Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time of Day Effect on Running (or "Why I Can't Get My Butt Out of Bed")

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

The alarm goes off. It is still dark outside, or if you're really lucky the sun is just waking up too. My intentions were good...I was going to get out for an early morning run. The temperatures have been pretty high lately, meaning early morning would allow me to beat the heat, and there was also rain in the forecast as the day went on. But...

Wake up? I don't think so...

It wasn't happening. I had done all of the planning to get the early morning run in, but my sleepy head just said no. This is something that will definitely need to change as the warmer weather continues to roll in and my mileage will continue to increase as I train for the Chicago Marathon.

My usual run time is around 11:30 in the morning as I run on my lunch break at work...we are lucky enough to have a gym with showers in our building which I take full advantage of as I am a hot sweaty stinky mess when I get back from my lunchtime 10K.


Is there something to be said about running at the same time each day? I know that I personally run my fastest training runs when I run at midday, and I am noticeably slower when I deviate from those times. Are our bodies conditioned with some sort of muscle memory which makes our legs respond best to a set routine? A familiar workload on our legs? A quick Google search revealed many an opinion on the subject of the effect of time of day on running, but I like how this article ultimately summed it up;

So, what time will I run tomorrow? The answer is easy: whenever I can find the time!

Although there are many studies (with many different results), it really comes down to the individual, their body and their schedule. So no need to beat yourself up for not getting in a run at the exact time you had planned to...or even for missing a run altogether...just roll with it and get the run in when you can! As for my run today, I already skipped out on the 6:00 option and lunchtime is out of the question...I guess I'll try to fit it in after work -- if I can. So long as I don't make a habit out of skipping training runs it isn't going to be the end of the world. I'm not going to all of a sudden lose my fitness or speed.

So while my daily routine will probably remain the same (running on my lunch break), I will really need to get used to waking up early to get the weekend long run in...if for no other reason that to be able to beat the summer heat and more importantly enjoy the rest of my day at the cottage with the family. Because as much as I love to run, who doesn't love spending their days like this??

Don't wake the Bear




  1. I know...definitely one of my fav places

  2. I always run in the morning. If I run any other time I feel sick. Maybe I could work on fueling better, but ahh I'm much more of a morning person. BTW I'm jealous of your last picture.

  3. Key West, a cold Landshark and a well-deserved snooze...what's not to love? I earned that snooze (and beer) I'll have you know...all three of us got out running every morning on our vaca there :)

  4. When I run in the mornings before work I always run with a friend. Makes me get out of bed!! Otherwise I would continue to hit the snooze button!