Morning vs Evening Running
I’m not a morning person. I have insomnia and nothing triggers it more like having to get up early. But on our roadtrip I knew that I’d have to get up early and run as we’d be arriving our motels stiff, tired, and near dark. The first few runs were hard, but after awhile I came to enjoy them. It’s more invigorating than coffee, and I come back with piles of energy and optimism. And best of all…throughout the day I’d see people running and feel gleeful that my run was already done – I can do whatever with the rest of my day: overexert myself, have an afternoon summer cocktail, or just look at the day stretched before me and know I don’t have to gear up for a run.
Now that summer heat is burning full blast, I find I have to run in the morning or in the evening. I’ve mostly chosen the morning, but for my long run on Sunday I decided to run as soon as the sun started to set. Immediately, I could tell the difference. Instead of cranking fast-paced music to get me going, I actually listened to a series of podcasts, and my times didn’t suffer much. I was hardly aware I was even on a run for the first 5 miles or so. It’s almost like in the morning I’m too alert. Too alert to my run, my numbers, my body, my thoughts. At night, my mind floats away, and I can just let my body do what I’ve been training it to do.
That said, I spent all day on Sunday thinking about my run. Hydrating, eating well, planning, resting up for, putting off. A 3-hour run was more like an all day affair. If I run in the morning, it’s usually because I have something to do, so all I can think about is getting out the door as fast as possible. Out and back, like ripping off a band aid.
But until races yield to us evening-runners, I am going to try to continue to train for both distance and time of day.