Question: I'm not a morning person, never have been. A lot of the long endurance races I have been doing start early in the morning and I feel like I have a hard time getting going. I usually get off the line feeling flat with tired legs and don't really get going for the first hour or so. How can I get better at these early morning events?
Dawn patrol endurance race start times can be difficult for night owls! In general, the longer the race, the earlier the start time. Riding conservatively and taking an hour to open up in these longer endurance races can be a good tactic, and could lead to a personal best race time. It is all too easy to over-pace the start of an endurance race.
I've outlined training and race-day strategies that can help you feel sparklier at race start, and have you firing on all cylinders right from the gun.
In the five days leading up to race day go to bed early and wake up at the same time as race day. Give yourself enough time to log eight hours of sleep. Start your ride in the morning at the same time as the race start if possible. Like pre-adapting to a new time zone before travel, this will shift your biological clock to be awake at race time.
In the five weeks leading up to the event, once per week, go to bed early, rise early and ride early. This will teach your body to put in the work early and more importantly, provide you the opportunity to experiment with different breakfast and wake up routines.