Some people say they perform better when running in the afternoons/evenings. They say their legs feel better when they’ve had the day to be fully warmed up and that running early in the morning is too hard.
Others enjoy running early in the morning. I’m one of those morning people. I find that my legs are a little ornery after sitting at my uncomfortable desk all day. But to be honest, waking up at 4:30 AM on weekdays has been kind of draining me. Plus, I have to wake up at 3:00 AM for my Saturday long runs and then I never catch up on the sleep, often staying awake for 20-22 hours straight on those days. A body can only function for so long like that.
I also feel a little guilty when I go to bed early in the evenings. It’s not like my husband and I ever have any plans, we’re usually both on our laptops. He’s playing Sudoku and reading football message boards, I’m blogging and reading blogs. But I still feel like I’m doing something wrong when I head off to bed, like I’m neglecting my spouse.
So last night, when I was about to head up to bed, I changed my mind and stayed downstairs with my husband. We watched last week’s episode of the new show Fringe together. I made the decision to postpone my run until after work so I could spend time with my hubby.
I like feeling accomplished each morning, having done a quality run by the time the sun has risen. It was a little unsettling to me to wait all day. When I finished work at 4 PM, it was 99° outside and the sun was still fairly high in the sky; running on the treadmill was the smartest option and I kind of dread the ‘mill.
I decided to do the 45 minute Nike+ training run* that I received for doing the Human Race 10K. (Well, one of the coached runs I received, I ended up getting 3 different coached runs at the conclusion of that!) The coached run I chose was focused on speed intervals. After a short warm-up jog I ran an “endurance run” for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace (ended up being about a 9:30). Then I did 10 minutes of intervals, 1 minute pushing fast followed by a minute pulled back. Then I repeated the entire process: 10 minute endurance and 10 minutes of intervals. Couple minutes of cooldown jogging at the conclusion.
The run was tough, but great! I don’t give myself enough credit, I have the endurance to press on and continue to improve my performance. Over these past several months, I’ve really come to realize my body is capable of more than I assume. I tend to hold myself back, don’t allow myself to really push out of fear that it might “hurt” too much. I am strong, I am tough and I can do this!
This may be my new routine for Monday runs now: good speed work on the treadmill. That would allow me another morning to sleep-in until 6:00 and allow myself more time to gain the recovery benefits of sleep. A recovered body will allow me to continue to progress.
*Nike+ Training Runs/Coached Runs are a series of audio tracks produced by Nike. They contain a full music soundtrack, as well as a respected authority giving you coaching cues. They offer some in the iTunes store for download where past marathon champs or other endurance athletes provide the coaching. They are really well done and provide some great motivation. Plus, it made the treadmill workout a lot more tolerable as I was constantly switching things and waiting for “my coach” to tell me what to do next.