Coach Chad talked about this awhile back during a podcast… although I don’t remember his exact words, but I remember him preaching against it for the very same reasons you mentioned… it takes the body a long time to unwind from the work… I don’t workout at night for those same reasons….

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Do you mean when she’s not working out with you? I would’ve thought a training partner would be enough motivation.

I used to train in the evenings and sometimes quite late, not I’m working on my sleep so my latest workout is a 7-8pm run, 5 or 6pm for indoor bike.

Tips;

If you have a tv series you are following, make the evening workout the time you watch that show.

Prepare dinner before the workout to eat afterwards after cool down

Have your bedtime routine sorted so you can shower after eating and go to bed smoothly and not be distracted by last minute tasks

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Really like these tips! I also lay with my kids and even if its only 5 minutes, it sucks all the energy right out of me and gets me ready for sleep.

Do you mean when she’s not working out with you? I would’ve thought a training partner would be enough motivation.

No, it’s just that i’m usually so tired from being up early in the first place. Her being there is certainly great motivation.

I’m a late workout person as well. 3 kids under 5, one of which being 7 mo old. Sleep is quite inconsistent lately, as you can imagine. I do the same, get the kids to bed and then get on the bike. Sometimes I get lucky and that’s 745, more realistically it’s 830. Give it a good hour or so, cool down, shower and usually in bed around 1030-11. I do some early am workouts on days that it’s my turn to wake up. My son seems to get hungry right around 4, so by the time he’s had his bottle and back to bed, it’s 430. Bordering on not worth going back to bed, so I’ll have a quick bite and hop on the bike.

My sleep has definitely taken a back seat since my oldest was born. I pretty much decided I’m either gonna workout late or I’m not gonna workout. In the summer, I can often sneak away for an hour outdoor ride, but in the winter, weekends are pretty much my only outdoor rides.

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Honestly, I deal with the sleeping difficulty by taking an aid like melatonin or CBD.

This winter training season I made a switch to working out in the evening. My routine is bodyweight strength session at 6:30am in the morning; work; dinner and some relaxation time; evening trainer session at 8 or 9pm; 10-10:30pm bed time. Moving turbo session from early morning to evening helps me sleep a bit longer each day, and I have noticed that morning sleep helps me get to green on my Whoop. Also, I start the evening workout full of glycogen stores, go to bed at a deficit, normal sized breakfast is enough to refeed and get me going for the day. Whereas before I would be craving food all day after a morning trainer session. The key to success for me is to recover a bit between work and bike, as well as do a bit of stretching and rolling right off the bike.

I’m a bit jealous of you all who can get your kids to bed so early. My night owls never want to go to bed. They do love to sleep in though!

Unfortunately my employer recently requires us to be on site a few days of the week. I’m not a morning person so I opt to train in the evening. After coming home around 7pm, I’ll eat dinner, then get on the bike around 9pm. Frankly, this is slowly causing me to lose motivation to train. After a long day at work and commuting it’s tough to muster up the motivation to do some hard intervals, even with a 60 minute workout. After the first several minutes I’ve got no problems finishing the workout. Even after finishing the workout it feels great to have done it. No problems sleeping (in fact I think it helps).

Really the hardest part for me is getting on the bike. I think it has something to do with the chilly weather during this time of the year, and it doesn’t help that my trainer set up is in the coldest part of the house. I’ve tried some tips here by laying out all my stuff before each workout. It helps, but not much.

Any other tips are much appreciated!

Getting on the bike is the hardest part, I agree. Only reminding myself why I do it helps me.

I do all my workouts once kids are asleep ~8.30pm,

Discuss with your partner what nights in the week you want to train,
Fill your bottles when you are making dinner for the family,
Get your setup sorted before you put the kids to sleep,
Coldish shower asap off the bike
Then sleepy tea

Hopefully this helps

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