As days get shorter (because they do, goddamnit), it is not that easy to go cycling after work (especially if you have troubles starting early at your desk, so you do not finish at 4 or 5 PM). One solution to this problem might be training before the working hours, which has advantages and – of course – disadvantages as well. First of all, if it was hard to get up at 8 AM on a usual weekday, then getting up at 6:45 will be even worse (believe me), but this way you might be back from a two hour ride by 9 or 9:30, and be at work after a refreshing shower at 10 already. You will need to stay till a bit later than usual, but then it will be already dark, so there is nothing to worry about (I mean, no lost hours of sunshine or anything). And you can skip the coffee on the morning, because the training will wake you up – guaranteed :) Plus you had success (hopefully) before work already, which makes starting the day much easier!
For me, the only problem with this system is that I am a night person, so going to bed before midnight is just not my thing. And then getting up so early is just terrible. But some sacrifices must be made… Though e.g. having a nice new jersey hanging on the doorknob gives the needed motivation to leave the bed! (And not just a jersey, but a complete Omega Pharma-Lotto kit – I love it!) The most important thing is to find motivation, because everything will be much easier when you have something (a goal) to get up for. Finally, I also managed to measure my resting heart rate (RHR = 53 BPM) for the first time yesterday (because when I am sleepy, this is the last thing I want to spend time on), so now I can set my heart rate values more precisely for the training zones. But I can not deny the fact, that after a morning ride, I need to eat much more during the day (I am hungry already before lunchtime), and I usually have a bad hour in the afternoon, when I feel a bit sleepy… But chocolate helps usually ;) By the way, my last three training rides were almost completely identical, I completed the 48.37 km measured part of my usual ~51 km route in 1:26:23, 1:26:36, and 1:26:44, respectively. This means that the difference was only 0.4% between the fastest and the slowest time! Fascinating, isn’t it?
Now it is raining, and there is no hope for good weather till next week… So I guess I will just work on the weekend, as I am nowhere near finished with my article… There are days when I am extremely productive, and then there are those when I can not make progress at all… Today was such a lousy day, fighting with scripts of my own, dealing with painful mistakes during long hours of debugging. I hope for a better day tomorrow…
Update (2010.08.28.): RHR = 46 BPM this morning, and an “almost personal best” ride (1:25:20, average speed of 34.0 km/h) in the wind! Now work :S