Humans like routine and a regular activity gets done. It is habit forming, just like brushing your teeth first thing in the morning [yes believe it or not it is best to brush your teeth before breakfast to remove the bacteria before you eat]. So, let us start from the beginning.
When you first wake up your body’s top priority is hydration. You need to have something to drink, since it has been many hours since you have had any fluid intake. A quick plain glass of water first thing does the trick and requires almost zero effort. This is important to keep your internal organs working well. You certainly don’t want to train dehydrated (or indeed race or do any physical activity dehydrated).
Different people have different body clocks: some are early risers or ‘Larks’ and some are late sleepers or ‘Owls’. Regardless of this the best time to train, when your body is strongest, is usually around two hours after your first meal of the day. Exactly what you should eat before, after (and even during) exercise is a topic for another article.
The important thing is the routine, training at time that fits your schedule and that you can keep to. My suggestion would be to train three days on and one day off but for many it may be more appropriate to train fixed days of the week and I would therefore suggest two days off. In terms of timing, it is good to have a rest day, the day before you have an important task, whether that task is physical or mental. So perhaps you have Saturdays and Tuesdays off because you do club racing on Sundays and Wednesdays… the devil is always in the detail.
So how can we make our training more effective? Well, a simple supplement that many of us enjoy is coffee and the caffeine in this has many helpful effects such as increasing heart rate, the amount of fat we burn whilst exercising and may even allow us to train at a greater power up and/or for longer. We want to start training during the peak caffeine blood concentration and therefore beneficial effect which starts around 45 minutes after consumption so it is best to have after breakfast, 45 minutes before you start training rather than first thing in the morning (when its effects will be diminished by the time you train).
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