Most of the time, we cyclists love being outdoors - we're up and out on the bicycle at the crack of dawn ready to catch the best of the day.
Only - sometimes - there are mornings where we kind of want to stay in bed. The covers are cosy, the wind is blowing a gale outside...
Sound familiar? Morning lethargy affects us all at one point or another - but you might as well make the most of your time in bed with a few gentle stretches to wake you up. You never know, they might encourage you to get up and go!
Since your muscles aren't warmed up, perform these as dynamic stretches, coming in and out of the movements, rather than holding them in a static position. Be gentle with yourself, and don't push your body past it's comfort zones.
We're assuming you're sleeping on your front - which makes this a natural position to start from.
Cyclists put a lot of pressure on their lower back - curled over the handlebars you're subjecting it to long periods of static flexion. The Cobra Pose effectively verses this as you push up with your shoulders.
From the Cobra, fold your legs underneath yourself and extend your arms in front of you - the Child's Pose will provide a very gentle quad stretch, and relive pressure on your lower back.
Cat Stretch (As Part of Cat-Cow Stretch)
Another stretch that's perfect for cyclists who have spent hours locked into the same position over the handlebars is the Cat-Cow.
Part one (above) is a back flexion exercise - simply start on all fours, take a deep breath and then exhale - as you do so draw your stomach in (imagine you're pulling your belly button to your spine) and look round your back. You should feel a pleasant stretch along your spine.
Cow Stretch (As part of Cat-Cow Stretch)
Next - breathe out and drop your belly down to the floor (bed!) and push your bottom into the air - letting your back extend in the opposite direction to the way it is positioned on the bike.
Again, you should feel a lovely stretch down your spine and along your neck as you look upwards.
Tight hamstrings can cause all manor of problems - particularly at the knee, since the muscles can pull on the joint if they become angry.
Gently pull your knee in towards your chest, hold it there for a couple of seconds, then raise the leg into the air.
Don't pull hard, let the leg stop where it does naturally, and repeat this a couple of times.
All those back stretches and hamstring stretches were hard work!
Time to lie down again - this time to stretch your glutes. The glute muscles are some of biggest, hardest working muscles in the body, and they're key in cycling. If they 're tight or unhappy, smaller muscles will end up compensating - which is not good.
To stretch the glutes, lie on your back and draw one knee over your body - you can gently move your knee up and down to turn this into a dynamic stretch.
The piriformis is a tiny muscle located behind your glutes - it's job is to rotate the hip, but when the glutes aren't working properly, it can become tight, and cause a fair amount of pain, deep in the bum.
From your previous glute stretch, bring one knee to your chest, and place your other leg behind it, lifting up the top leg. Push the top knee down, and you should feel a stretch in your hip. Keep this stretch very gentle.
Iliotibial Band Stretch
The ITB band is another pesky area for cyclists - it runs along the outside of your thigh, and when tight, can result in knee pain as the muscle pulls on the knee cap.
To stretch the IT band, come into a seated position, and bend one knee, placing it on the outside of the other. You should feel a stretch down one side of your thigh. Twist at your lower back and you'll also get an added stretch there.
Quad and Hip Flexor Stretch
Your quads and hip flexors work every time you push the pedal down - so a lot over the course of a ride.
The hip flexors run from your hip to your upper thigh - so place one leg in front of the other in a lunge to give these muscles a good stretch. To add a quad stretch in, twist around to grab your back foot, and lift it gently. This can be quite a strong stretch if you're tight.
If this feels too strong, try lying on your front, lifting one foot up to your bum, and holding it there.
The abductor muscles run along the inside of your thigh - if they become tight they put pressure on the knee cap, pulling it inwards and creating discomfort.
To stretch them out, sit with your feet together, and your knees bent (a bit like a frog), and gently push your knees down.
All this done, hopefully you'll be feeling more motivated to get up and go!