Early morning running

During the week I run in the evening after work. However, I often work quite late and it would suit me better to swap one or two runs to early morning (especially in summer).

I'm able to force myself from under the duvet at 6.30 OK (well, reasonably OK) but I lack energy and my muscles feel stiff at this time of day (obvious, I suppose).

How do early bird runners cope with this? I do eat a banana, drink some water and stretch gently before I go out. Anything else I could be doing?


  • Jill, This probably won't be useful but what I do is get up an hour before I am due to run.

    I immediately eat a bowl of cereal with lots of semi-skimmed milk and have cup of tea. I then read the paper or do chores for an hour and then go and run.

    The hours delay seems to help my body get up to speed although the first 10 minutes of running still feel tough. Thereafter its not a problem.

    If I am going for a run longer than 40 minutes I will also drink 500mls of water or Lucozade with the breakfast.
  • I can't offer any advice just respect!!

    I've tried getting up for an early run and fail miserably everytime. Now I stick to plodding after work!


  • SD I agree, I'm just not a morning runner, and I think you either are or you are not, Jill don't lose heart if you find it very difficult to run in the morning. However, saying that, when I got woken up at 5.00 this morning by the sun I did consider going for a run, and then thought better of it and went back to sleep.
  • Funny this thread hasnt drawn any replies for morning runners!

    I find i can run quite happily at 7 o'clock on a saturday or sunday,(with out eating first!) but in the weekday a 6.30 run is completely out of the question.

    I personally think it is all phsycological at the weekend you know you can come back and relax for the rest of hte day but in the week day i know i probably wont have a chance to rest till about 7pm
  • Hi Jill

    Not sure if this will help much but I am an early bird, I set the alarm for 6 and then hop out, get dressed and out the door in about 10 mins after stretches. I may have a sip of water but nothing else and off I go. I find that I am fine and doing it this way means that I am not awake enough to talk myself out of plodding. Also there is hardly anybody around to see me plodding around. Maybe when I am running for longer I may have to alter my routine but I feel fine doing this way. I do drink a lot of water normally during the day so I am fairly well hydrated I think.

    Good luck ,try it and see.
  • Jill

    I find it hard to run early but living in Naples in Italy, I'm having to from 2 weeks ago until mid-september, just because its too hot during the day.

    I get up at 5am do the usual morning stuff and drive to work then I'm usually running by 6:15. I eat a bowl of cereal BEFORE I go to bed in the evening!. I've found that trying to eat before running so early in the morning just does not work for me. I then have a bowl at work after my shower.

    When I started running so early 2 weeks ago I found it a real struggle and all my times were around a minute or so slower than normal. This week though I've got into my stride and seem to be back to normal - had a great 8 miles this morning!!

    Stick with it and try eating before going to bed - probably not the best thing to do but it works for me.

  • WelshpoppyWelshpoppy ✭✭✭
    Hi Jill
    I am an early bird too up and out for run by 6am i have a pint of water before i leave and a banana.I have tons of energy and feel so refreshed from my morning run usually I don't see a soul I run down a wooded cycle track.

    I too drink 2 litres through the day so I am well hydrated too.
    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • I prefer to run in the mornings, that way it's over and done with and I can vegetate in the evenings guilt-free. I wake up at 6:15, have a cup of tea, a banana/a few dried apricots, a few gulps of water and watch the telly till 6:50 when I get up, get dressed and leave for my run.
  • What time do you all start work? I just don't see how I can fit in a run when I leave for the station at 7.10.
  • Scotty4Scotty4 ✭✭✭
    My early morning battle is helped by what I can look forward to after my run. My weekday run is normally from 6:30 till 7:25am, after which I'll treat myself to a good breakfast of cereal and fruit (plenty of coffee), have a refreshing shower, [and the best bit] I actually go back to bed for at least half an hour.

    I won't necessarily fall asleep but it does help me win the psychological battle when the 6am alarm goes off to know that I'm not going to be away from my bed for too long before I'm all snuggled up again - which is absolute heaven as I know I've earned it.
  • I LOVE early morning running! My alarm goes of @ 5 and - after inhaling a strong coffee and having a pee - I'm out by about 5:20.

    If I'm not doing that then I'm on the 6:01 from Woking and @ the Tottenham Ct Rd Y for 7:00.

    I just don't feel the same if I don't exercise in the morning - it's like wearing a woolly hat inside your skull!

    Keeps-Me-Happy Shambler!
  • Hi Speed-Merchant-Shambler

    When I run in the week I am generally out by 5.30 - run up to an hour. That gives me an hour to get ready for work (7.30 is the latest I can leave the house) - and most of the hour is needed to get my face back to its normal colour!

  • Thanks, all. Sounds like I just need to get into the habit of morning running.

    Slaphead - I'll try the evening cereal tactic.

    Picketty - I leave for work about 8.15 so could run 6.30 to 7.30ish and still have time for shower/brekkie.

    It really would make sense during the week to do this, as 12-hour working days are not unusual and getting my run "out of the way" in the morning would mean a 9pm finish wasn't such a nightmare. Right - tomorrow morning it is then!
  • Jill - I am a morning runner too (although found it a bit hard going recently) but generally set alarm for 6.10am. In the week might have a cup of tea before and always a glass of water but never eat beforehand. Weekends when I do my long run I do eat a piece of toast and honey/peanut butter about an hour earlier but then I start my run later.

    I think whoever said you're either a morning runner or not is right. Like WP I get a real buzz from being up when not many people are around. My routes get me up high and in the winter I get this amazing view of dawn breaking over London....truly fantastic!

    Slaphead - you lucky thing! Naples! We went to Sorrento last year - what a great area. One question though....how do you manage to drive and stay sane??? I was absolutely terrified.
  • Early morning runs consist of,4.30alarm,glass of water,out of house by 5am,return by 6.15,changed,breakfast&on way to work by 7am.Feel fresh until 4ish.
  • Urgh! morning runs- no way! tried it once and it was the hardest thing ever. I don't even like going to the gym early although i can see the benefit of getting it out of the way. I may have to get used to it if i get my summer job back as its 11-7 shifts so i can fit in a few hours in the gym each morning before work. That said, even that means that i don't have to get up at 5! i'm most definately an evening runner - i usually find leaving home at 5-6pm is the best time. Run, home, have shower while dinner in oven, eat, chill..... :-)
  • Flatfeet

    Glad you enjoyed it. We 'popped' over to Capri a couple of weeks ago for something to do - loved the blue grotto! I know exactly what you mean about the driving - traffic lights are viewed as christmas decorations in Naples!. Its just crazy at times. I was stopped in a line of traffic at a T junction a few months ago and a horse trotted past - once I rubbed my eyes I had to do it again because it was being led by a bloke on a scooter!!! makes running a bit difficult sometimes but thats one of the advantages of running early - LESS traffic! You just have to drive like a Neopolitan to survive.

    If you ever fancy a 10km race up Mt Vesuvius its held the first week in November and is British organised.

  • I always used to say that I wasn't a morning runner. I tried it a few times & found it awful. However I tried again recently (to stop the sarcastic commenst about running widows) & it's great. I have a glass of water & a tea/coffee, so there's 30 minutes between getting up & going out. I read somewhere that the body takes 20 minutes to wake up properly. I don't eat, but at the weekend before my long run I do eat a bowl of cereal, and wait an hour before I go out.

    I believe that it is proven that running early morning is in fact a little slower, & I'm not sure that it would be wise to do any real speedwork early morning, but other than that I love it. This morning was lovely & bright, but cool as well. I ran for just over half an hour, & still left for work just after 7 o'clock. I feel refreshed & full of energy.

  • I love early morning running too but I must say since I have started running regularly every other or every day, i find that I am pooped by 10.00 pm that evening.... Do you all feel the same or are you night owls as well?
  • SJR - thanks! I've never been called that before <blush>

    RRR - Hi, how are you? I'm ususally in bed by 11 and out cold by 12!

    Like FatBloke and some of the others when I have the time, a day off work or before my longrun on a Sunday I also have some brekkie (toasted cinnamon and rasin bagel with almond butter and a banana) about 60-90 mins before I hit the road.

    Just-Back-From-The-Gym Shambler!
  • I'm a morning runner - if I plan to leave it until later in the day I always worry that something will conspire to prevent me from running that day (work, the kids, traffic etc.) and then I get fidgity and can't sleep that night.

    I get up at 5am, drink a flask of hyper-strong coffee that I make the night before and get out of the door by 5:15.

    Speed sessions can be a bit punishing so early in the day but the benefits of no cars or pedestrians being about means you don't have to break pace at junctions etc.
  • I've recently discovered early morning running, less hecklers around and I get to do my own thing. My two pennies.
  • Hi Shambler
    I generally will be in bed by 11 too but instead of taking an hour to get to sleep like you, I am out cold by 2 mins past 11!!!
    I don't suffer from gettting to sleep at night however I am more of an insomniac early morning as I tend to wake up sill hours.

    Are you at the next social?
  • Next social? Oh, yes - I'll be there, try keeping me away! You, too?

    Beer-Goggles-At-The-Ready Shambler!
  • All my eulogising about early mornings la-de-la-de-la and this morning could I get out of bed? Could I heck! will do better though tomorrow.

    RRR - I'm hopeless after about 10.30 but as I often wake up between 4-5am (insomnia not because I want to) I have to get some sleep sometime. Also, I do occassionally find myself nodding off in the middle of the day at work....

    Slaphead - the thing that really got me was seeing mopeds with two adults on and a babies/toddlers squeezed between them! The marathon sounds incredible but as a someone whose only just got to grips with running 8 miles I think I'll leave it for this year! Enjoy your Limoncella afterwards though!
  • Hello, all. Well, I did it. Got myself out of bed 6.30, glass of water and a banana, set off 7am and ran 3 miles. About 1 min 30 sec slower than usual, but it seemed to take me the first mile to wake up my muscles. Quite enjoyed it (lovely sunny morning helped; not sure I'll feel the same when it's grey and rainy).

    Have decided to run at this time on Tues and Thurs, longer plod Fri teatime and usual Sun afternoon plod. Will take more note of Fri and Sun times and just accept I'm a bit slower in the mornings.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
  • Shambler
    Will be at the social too and probably a very happy bunny cause I go on hols on the Sunday for a week in the sun and will be in relax mode.

    I am identical to you in waking early too. Must say I don't sleep in the afternoon though.
  • I rarely run in the morning, but when I do, to stop feeling quite so stiff I have a short hot shower before stretching. I find this helps a bit..
  • As you can imagine, RRR, I get a lot of work done in between my posting on these threads and having the odd snooze! My productivity levels are at an all time low at the moment.
  • I think getting out the door as soon as yuo can after you wake up - you don't even have time to contemplate the time / soreness / your warm bed, and I usually wake up ten minutes into my run and enjoy the remainder. Its always good once you are out there!!!!!
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