A couple weeks ago…maybe a month ago, I decided I would start doing more of my runs in the morning. I say a couple of weeks or a month, not remembering which exactly because it’s SO early when I get out there! In order to get in a run and get ready for work, I have been waking up around 5:02 A.M. (I have a thing with even numbers and setting me alarm at random times). Anyway, I know that is not early to some, but for me, it’s EARLY! I admire anyone who gets up this early or earlier…it’s not easy.
I found on these early morning runs I was doing more of a shuffle than actual running when I first started out. On a side note- I live on a pretty big hill, so you would think this might help get me moving, but no. I decided that shuffling my way through some miles was not benefitting me at all. It was just tiring me out and making me get hungry earlier.
With the warm weather approaching I decided that I should give these morning runs a better shot. I don’t run well in the afternoon heat-I sweat a lot and lose a lot of salt…that’s a whole other blog post 🙂 When I have been slightly awake on these early runs, I have found the traffic and the locals are much friendlier in the morning than during the after work hours (3:30-6:00ish). It’s such a peaceful time to be out running around town.
I couldn’t believe what I was thinking…I actually like running in the morning? Changes needed to be made…
I started by trying many ways to get myself to wake-up earlier: tea, caffeine pills, push-ups, stretching, etc I told myself that these things helped me run faster in the morning. Did they? I can’t say for sure although, I DID start running a faster pace…and it was in the 8 minute per mile range. This never happened before during my shuffles. I gradually decided to work on just waking up and going for the run, no caffeine involved. I was able to run in the 8 minute range again…and it was the low 8 minute per mile range this time. Sometimes I even got into the 7 minute per mile range too! I realize this isn’t that fast for some of you speedies out there, but this was a huge improvement from my morning shuffles. Again, I admire those who can wake-up early AND run a nice pace. I’ve also kept in mind that it’s okay to take some runs easy and not worry about pace (maybe more than a shuffle though)…which I plan to keep doing as well.
I wanted to continue with my “productive morning runs” and decided to try the ultimate motivator to run faster in the morning… I asked my super fast husband to run with me. He slowed down his pace a bit and joined for me a morning run. My first comment to him on our run was, “Doesn’t it feel like free air conditioning outside when you run in the morning?” I was referring to how much cooler it was in the morning verses the afternoon. Brendan is very familiar with my random comments like that one and simply agreed that, “yes, running in the morning is like having free air conditioning”.
This “free air conditioning” has been my new motivator during my morning runs. It might be early, but I think to myself how HOT it will be in the afternoon! I ran alone yesterday and was able to get in some marathon goal pace miles-a new first for my morning runs. I was really proud of myself and learned that it doesn’t matter that it is early, I can still get in a good run for the day I just have to give myself a little time to wake-up, believe I can do it, and keep practicing at it!…and maybe go to bed a little earlier 🙂
Although, truthfully, these picture of my pups Bailey and September, show what I would rather be doing on most mornings…
- Do you run in the morning?
- What helps you wake-up for an early morning workout?