As the majority of us are working class athletes, we (or our coach) must have the creativity to implement training in our lives. The info below is meant to explore the points of training at different parts of the day. I’ve compiled a small, but effective list to help determine which one would be suited for YOU !
The early morning hours of a typical workday can be a great time to complete a session.
**Advantages of morning sessions:
1) Getting it out of the way. By completing a workout first thing in the morning, some people can thereby have a better focus on their day ahead. People with heavy schedules or a day filled with uncertainty may choose this method. Also, the Type A athlete will have one less item to stress over.
2) More mental and physical energy. Athletes, (especially males) tend to have more mental and physical energy in the morning. We are coming out of a (hopefully) beneficial recovery period of great sleep, etc. This means that after a proper dynamic warm up and some spinal cat and cow yoga poses to get the spinal vertebrae awake, these can be some of the best work you put forth in your training! 3) Acceleration of metabolism (intermittent fasting) OK, a procedure that has been around for quite awhile now has the scientific proof to back it up. Training in the morning on an empty stomach tends to “teach” your body to use fat for fuel. Yes, for those mentally conditioned to eating first thing upon awaking it can be a somewhat emotional item to deal with, but it can be done! The old skool dictates that you need to stay in that zone 2 (easy pace) but if you implement a steady build of higher intensity training progression, the body will adapt and start to burn that fat as fuel for more intensive sessions.
**Disadvantages of morning sessions:
1) Performance may be limited due to body not being fully awake** Face it, we are still recovering somewhat from the previous day’s training and life stressors. The neural and procioceptive systems in our body need to be prepped to full capacity in order to gain the biggest benefit! Some people (due to their particular circadian rhythms) just have a rough time getting going. There are numerous studies documenting that mid-morning is the best time to access our minds and bodies for peak physical output (this is the reason Olympics, most PROFESSIONAL endurance events, etc. are completed in mid-morning to the early afternoon). However, many of us cannot insert a mid-day workout in.
2) Losing sleep** ohhhh, the age old question; can I sneak that extra hour or so in? Am I that hammered that I can recuperate better with a bit of extra sleep and hydrate/fuel throughout the day and adjust my mental state/day to make an afternoon workout? Some days, you may have to mentally and physically alter your schedule. That’s actually a good thing as it preps you for the future “mental adjustment” training you will go through as your event approaches.
**Advantages of afternoon sessions:
1) The body and mind have had several hours to “wake up” 2) Fitting in a possible 2nd workout of the day. Depending on your plan, level of conditioning, etc. Some athletes put in a second session for the day. (In addition to a morning session) This may be the same discipline or a different one. This builds the durability needed for the sport. Hardcore swimmers and runners will often incorporate “two a days” into their training. 3) Training while fatigued. Well, most of us don’t have the resources to nap and watch telly during the day like a Professional would. This actually is a good thing! Yes, we may be a bit tired, but I feel as long as we maintain a STRONG neural input while training fatigued (form focused), this will benefit us on race day when the man with the bat starts beating our legs!!
**Disadvantages of afternoon sessions:
Too much self induced stress via over-scheduling causing temporary (or permanent) burnout and losing the Love of this great lifestyle!
I realize there are so many more reasons that can be added to this article and you are encouraged to publish your thoughts! I hope you got something out of this and please drop me a line if you have any questions. Thanks and see you soon!