Thursday, June 12, 2008

Morning Runs

This morning, I got up early (for me) to run five miles. Runners are either early runners or not. Several years ago, when I first started working in New York, I started running in Riverside Park in the morning. My first year was in graduate school, so my schedule was, um, flexible. But with work, I didn't have that flexibility. I went for the pre-work run, because I don't think at the time I knew it was fine to run at night in Riverside. It didn't last long. Running first thing in the morning is hard. My body still wants to be in bed, my muscles are tight, and I'm hungry. I soon switched to night running, though I ran my best marathons very early in the morning. All that said, I admire morning runners. There's something admirable about getting up close to dawn for a workout. The last couple of weeks, mostly because of a hellish work schedule with lots of events in the evenings, I've run mornings. It's cooler then, and I find my diet is better because I'm just eating breakfast afterwards. My goal is to continue this through the summer, though my big test will be traveling to Cannes next week. There will be so many late nights and work to do, I'll be happy if I run three times the entire week. What I wonder is whether someone is a morning runner or not. It might just be that some people are morning people and others aren't. I used to wish there was a marathon that began in the late afternoon or early evening, because I'm big believer that the body is most primed for maximum effort then.

5.2 miles, 35:40


Brian Mitchinson (BKM555) said...

Interesting post. I was never a morning person but became a morning runner. Being on the left coast and travelling east a lot caused me to wake up early when I came home, so to pass the mornings I started running. The first time i ran at 6am I was hooked. It was the quiet and the sun rises that converted me. Plus there are so few runners at that time you tend to get to know the few that are out, and there's the occasional bonus of wildlife!

Alan Wolk said...

I had to force myself to be a morning runner, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

When we first got married, my wife would wake up at what I considered the middle of the night- around 6:15 AM to go running.

One morning I joined her and then the next and the next.

I like it for all the reasons you mention, plus the fact that "will I have time to run tonight" is not hanging over your head the whole day.

You really do wind up more energized and all that.

Plus, in the winter, you get halfway done before you wake up, which makes going out in the cold a lot easier to handle.

JPS said...

From a cycling perspective, I've tried to get the am workout going several times...I just am not efficient in the am - it takes me forever to stretch out/warm up, it's always easier to stay in bed, etc. But it's always great when I do it. I think for many years I was scared away from early workouts by my hellish college rowing practices, which started at 6am. This week I'm riding to work, and it has been nice to get something of a workout in first thing...I may try to incorporate more am workouts.

Brian Morrissey said...

Great thoughts. I got a little surprised by how many people are out there running at 6:30am. It gets pretty crowded in Central Park. One drawback: I can't run in Riverside during the morning. The dog people take over the joint. It's like Armagedden with off-leash marauding canines everywhere.

manuela said...

The few times I've managed do to my runs in the am I felt sluggish but rejuvenated after.

Alan Wolk said...

>> I can't run in Riverside during the morning. The dog people take over the joint. It's like Armagedden with off-leash marauding canines everywhere.>>

This was a problem 10-15 years ago when I first started running- interesting to see it hasn't been resolved yet.

But as you noted, Central Park on a nice morning can feel like a moderately well attended 10K race, given the crowd.

Greg On the Run said...

In our neck of woods (Charleston, SC), early morning running is the only way to go from the second or third week of of June until late September. The heat and humidity can be oppressive until 9 or 10 at night, especially if you're not right on the coast. In fact, I participate in a group run every Wednesday morning at 6 am - we're talking about moving it to 5.30.

I love running in the morning. You can see the sun rise over the Battery. There's no traffic and I can run in the street. People are friendly and greet one another. They're all good reasons.

My favorite part about running in the mornings is the ready made retort - "Oh yeah, what were you doing at 6 am?"