For as long as I can remember, I preferred to run at night or in the evenings. Waking up is a chore and waking up early to run is a bigger one. It’s also perpetually summer all year-long where I live – in sunny Singapore – so it’s comfortable to run at night.
So why do I run in the mornings now?
#1 – Fresher Air
Parks are irritatingly small for distance running so I run a lot on roadsides. The air in the mornings have lesser vehicular exhaust, dust and whatever impurities that is kicked around after the rush hour in the evenings.
#2 – Backup Plans
There are times when it’s impossible to run safely due to thunderstorms or haze so it’s so much better to plan for a morning run and have the choice to switch it to a night run if the weather is really bad.
#3 – More Energy
We all know how tiring school or work can be, and even if you overcome the mental barricades to step out for a run after a long day, your body might not perform well for the run due to fatigue. I know I can do runs up to 1.5 hours on an empty stomach and if I need more fuel for a longer run, I just wake about 30 – 40mins earlier to consume something.
#4 – Better Diet & Sleep
Having to wake earlier means having to sleep early and you don’t have to read much to know that it’s good for the body.
Post-workout nutrition is important so I used to end up having late meals after a night run. It’s quite unhealthy and difficult to sleep early with a full stomach and a post-workout body state.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and what better way to indulge after a morning run?
#5 – Getting it Out of the Way
This has to be the biggest reason for me to switch. I spent as much as 2 hours each time, running about 4-5 days a week and that means sacrificing time with my fiancée; and she wasn’t too happy about it. Having my runs in the mornings ensures that I have a “normal” life to do things in the evenings. To her, it doesn’t even seem that I am not around on the weekends as I finish the runs before she wakes up.
It’s tough to wake up early to run in the mornings and depending on your work or school, you might even need to wake up at 4 – 5am to squeeze in a run. I realize that waking up early is not the most difficult thing about this change; sleeping early is. All the electronics that I use before bedtime keeps me up and I have to overcome it by having a routine to make myself sleep earlier.
Good luck if you are trying to make a switch! Do share any tips to help with waking or sleeping earlier.