Having a new baby in the house means I want to spend time with him when I get home at night, as well as on weekends. I also want to make sure I'm preparing properly for the race season in the spring, and my preferred method is doing lots of base miles (vs. interval-based preparation).
So how can I get all those hours in the saddle? The oldest trick in the book - do it while everyone's asleep in the basement on the trainer.
The first morning I did this I was rummaging around trying to get everything together, and ended up waking up my wife and getting 15mins less time in on the trainer than I planned. It hasn't been that long, but since then I learned a few tricks that work for me.
1. PREPARE. Basically I have everything ready so all I have to do is roll onto the bike and start pedaling. Here's a quick list of what I prepare:
- Water bottle full and in fridge
- Half cold cup of coffee in fridge (gross to some, but I just slug it back)
- Auto timer on coffee maker so it's brewed when I'm done
- Bibs, shoes, heartrate monitor next to bike; towels in place on bike; Garmin on bike
- Bike in training ready to ride
- Show on Netflix queued up on my computer, ready to simply hit play
- Door to basement not totally closed (this is to help being quiet - our house was built in 1920 - our bedroom, my son's room and the basement door are all connected by the same entry space, and any noise can be pretty clearly heard in all rooms).
2. EARLY ALARM. I set my alarm 5mins earlier than I think I should. I need to be done by 7am, and am doing 1:30 base, so need to aim at being on the bike by 5:25-30, so I'm waking up at 5:10 because somehow it takes 15mins even when everything's ready.
3. EARLIER BEDTIME. We've ratcheted our bedtime back to 8:45-9:00, which means I can get about 8hrs of sleep. I prefer getting more, but any less would make it difficult to wake up and would really hamper recovery through back-to-back days.
Otherwise, it's been pretty good so far. It's nice being able to depend on getting my base miles in despite any weather, and it's nice to start the day knowing the workout is complete. At that early hour no one can put demands on my time.