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Early morning running and quality workouts (Read 953 times)

FlippyNoodle


Not a dude

    Up to this point, I have done little in terms of "quality" workouts - speedwork, hills, etc. However, I'm starting a Pfitzinger half marathon program next month and it will require me to do speedwork, tempo runs, hill repeats, etc. The vast majority of my runs are done early in the morning. That's not too bad when I'm running at an easy pace, but between the cobwebs and a general lack of energy at 5:00 in the morning, I am kind of thinking that the quality workouts will be more difficult to accomplish. I've tried to do early morning tempo runs in the past and it seemed more difficult to maintain the pace. I *could* try to switch one or two runs to the evenings after my kid goes to bed in order to avoid the early morning blahs, but I also have issues with reflux if I have eaten before I run. That can be very, very unpleasant.

     

    Does (or did) anyone else have this problem? Did your body eventually adjust to doing the faster paces early in the morning or would I be better served trying to figure out a way to do those runs in the evenings?


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Having a training partner, or better a group of partners, made all the difference to me.  I wake at 4:30 to run with the local track-club at 5:30.  Best workout of the week.  Mostly intervals.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

      Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

      ND Wolfwood


        Krystal, I think you'll learn to adjust if you give the early morning quality workouts a shot.  You're gonna have to warm-up before those workouts anyway, and I've found that those first few easy miles are enough to shake the cobwebs.  Getting enough sleep should help with energy levels (but I'm one to talk, since I've had less than optimal sleeping habits during training, e.g. going to sleep at 11 or later, then getting up at 3:30 for a run).

        R.

        _____________________________________________________________________________

        PR's: 5K - 19:21 (6/15/13) | 10K - 40:27 (7/4/13) | 10M - 1:06:44 (9/21/13)  | Half - 1:29:50 (2/17/13) | Full - 3:12:09 (10/26/13) | 6 HR - 37.05 mi (11/16/13)

         

        Upcoming Goal Race: Snickers Albany Marathon (3/1/14)

          I've been having this problem recently. I thought that it might be good to run in the mornings before work, now that it's dark out by 4:30. For easy runs, it has been working out fine. But I definitely do not perform as well during quality workouts as I would in the afternoon. I think it's a combination of my body not really being 'awake' yet and not having anything to eat/drink beforehand. Honestly, I've pretty much decided to just do my quality stuff after work on the treadmill, because as much as I'd rather do it outside in the morning, it's just not working out. I'm probably wussing out but I really feel like I'm getting more out of the workouts this way. I'd love for someone to come along with the magic fix, though, so I'll be reading this thread. I haven't been able to find a group to train with in Philly so that's out for now, unfortunately. 

          ilanarama


          Hi, Mom!

            I always run better in the early morning than I do in the afternoon or evening!  That said, it's very important for me to warm up for at least 2 miles before doing any quality at all.  I do one mile easy, followed by one mile of easy running punctuated by strides.  That gets me going enough that I can do intervals or a tempo or whatever.  

            Ilana is awesome. She lives in a cool place, drinks good beer, and runs hard. She should start a fucking lifestyle blog for chicks. - NC Runner

             

            PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

            Next up: Lakefront 10M 4/19 | bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org


            Fat butt on couch

              The older I get, the harder it is for me to run in the morning.

               

              I can't even race well in the morning anymore, it seems.

               

              If I bother trying to do a workout in the morning, I just do a progression run.  As my body warms/wakes up I just keep accelerating, even if I started at a slog I can usually get a couple really quality miles in by the end.

               

              Going out, warming up a couple miles and busting intervals or a straight tempo run?  Heh.  No.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                Up to this point, I have done little in terms of "quality" workouts - speedwork, hills, etc. However, I'm starting a Pfitzinger half marathon program next month and it will require me to do speedwork, tempo runs, hill repeats, etc. The vast majority of my runs are done early in the morning. That's not too bad when I'm running at an easy pace, but between the cobwebs and a general lack of energy at 5:00 in the morning, I am kind of thinking that the quality workouts will be more difficult to accomplish. I've tried to do early morning tempo runs in the past and it seemed more difficult to maintain the pace. I *could* try to switch one or two runs to the evenings after my kid goes to bed in order to avoid the early morning blahs, but I also have issues with reflux if I have eaten before I run. That can be very, very unpleasant.

                 

                Does (or did) anyone else have this problem? Did your body eventually adjust to doing the faster paces early in the morning or would I be better served trying to figure out a way to do those runs in the evenings?

                It's in your head. You'll get use to it. I love running first thing in the morning. Maybe that is why I don't mind. As long as I have my cup of coffee and take care of my business after the coffee I'm good to go.

                 

                  ...it's very important for me to warm up for at least 2 miles before doing any quality at all.  I do one mile easy, followed by one mile of easy running punctuated by strides.  That gets me going enough that I can do intervals or a tempo or whatever.  

                   Yes, or switch to the marathon. Then you can sleep through all your training! 

                   

                  I agree with spaniel, in that progressions are a good workout alternative for when I'm tired.  

                   

                  But, spaniel, is it aging or the proliferation of babies in your house? Hm? 

                  "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                    It's harder to do workouts in the morning but you can get used to it. I also find that in early morning workouts I am slower at the same perceived effort than I would be later in the day--however this doesn't seem to affect race performances. Doing the work is what matters, not whether you can hit the same paces at 5:30 in the morning that you could at 5:30 in the evening.

                    Runners run.

                    mcours2006


                      I used to do all these workouts early in the AM, like 5:00. The key is to warm up your body thoroughly, which for me takes 15-20 minutes of easy jogging, and perhaps a few speed bursts near the end of the warm up. But it takes getting used to, as some have already stated.

                       

                      And I agree with Mikeymike that at the same perceived effort the morning runs are always slower. But that works out fine since most races are not at 5:00 AM.

                        I agree with spaniel, in that progressions are a good workout alternative for when I'm tired.  

                         

                        Almost all my weekday runs start pre-5am. I can say is that its really hard. Every morning I ask myself, "self.. what the hell are you doing? See that warm cozy bed? What is wrong with you." This internal monologue repeats through the w/u.

                         

                        The combination of colder temps and early morning make a longer w/u necessary. Right now a 15 min jog w/u would be min and slow progressive strides are required. Even after that, when the workout does start, its really hard to get the body moving. I almost throw out the first few reps as they are always very slow. Just think of it as poor mans altitude training. 

                         

                        To compare the two.. In warm weather afternoon workout, the first few reps would feel easy then slowly build into the typical workout grind. A cold weather morning run, the first few reps feel like I'm working really hard with cement shoes on. But, by the halfway mark of each workout, they are pretty much the same. 

                         

                        The biggest advantage I've had in morning workouts is that I tend to hit paces right on or a little on the slow side. Afternoon workouts, I tend to go too hard and end up needing more recovery time before the next workout. I think its helped with consistency and not getting down on myself for poor workouts. I mean, if I'm up and doing this stupid running thing, I might as well put in the effort to make the run worth while. And if the workout fails, its ok b/c I did the workout. And good or bad its a victory. 

                        Dont call it a comeback

                        Jeffrey


                          I had to do a tempo run the other morning, very early. I was really slow to warmup but the "novelty" got me through it, and the deadline provided by my DW. One perk to morning  evening run combos is you get a little more recovery time between training sessions. 


                          Best Present Ever

                            Any run after late morning feels awful to me!  I must be some anomoly, because everyone else seems to think that afternoon runs are a lot easier.  I've always found them perfectly miserable, even in the winter when it's cold in the afternoon. 


                            Fat butt on couch

                                

                               

                              But, spaniel, is it aging or the proliferation of babies in your house?  

                               

                              Yes.  Wink

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               

                                I often run early in the morning, but I do find that it also takes me longer to warm up, which is why I prefer to do quality in the afternoon/evening. Sometimes I take a warm shower before heading out the door. I used to think that helped, but it's probably all in my head.

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