Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Morning Workouts: Just Do It

I've mentioned multiple times about my struggle with morning workouts. One of my New Year's resolutions was to do at least one morning workout a week and while I certainly haven't kept track I have been making progress lately. All spring while training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon I would set my alarm with every intention to get up and run before class and just about every single time I went back to bed instead of running.

Part of the struggle is that my favorite time to run is just before the sun sets. If I can run in the evening, I will. Over the summer I did almost every single one of my runs in the evening because it didn't seem as hot then and I had not much else going on so it wasn't a problem. And I preferred biking in the middle of the day when it was the warmest for some reason.

Being back at school has changed everything. With the warmer temps of Baltimore at the end of August/beginning of September I could only really run in the morning or the evening. I will run in the evening sometimes here but I don't exactly live in the safest area and since a student was attacked and beaten with a baseball bat by seven teenagers in my neighborhood just before dark I just think it is smarter to run in the mornings.

So how did I adjust to running in the morning? Truthfully, I don't know. Over the summer my training ramped up and with so two workouts most days I didn't have the option to pushing off a workout. It was either do it then or don't do it at all. I stopped dreading workouts or desperately trying to do them at some other time because my goals became more important not doing another swim workout. By the end of the summer I didn't think about what I had to do that day or how hard it was going to be. I just did it because that was my only option.

This mentality has translated well to morning workouts. When my alarm goes off [for the most part] I get up and go run, thinking as little as possible about it. I can't put it into words, but I just do it. I now finally understand what people mean when they say that morning workouts don't necessarily get easier they just become habit. While I do still enjoy running in the evening when I can and I still have trouble getting out of bed the morning of long runs, I actually really enjoy running in the morning.

Every Wednesday since being back at school I've gone over to the track right as it opens at 7:00 and done my workout. The women's lacrosse team gets there around 7:30 so by then I am warmed up and already getting to work. After my run I head over to the gym for some lifting.

It's such a rewarding feeling to not only be done running before my day starts but to have put in some quality work also. I always have a little more spring in my step on the days when I run in the morning, and being able to relax in the evening and not get stressed if spontaneous plans pop up is certainly nice. And the feeling of running when the world is still quiet and its just you out there, or those amazing sunrises, don't even get me started.

Do you run in the morning or evening?


  1. Good for you for making it more of a habit to do morning workouts. I definitely struggle with morning workouts, I was doing much better for about 6 weeks getting up in the morning but then I got sick and I haven't been good about getting up early since.

    It definitely does have its perks, that accomplished feeling first thing in the morning.

  2. I don't run often, but when I do, I prefer nights. I do swim in the mornings 3 days a week, though!

  3. As a night creature, mornings are really hard for me too. I'm nowhere near the level you are (brand new to running), but I've started doing a couple miles (I got a treadmill when I was nearly hit by a drunk driver) in the morning before I get my 2 year old up. It's nice to at least know I have some working out in for the day, no matter what comes later. I have to force myself every single day, but I'm telling myself it's a good thing. :)
    I workout at night up until midnight too, so I guess my answer is both. I prefer the night!

  4. I had to become a morning person out of necessity (because of teaching and then my kids), but I really, really value my morning workout. It just starts my day off perfectly, head and heart clear and ready to go to work. I'm lucky, too, that I have a 5 am running group. Safety first!