Recently I received a question about running and working out in the morning. I haven’t always been a “morning runner,” but since graduating college, I’m a morning runner 99% of the time. There are only a handful of times a year that I run in the afternoon. (In 2019, there were 4..and I count NYCM that started late). If I don’t run before 9 am, chances are I don’t run. Of course, it doesn’t include races, although I did wish they all started before 9. Keep in mind, there is no best time to workout. Do what works for you and forget about the rest.
I will be the first to tell you it’s much easier to run in the morning during the summer. In the summer, it gets light earlier, and it’s warmer. You don’t feel as though you’re ripping blankets off to go for a run in the dark and cold. For me, with a constant change of schedule, it’s better for me to get the run done earlier.
Here are a Few Ways I Wake Up to Workout:
Turn Off Technology:
I am known to turn my technology off around 9-9:30 pm. I might go to bed a little later, but I stop fiddling with the computer, texting, etc. It allows me to wind down and actually get to bed. Tweeting at the pillowcase keeps me wide awake. I started doing that sometime in 2013, and I’ve found it’s much easier to fall asleep. Did I miss your stellar 9 pm Instagram post? Maybe…but I’ll see it in the morning.
Set an Alarm (or 2 or 10):
I’ve adjusted to waking up between 5-5:30 am most mornings. To be honest, at this point it doesn’t phase me. However, it didn’t use to be like that, and I needed an alarm to pull me out of bed. I always recommend setting the alarm.
Check the Weather the Night Before:
Mentally I like to have an idea if I’ll be running inside or outside. Or if it’s going to be snowing, pouring rain, or windy. Not all surprises are good ones.
Make Sure. You Have Appropriate Gear Clean:
Many bloggers will tell you to lay your clothing out, and I think that is fantastic advice, however, for me if I have appropriate gear cleaned and findable, I consider it a good day. My life and gym clothes are not
always ever “social media flat lay photo ready”. Usually, it’s in my drawer, and I’m mindlessly grabbing things to put on. Sorry, I don’t match… I really don’t care.
Phone a Friend:
Meet someone for a workout. There have been several times that I wouldn’t have worked out if I wasn’t meeting a friend. Don’t underestimate the power of numbers.
Consistency is Key:
Sometimes we want to change but aren’t willing to give it time. Give your new routine for at least 2 weeks. If after two weeks, it’s not for you, find something that is!
Finally, remember this…there is no right or wrong time to workout. If you prefer a lunch or evening workout, that’s cool! Don’t stress about it and choose that best time that fits into your needs.
Questions for you:
What time do you like to workout?
Do you have any methods to wake up in the morning?
Since last fall when the cold set in, I moved my workouts to the afternoon. At this time of year it’s about 15 degrees warmer in the afternoon, and here that’s the difference between me running outside or hitting the treadmill so I’ve built some discipline in running right after work. But when I trained for my first half marathon, I always got up at 0430 to run in the mornings before work. It felt awesome to know that my workout was done and I had a high the rest of the day as I headed to work!
I do appreciate how it’s much warmer in the afternoon though!
I’m definitely an early bird and prefer to work out first thing in the morning! No clue how I used to run in the afternoons when I did XC/track in middle school and high school! Now I always run in the morning but I don’t mind doing some type of cross training or some activity in the afternoon…then in the evening I’m useless lol grandma bedtime all the way!
You and me both! I don’t know how I ever worked out at night. LOL, now I’m useless after 6 pm.
I workout early in the morning, which means I am usually at the Y when they opens the doors at 5:00am. I find that if I wait until after work, I can come up with any number of excuses not to go. My workout is my first accomplishment of the day. I also agree with your suggestions, running with a friend motivates me, because I know someone else is counting on me to be there. I also check the weather the night before as I have become somewhat of a weather wimp. I used to run in all weather, but lately I avoid the rain. Best advice is to make your workout a habit.
Making your workout a habit and consistent is such good advice, Steve, thank you for sharing.
I am not a morning athlete. I usually run at work or in the evening.
My club has a Sunday long run at 8 AM which is early for me, but it works.
When you are running for 2-3 hours, you don’t want to start at Noon.
I completely agree about long runs. I always feel more motivated when I get them done the earliest.
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