Morning running

Morning run

Is it just me or is it just so easy to get up early at the moment and get out of the door for a run? I don't think it is just me because when I have been out there, enjoying the traffic-less roads, the morning air, scent of the blossoms that are so much more potent in the morning, the gorse along the coast that smells just like coconut and the dawn chorus of the birds, I have spotted others who are clearly on my wave-length and with me all the way.

Not only is it easy to do at the moment but it makes life so much easier too. By 8 O' clock I have exercised, showered and eaten breakfast so the working day begins with a clean slate and the knowledge that, once it is done, there is no rush to fit in the training before it gets too late and I get too tired. It also makes me feel quite smug to know that the run is done and out of the way!

Maybe it's easy for me though as I think I am naturally a 'morning person' and I'm pretty rubbish at night. Once it gets past 7.30pm my mo-jo has usually gone to sleep and I'm not far behind it so running in the morning means I'm more likely to get my exercise done. There have been plenty of times when I have missed training completely because my working day has run over or I just feel too tired at the end of it.

My morning person-ness has probably come about as a result of my teenage years where I earned my spending money with a paper round and then, when I was older, a milk round. 5.30am starts were normal and the ability to get out of bed, dressed, shoes on and straight out of the door hasn't left me. I know some runners feel that they need a cup of coffee or tea before breaking into a jog but I can go out of the door within 10 minutes of my alarm going off and without any water or fuel although I'm sure that many would 'tut-tut' going without a glass of water, at least! Getting out quickly works for me, though. If I hung around, waiting for the kettle to boil or for a banana to digest, I would be in danger of distraction and time slipping away and so less of it to get the miles in the bank.

As well as getting it out of the way, there are other benefits to running in the morning. Because your glycogen levels are low before breakfast your body has to burn more fat to generate energy and so it maybe a better way of keeping weight down than running later in the day. Running before breakfast also apparently kick-starts your metabolism and keeps you burning calories once you have finished even if you are sitting at an office desk all day! A very experienced and successful marathon runner once told me that five miles in the morning is worth eight at night and I think he may be right.

I'm not sure about sessions though. Speed work, interval training or hill reps may have to keep their slot as a late-afternoon or early-evening workout unless I work them in as a kind of fartlek session. Proper efforts and recoveries before breakfast may send me crashing towards the wall and, I must admit, these days I like a bit of company for those sorts of sessions so unless I can talk a training partner into a 6am start I'll keep on enjoying the gentler type of training where I have time to stop and smell the blossoms!