General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers Rss Feed  
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2022-04-30 11:59 AM

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Subject: Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers
Hi Everyone I'm curious if there any folks here who identify as a fast-metabolizer (hard to put on weight, drop weight easily), and as more of a night owl. Reason I'm asking is because I'm both, and this obviously presents challenges for planning my training. Luckily I work at home and for myself, at the moment, and I've had the ability to do my workouts after getting at least one meal in for the day. However, it would be much better for my work and family schedule if I could do early morning workouts, but for someone like me, it seems like an impossible nightmare.

To add to that, my Whoop has shown me clearly that I'm not an efficient sleeper, and I'm a person who reeeeally needs my sleep to function, so to get 7-8 hours of sleep, I have to be in bed for 9+ hours. I've been working on that, but remains a challenge (and I do most everything recommended for that).

Anyways, curious if anyone is similar and if so, how did you adapt to early morning workouts?

Thanks a bunch!

2022-04-30 5:35 PM
in reply to: ryanoelke

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Eugene, Oregon
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Subject: RE: Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers
I'm a bit the same--fast metabolism and, while not really a night owl, have the same issue with sleep. In my case, I tend to wake up around 2-3 AM and have a lot of trouble getting back to sleep. So like you, to get 7-8 hours of actual sleep, I really need to be in bed about 9 hours. Right now I'm not training all that seriously for a number of reasons, mainly lack of motivation!. But I managed to rely mainly on early morning workouts for several years due to my work hours and location (living in the tropics at the time) and despite really NOT being a "morning person", managed to train successfully (qualifying for two world championships).

Not sure how useful this is--here are some things that have worked for me:

*Make sure you are well-fueled during workouts and within 30-60 minutes after. If you're too hot/tired/in a hurry to eat a proper meal right after time, then look into something like a smoothie with plenty of protein to tide you over. (That was pretty critical for me when I lived in Vietnam, as I tended to finish workouts so overheated I wasn't hungry for quite some time!)

*If you do workouts late evening, eat another small meal (sandwich, bowl of cereal, etc.) before going to bed, even if you aren't hungry.

*Stock high-calorie food and snack on it--nuts and nut butter are great since they're dense in both calories and nutrients.

*Early morning workouts suck for non-morning people BUT you can get used to anything with time. Force yourself to be consistent (get up at the same time almost every day) and you will end up being so tired earlier in the evening that eventually getting up early will be easier (I didn't say easy, but easier!). Start with lower intensity, endurance- or technique-focused workouts and gradually build up. Build in some extra warm-up time. Have a small snack and some caffeine first (esp. if you tend to lose weight, don't even think about fasted AM workouts--they'll rev up your metabolism all day!) Realize that watts/pace/feelings of well-being will not be what they are at a more ideal time of day. It is what it is. Just try to do the same level of effort.

*Eat a really substantial breakfast after an early morning workout with some protein and fat to keep you full, plus carbs. If it was really intense, then some simple carbs (fruit or just plain crap like a donut) mid-morning can also stave off collapse!

*If all else fails and it's a possibility, take a nap if you're dragging later in the day.
2022-04-30 8:04 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers
Thanks so much! This is super helpful!

Re: sleep. It's so weird, because I love sleep and I don't really wake up ever where I can't get back to sleep, but I do toss and turn in some regular intervals throughout the night, enough that the small bits add up to a lot. But I think it's a combo of low-level chronic stress + I need an even softer mattress (got a great mattress, just need softer I think because my bony butt needs more cushion lol).

Re: workouts - thanks! Hard to accept that I will be not as powerful, but I agree, it is what it is, and for races it will just be better to get used to the early times (which currently sound awful to me:P). I did read a research study that showed that after a certain amount of time, people who train in the morning perform better at morning tests vs. folks who train in the afternoon, so I guess in the end, it'll be better for performance.

Re: food - breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I chow down, so the thought of starting off with a workout sounds nuts! So I think you're right about having to start off with some sort of snack, and I was wondering what folks do with caffeine. I have a double espresso every day after breakfast, but figured I'd move it to before my workout to give me a boost. I started this year focused on a couple sprint distant triathlons in the summer, and right now all things considered, my training load isn't crazy 3.5-5 hours/week, and I've already reached the point of feeling I need to up my snack game, and I know that I want to increase the load over this year and next year train harder, but man will I need to eat a lot, so I think there's no way to avoid throwing in some simple carbs I never eat and even a little junk now and then!

Thanks again, super helpful!
2022-05-04 4:28 AM
in reply to: ryanoelke

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Subject: RE: Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers
Yeah, +1! Thanks!
2022-05-19 4:19 AM
in reply to: ryanoelke


Subject: RE: Early Morning Workouts, Night Owls, Fast Metabolizers
Very nice post
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