Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Becoming a Morning Runner

Sunrise in the fog, near Horicon, Wisconsin.Image via Wikipedia
I had another challenging run this morning. That seems to be a common theme lately.

I've thought it was due to the six weeks or so that I didn't run in March and April. I've also blamed the heat and humidity. I'm sure those are contributing factors.

But this morning wasn't too hot or humid, and I've been back to running consistently long enough now that it should be getting easier. So I'm starting to think that I'm just struggling to get used to running first thing in the morning.

When I started running a year and a half ago, I decided to run in the evenings instead of in the mornings. One of the main reasons was that I'm not a morning person. I thought that if I had to get up early in the morning and run, there was a good chance that I wouldn't stay consistent with my running beyond the first week or two. So I ran in the evenings.

My evening schedule continued through all of last year as I completed the Couch to 5k program, then bridge to 10k, and then training for my first half marathon. The only exceptions were Saturday long runs and races, which were my only morning runs.

Fast-forward to five weeks ago, when I started marathon training. I decided (for a variety of reasons) that I should switch to running in the morning. So for the past five weeks I've been doing my runs in the morning. The runs have been challenging, especially for the first 15-20 minutes. Then it gets easier and my pace seems to naturally speed up without me really trying to speed up. I just try to run at a constant effort level, and my pace gradually increases.

So I'm hoping that I'll eventually get used to running in the morning as I keep doing it. I'm also thinking about adding some kind of warm-up prior to my run to see if that makes the first couple of miles any easier.

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