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A day in the life of Ian Garrison

Ian Garrison /
Photo credit: Jan Brychta

Ian Garrison is one of the country’s premier up-and-coming racers, and a member of the Hagens Berman Axeon pro cycling team. He’s also a member of USA Cycling’s national team development program, funded by donations to USA Cycling’s Foundation. 

My daily schedule varies depending on what time of the week, month, or year it is, but for the most part, I try and keep relatively structured. This schedule outlines what my typical training day looks during the off-season, a time where building a foundation for the season is key, but without of the specifics that come with in-season training.

I have a couple of goals in mind when building my off-season training day. The first is low mental stress. There will be plenty of nose to the grindstone days during the race season and for that reason, the offseason is about resetting mind and body so that I can come in as fresh as possible come March. The second is keeping in mind my goals for the upcoming season. I find it helpful to remember what you are working towards and because I will be starting part of my season with the National Team at the U23 spring classics, these races act as a target while moving through the off-season months.

With all that in mind, here’s what a typical day of training might look like for me.

7:30am: Wake up

● I’ll start drinking a liter of water and finish it by the time I am done at the gym

7:30am-8:00am: 20 minutes of meditation

● My coach introduced meditation to me and over the years it has just become part of my morning routine

8:15am-9:15am: Gym

● The gym is a great resource to help lay the foundation in the off-season. Sessions are
never crushing, they just for a different type of muscle stimulation and strength building
● My workouts consist of a combination of exercises, primary focused around the legs (as
you would assume)

Photo credit: Ian Garrison

9:20am-9:40am: Breakfast

● I find I have to eat a large breakfast or else I’m starving by dinner time.
● I pretty much eat the same thing every day, varying quantity depending on the day’s training load.
● What I eat: Eggs with vegetables (spinach or Kale), oatmeal, and a cup of coffee
● I’ll also use this time to try to respond to whatever emails I need to or complete any little
things around the house that need to be done


10:30am-4pm: Ride

● On a big day, my ride will be anywhere from 4 to 5.5 hours
● Now that it is winter time I am not doing any serious intervals or efforts. The riding is
steady and moderate to easy.
● I may occasionally include some one-legged pedaling drills or a short sprint to wake up
the legs a bit during long rides


4pm-5pm: Post Ride Recovery

● To start I’ll grab a light recovery drink: a mix of carbohydrates and protein to cover my
main nutrition bases and take the edge off while I find make something to eat
● Shower
● Next I’ll eat a decent meal: Tuna, rice and vegetables for example
● Stretching and foam rolling: I will usually foam roll first and then run through a series of
stretches to help flush everything out


5pm-7pm: Free time

● Pretty straightforward
● I might play guitar or piano, or begin to prepare dinner if I am having people over
● But if the ride was hard enough I might must lay on the couch and do nothing


7pm-8pm: Dinner

● Dinner is the biggest opportunity for me to work on my cooking skills so I’ll usually put a
considerable amount of effort of it
● I have no set meal plan or diet, I try and switch things up each night and make food that I
want to eat (within reason). Plenty of vegetables, some carbs and proteins.
● I also enjoy cooking for other people so I’ll do that a couple of times per week

8-9:30: Relax

● Usually reading, watching or messing around with instruments

Photo credit: Gavin Hoover

10:00pm: Sleep

● I notice a huge difference in how I feel on the bike depending on how much I have slept
so I always aim to get between 9.5 and 10 hours

7:30am: Wake up and Repeat!

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