Accomplishing the day’s running goals in the morning, before work, school, errands, or tasks are tackled, is touted as key to persevering in training, say many who write about such things. EnMotive.com, in the article “Become A Morning Runner with These Tricks” provides great practical advice on how to rise and shine and get in your LONG RUN. Not all runs of the week, just the LONG RUN.
I like this approach. The difficulty that would-be morning runners encounter, in my opinion, is that the advice and encouragement provided in many such articles is not sufficiently specific.
Being a morning runner need NOT be an “all or nothing” practice that you MUST come to enjoy. Perhaps the following statements and explanations will help you decide whether one or more early runs can be part of your exercise routine, and help you decipher advice articles like that in EnMotive:
1. Not ALL the week’s runs must be performed before sunrise.
Pick one or more routines to run this time of the day. It’s possible that the shortest or most intense workouts fit well into an early morning slot. I like early hill repeats but would rather cover longer distances in full daylight. Certain days of the week can handle an extra early rising time. Monday morning runs that follow easy Sunday evenings can be perfect for energizing the remainder of the week.
2. Early group/social runs are optional
The November Project is famous for 6:30am meet-ups. Running clubs will often schedule group runs in the early hours. There is safety in numbers, and commitment to others is a strong incentive to “just show up”. However, if additional time is required to travel to a designated spot where companions await, you may be better off going it alone near your home on your earliest days. Social runs might work better for more relaxed late-morning days.
3. Running outdoors is not required.
If your fitness center opens at 5am and has facilities that allow you to clean-up and get on your way afterward, your best shot at a morning run might be on a small indoor track or a treadmill.
4. Seasonal schedules can be practical.
Summer weather can be harsh, depending on your geographic location. Stay out of the worst heat and humidity of the day by running in the dawn’s early light. Choose the winter season to sleep longer.
5. Darkness is forgiving.
A clean-shaven face, make-up, styled hair, sweet smell, and contact lenses can wait until AFTER all the sweaty work is done. Clothes can be wrinkled, old, tattered, or not match. This is especially true if you plan to finish up before anyone capable of recognizing you is out and about. Some runners admit to sleeping in their running attire.
6. You don’t need to love it.
It can be the run you love to hate. “If you’re going through hell, keep on going”, is a famous line, attributed to British statesman Winston Spencer Churchill, which can apply to non-morning people on a morning run. Before too long, it will be over. If a morning run helps you follow a training plan, just get it done.
The statements above can be applied to evening runs as well. Running times that accommodate your home and work life are most likely to become physically and mentally enjoyable opportunities for exercise.
The KEY IS TO PLAN THESE TIMES IN ADVANCE, not to just expect them to happen.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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