I thought I’d delay my planned Monday night sprint workout to Tuesday morning because my legs still weren’t quite underneath me from riding Thursday-Sunday last week. While I do consider this time of year NEXT season rather than the OFF season, I want to be intelligent about not pushing the training so hard this first month. What I found out was that my body (being an Owl) does not perform well at 6:30a.m. It just plain SUCKED! I even went to bed early last night (11pm).
I was recently reading an Outside Magazine article about people’s ability to perform opposite of their chronotype (or against their grain), and research is showing that ‘Lark’ athletes (morning people) perform their best in the morning and ‘Owl’ athletes (night people) perform their best in the afternoon / evening. By studying baseball players, researchers were able to correlate chronotype and improved batting averages with games played before or after 2pm. This would suggest that I should be fine continuing my evening workouts. However, before I write off morning work-outs all together, the article points out that my body can be trained to perform better earlier in the day if I train earlier in the day, and Owls inexplicably begin to transform into Larks as they get older (I believe it has something to do with work hours).
I ended up cutting my planned 45 minute sprint ride to 30 minutes. It was rough right from the start. I didn’t feel warmed up after a 10 minute warm-up; absolutely struggled through the first set of 14 sprint reps; and, didn’t find the 3 minute recovery to be even remotely enough time. I couldn’t get back up to full strength during the first part of the second set, so I did what any disciplined, self respecting athlete would do…I quit. I’ll fight the battle another day.
While I’m not ready to discard my evening workout routine yet, it may become important to start training in the morning because my races next year will start 2-3 hours earlier than last year as I make the jump up to expert. It just might not be tomorrow morning.