It can be a real energy kick, right? Just you and the road as you head out for an early morning bike ride. You hear nothing but the sound of the wind as you become one with your bicycle. And you can feel the burn in your legs as you go faster, and faster, and faster.
Or wait a minute!
Maybe it's not like that at all.
Perhaps you feel the stress build up inside of you as you wake up dead tired and 20 minutes too late. So you rush to get dressed, skip your breakfast and try to head out for a quick bike ride. All that tension makes it impossible for you to focus on enjoying the ride. Instead you can't stop thinking of everything you HAVE TO DO today. So your morning bike ride ends early and you're even more tired than when you started.
If your reality is slightly closer to scenario number two than number one, then I am writing this just for YOU.
The main question is:
How to turn a dreadful and stress-filled bike ride into a focused, rewarding and energetic experience?
Let me walk you through it for my personal secrets...
First, let me just tell you my background. It started at University when I had to bike back and forth to classes. But that was just a "have-to"-task. Later, a friend of mine inspired me to really try some serious bicycling. More as a sport than a mean of transportation.
I'm used to running, swimming and basically playing any sport on the planet. So I thought, let's try it!
And it was pretty hard in the beginning. It took many months before I figured out how to make my morning bike ride into one of the best experiences of the entire day. Nowadays I love it.
These are my secrets.
Did you know that up to 80% of your energy storage is gone after a full night’s sleep?
So if you want to get the most out of your workout, you definitely have to refill your energy. It takes a lot to exercise early in the morning so I suggest having a good breakfast before heading out. Ideal for me has been some fruit (banana and apple) as well as ham & cheese sandwich.
The thing is that you don't want to be eating too much either so save the big breakfast for when you're finished. That's when you should focus on food like eggs, porridge, smoothies etc.
And lastly, do not forget to drink water. A lot. As soon as you get up, have a big cup to wake up your systems fully.
Also remember to eat again after you return - and this you want a real power breakfast.
If you're gonna be able to wake up early enough to have time to exercise, I suggest making one thing very clear for yourself - WHY? Why do you want to get up early to bicycle?
You can't just say: "because I don't have time in the evening..."
It's gotta be deeper than that. Look into what can drive you out of bed in the morning. It could be:
Whatever reason you might have - feel it and create a burning desire to fulfill that motivation.
You don't want anything to be able to get in your way in the morning. Make sure you have it all planned. From laying out your clothes the night before all the way to where you're gonna bike and for how long.
This really made it possible for me to avoid any form of procrastination - the most evil enemy out there! Don't give him any chance to stop you from taking your morning ride.
Once you're on the bike (ooh, what a feeling) it's vital that you do the most of the situation. Here, I've actually taken a lot of lessons from meditation practice. Before, I had so many different thoughts running through my head when I'm out there. Everything from what my boss told me I have to finish to what I read last night on Facebook. At the same time, I usually had some annoying old song running through my head as well... ;-)
Nowadays, I'm focused. I mean F-O-C-U-S-E-D.
The key here is to start practicing letting go. Whatever thought enters your mind, just act as an observer. Just look at that thought and let it fade away. Do the same for whatever comes into your head. As soon as you find yourself trying to solve a problem or that your thoughts are wandering - STOP (your mind, not your bike...) and take a deep breath. Then start over.
Practice this and have your focus onto your bike instead. See the wheels turning and feel the wind against your skin. This is what a true biking experience is like.
You're done, great!
But chances are that you're both mentally and physically tired. This is not how you want to remember your morning bike ride. If you end on such a downturn, then your future motivation might suffer.
So instead, have something prepared to end on a high note. Give yourself a reward. Whether it's your favorite breakfast or putting some money in a savings jar doesn't matter. Just do something to make sure you feel happy when your morning bike ride is over.
Routines, routines, routines. This is what I've found to be a real secret to achieving great results. When you have established a real habit of waking up and going biking, say, every Tuesday and Thursday, then it's all gonna feel so much easier. It's gonna be almost like everything happens automatically. No more struggling to wake up on time and no more hesitation whether it's "really worth it".
This is the way true masters live their lives. As we all know, "Rome wasn't built in a day", so take your time to establish a bicycling routine and you will be greatly rewarded, trust me.
My final secret. The gear. The material. The stuff. All the things that can make your morning bike ride awesome.
Whatever you do, it just becomes so much more fun if you have great equipment - am I right? When I look back at the times when I used to go out running in a big cotton sweater (that doesn't even breathe) and some sneakers, I just can't stop wondering that the h*ll I was doing. The sweater was soaked in sweat in less than 10 minutes and the shoes inflicted some serious pain on my heels.
Same goes for bicycling of course. You want proper clothes, a suitable bike and all the props you need to make the best time of your day. To find anything you need when it comes to bicycling, you can use the site I mainly shop at:
Occasionally I also take a look at:
Those were my 7 secrets. It's not rocket science and you probably had thought about many of them before. But please spread the word to anyone you think would benefit.
And if you follow all 7 of them I can personally guarantee you that your morning bike ride will reach levels you couldn't even imagine.
See you on the road!
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan