When Is the Best Time to Do an Interval Workout—Morning, Afternoon, or Evening?

The Time-Crunched Cyclist reveals the fastest way to get fit for bike rides and races of all kinds. With elite cycling coach Chris Carmichael’s innovative, time-saving approach, busy cyclists will develop fitness, speed, and power in just 6 hours a week.

Here’s a question from the book that Time-Crunched athletes ask often.

Q: Should I do my interval workouts in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

A: In more than 40 years as an athlete and a coach, I’ve yet to see any compelling evidence that one time of day is any better than another for training. However, there’s no doubt that individual athletes are better off choosing times that are the least disruptive to their families and professional schedules.

If early mornings work for you because you can get up and be done with your training before helping to get the kids fed and off to school, then mornings are your best training time. If you hate mornings but you’re a night owl and you have the energy to train after the kids go to bed, then evenings are your best training time. And if you have the opportunity to train in the middle of your workday . . . well, I’d take it.

Personally, I’d rather go into the office early and ride at lunchtime, because it gives me something to look forward to during the morning, and I often return from my midday rides fired up and ready for a productive afternoon. The most important thing is to find a workout time that fits into your daily schedule and enhances what you’re able to accomplish during the rest of the day. If your workout time is disruptive, you’re more likely to find reasons to skip workouts.

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The Time-Crunched Cyclist reveals the fastest way to get fit for road racing, century rides, gravel grinders, cyclocross, Gran Fondos, and mountain bike events. With elite cycling coach Chris Carmichael’s innovative, time-saving approach, busy cyclists will develop fitness, speed, and power in just 6 hours a week.

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