My performance is better in the afternoon?

I’ve noticed after starting sweet spot base 1 high volume that my workouts are significantly harder in the mornings than evenings for me?

I like waking up early and definitely get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily and don’t have much work and social life stress that may hinder my performance plus I make sure to fuel up correctly before every ride.

On my morning rides, I’ve noticed my heart rate is about 5-8 beats higher when doing a workout interval compare to my evening rides. I don’t feel much residual fatigue from previous workouts which rules out it being a variable that is directly affecting my performance.

But if I had to put into words it feels like my body is lagging behind on power and aerobic performance when doing workouts in the morning.

The examples below are workouts on the same week where I failed Galena the first time but the second time around I did Galena in the evening and I was able to complete it while feeling pretty strong like I could another 20 min block.

Does this mean that I should structure my rides all in the evenings?

Other than group rides I do almost all of my training in the evenings. I used to go to the gym after work as well. I’m lethargic and unmotivated when I wake up and I’m energized and ready to rock at the end of the day.

Do what works best for you!

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My body needs an hour to wake up ~ I typically get up at five and workout from 6-8 so a 4-6 oz cup of coffee is a must.

I either bike or lift in mornings. I try to run exclusively in afternoons because my body just doesn’t like to run super early, although I force it on my longish run Wednesdays but that’s a slow 9 min/mile 10 miler.

Yeah, it’s just a personal preference thing really. Ideally you’d schedule your key sessions when you’re feeling your best, provided you don’t need to train in the morning for logistical reasons or otherwise.

Funny you say that. I’m definitely an evening person in general, but while I can slog through most stuff on the bike in the early morning I’m pretty much useless when it comes to running anything above Z2. It’s nice to get the easy runs out of the way early, but if I’m concerned about pace it’s not worth the performance hit if I can avoid it.

I don’t mind swimming in the morning though. Something about the relative sensory deprivation makes it feel like the world isn’t as “much” at that hour, haha.

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Agree!

For me I find it difficult to complete a session on the trainer in the morning but am perfectly fine getting outside on the bike at 6am.

So I tend to ride the trainer in the afternoon and ride outside in the early morning. I can only assume the fresh air wakes me up a lot better than my spare room and the static trainer, or maybe I just need more motivation :wink:

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I’m sure I read a study somewhere suggesting that most people tended to perform best approximately 4-6 hours after waking. I’ll see if I can dig it out.

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all is maybe a bit of a stretch, but generally, it is good to have your rides when you are strongest.
When training, naked watts matter a lot. Doing an exercise with the most possible power (while still complying with the exercise), is very important for muscle development. Especially in base training.
A few examples: many people can produce more power outdoors, than on the turbo/ stationary bike for the same perceived exertion. That is why it is often recommended to do as much training outdoors as possible, to give your muscles and CNS the most amount of stimulus.
The same goes for altitude adaptation. Here it is recommended to Sleep/rest etc at altitude, while training at sea level (or somewhere closer to that). Again, to put your muscles under the most amount of stress, for the same perceived exertion.
Lastly, as a time trialist, most of the training is done on the road bike, where people are generally more powerful for the same reason as aforementioned.

Soooo… without me having the scientific data to underpin all of what I said (however I know that the data is there, see Dylan Johnson‘s videos on altitude training, indoor training etc.), I can only extrapolate from the these things I am sure of, that a cyclist benefits from training when she/he is able to produce the most amount of power for a given level of exertion.

Also, training when feeling strongest certainly is a mental boost.

The only reason I would recommend against doing all workouts at a specific time of the day may be, that you need to adapt to the time your races start. If you are strongest in the late evening, but all races you do start at dawn, it is a good thing to be prepared for this too. That not only means being able to produce power in the morning, but also being able to stomach fuel etc in the morning.

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This is true, but it is also just as important when you can consistently get training done.

Pretty much every ones peak performance is in the afternoon / early evening. Even coming home from work mentally knackered (not talking physically) generally most people can out performance their abilities that would be normal in the morning, although RPE might be higher due to mental fatigue. There have been many studies on this.

Attached this for people interested (although there are many and more studies and information on the subject)…

image

This subject was also covered in the Podcast some years ago. I think Chad said he’d shifted some of his VO2 workouts to the afternoon or evening, it was a long time ago so I might have remembered that incorrectly.

Anyway, for most, we have to train when we can, I think its probably a minimal gain training a your physical peak time of day (plus how do you know for you without experimenting) and even if its not a minimal gain sometime you have little choice.

I train at about 5am because I can do that consistently, however I have noticed if I have a week of work and train in the late afternoon I can typically hit power numbers 5 - 10% higher, VO2Max intervals for example.

Basically…

is typically normal.

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This is quite interesting: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(14)01639-X

I have the same with hr. When i commute in the early morning my heartrate is 5-10 beats higher than in de afternoon back home with the same power.

Can you provide more specifics about how you fuel and hydrate before the early morning rides?

This points to dehydration to me - how much liquid are you getting in before and during the morning rides compared to the evening?

7 FL OZ before and 16-20 FL OZ during the workout in the span of the 1 hr: 30 min - 2hr workout.
This amount is both morning and evening.

Only 7 ounces straight out of bed is significantly less than you normally would have before an afternoon workout.

Think about it this way - you’ve had 7 ounces in the 8 hours before your morning workouts. It is almost unimaginable that you only drink 7 ounces in the 8 hours before an afternoon workout

Try drinking a couple glasses of water as soon as you wake up to get yourself closer to the way you’d hit the workout later in the day

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