Early morning runs

During the school year, I generally have to be up at 6:30 a.m. to get the kids moving. While theoretically it might be possible to get up at, say, 5:45 a.m., and run from 6-6:30 a.m., during much of the school year it is dark and cold at that time (and we don’t currently own a treadmill — though we are considering getting one). Plus, it’s hard for me to get into bed much before 11 p.m.

So I tend to run in mid-afternoon. But during the summer, mornings become more of a possibility. Three times this week I have set the alarm for 6:30 or 6:45, and been out the door a bit before 7. I can run until 7:30 or so, then make it home to shower before the kids need to be roused for camp.

I do generally like this rhythm. The temperature will hit 94 degrees this afternoon, so running when it is 74 degrees feels much better! (Next week the AM temps will be in the low 60s!) I like that the run is done and I’m not trying to find a spot for it later in the day. It’s nice to be outside and enjoying the fresh air, plus a little quiet before the rest of my family gets up.

However (fun fact!) I am not naturally a morning person (despite this, and the fact that I have a podcast called Before Breakfast). If I were by myself, I’d probably stay up until 11:30/midnight, drift up around 7:15 or 7:30, get ready, and run around 7:45 a.m. most days. Then I’d have my coffee and dive directly into work without getting anyone ready for anything. In this world where I don’t have to see anyone I might not shower either. But as that is not my reality at the moment, 6:30 it is. The upside of mornings is that they do tend to be available, even when you have a lot going on.

Are you an early morning exerciser? Does your exercise schedule change during the summer?

Photo: Not this morning’s run, but a morning run…

21 thoughts on “Early morning runs

  1. I run at 5:30 M-W-F with four friends (though we all have kids and lives so often someone is missing). We run rain or shine outside winter as in the summer. I love that it takes all the guess work out of it. No mental space is used up wondering if it is too cold or too wet to run or what time to fit the run in.
    Winter here is often cold at 5h30 am ( like -4 to 14 Fahrenheit) but you get acclimatized reasonably well. There was one day this year that it was -33 with the windchill and we collectively decided it was too cold to run but other than that we are out there.

    1. @Mary – this is great to know you have this possibility, and I like taking the mental effort out of it by having it be every MWF. Though yep, -33 sounds like a no go…

  2. The summer holidays in the UK allow me to run at 6.15am M,W,F. A normal
    week would be just M & F on my days off. Flexible working over the holidays allows me the extra day. Yesterday I considered rolling back over after the alarm went off at 6, but I reasoned I wouldn’t regret the run, but might regret the time lost to the lie in, lol. We also have a dog who needs walking for an hour each day so there’s still lots to fit in before lunch time.

    1. @Nicky – yep, I usually don’t regret the runs I do either. Though maybe the one where I got stung by two bees the other day…

      1. Two bees?!? That is unlucky. They were stinging here today too, a fellow Walker was got on the leg right at the start of a 6 miler, ouch.

        1. @Nicky – it was the same hive. I brushed into it while running (I’m pretty sure) and they came out for defense. I’m lucky it was only two stings.

  3. My husband and I get up at 4:30 4x/week to walk. In the summer in Texas, that’s just survival 🙂 It is much more difficult in the winter but we currently have our work days set up so we start work at 7. I’ve thought about changing that, but cannot get him to agree (yet).

    1. @Lynn – 4:30! Whoa. I woke up accidentally at 5:30 this morning and I felt like that was too early 🙂

  4. I hate mornings and especially dislike running early in the day (prefer early evening, but that’s tough with kids that are 8 and 12 who are up until I go to bed).

    My exercise routines change dramatically over the summer. I exercise so little over the summer months which is ironic since the weather is wonderful in Eastern Canada at that point in the year, but I find we’re busy, I’m lazy, and having the kids home changes the structure of my days. I’ve just accepted this is the way it works for me. Also, once the kids are back in school, we walk most mornings so without even “thinking” I tend to walk ~4km before 8:45 am, and then seem to feel more motivated to fit in a run over my lunch break before they get home from school.

    1. @Elisabeth – sounds like you’ll be getting plenty of exercise once school starts so yep, summer can be a slower time. Though I’d probably not want to walk kids to school in a Canadian winter 🙂

  5. Tranquility by Tuesday helped me re-think my days + realize I *could* exercise first thing in the mornings. Or at least I could starting this summer – my kids are teenagers, and as of mid-June, I’m no longer responsible for driving anybody anywhere in the morning, probably not ever again.

    I’d always avoided the gym in the morning because post-school drop-off at 7:30/8 AM, it’s packed with people trying to get to the office. But, but, but – I *am* a morning person and getting up at 5 AM is no problem for me. (My gym opens at 5.)

    So now I’m getting in my three times a week workouts M/W/F and it feels SO good.

    1. @Abby – excellent! I’m so glad that TBT helped with the 3x a week framing (and moving by 3 p.m.!) Hope you’re enjoying your morning workouts.

  6. Another morning runner here! I wake up at 5 on running days and try to go 5 miles–I have a goal of 50 miles per month. April, May and June were glorious, and most of my runs were 5 or 6 miles, but I’m struggling with the humidity in July. And I gave blood in the middle of the month, which always takes me at least a week to recover. I’m probably going to hit my 50 mile goal for July tomorrow. I’m in Bucks County and am looking forward to next week’s cooler temps, too!

    1. @Meg – it’s going to feel like an early fall in the morning for sure. I got out this morning and appreciated it was only 75…

  7. This summer has been a doozy for my morning workout. House reno means a kid is in the playroom where I work out (trying to figure if I’m just getting him up at 6 when school starts and doing it, he IS a morning riser so he probably will be up anyway and maybe run or do the workout with me). The last few days I’ve gotten up early and out the door before 7 because I know it will be so hot later and I always remember “oh yes this is why I like this”…now for that 3x a week is a habit to kick back in! But the rhythm of the school year and two that have to be on the road by 7:45 will make this much easier…and then it will get cold…maybe I need to resurrect my running buddies group!

    1. @Angela – it does feel good when I actually do it. I’m not sure I’ll bother during the school year but we shall see. I like to run outside and I don’t think the treadmill would feel nearly so motivating.

  8. I’m a teacher and during the school year I wake up at 5:15 and go running 3 times a week. I don’t really have time in the afternoon or evening because of school and daycare pickup. I’ve gotten used to the early mornings and I enjoy it. In the summer I still run in the morning because it’s so hot where I live but I go a little later, like around 6:30 or 7. I find if I try to run in the afternoon I’m more likely to find an excuse to not do it!

    1. @CZ – we’ve got some early risers reading this blog! But yep, an early school schedule does tend to push the start time for a potential run back a ways…

  9. I prefer working out in the morning but I’ve just realized recently that I am going to have to switch to evening runs. My infant son is up anywhere from 5:30-6:15. So even though I prefer to be up early, it would have to be super early and I wouldn’t get a shower in. Oh well. Better to accept that I can fit it in a couple of evenings (I’ll still do a morning run on a weekend day) during this season of life than fighting to stick to a morning schedule.

    1. @Caitlin – yep, that is the stage of life. I definitely couldn’t be doing morning runs if I had an infant – would need to wake up too early and I needed my sleep. As do you!

  10. I have been trying to get up between 6 and 6:30 most days to do my workout before kids wakeup. I typically do a half hour on the spin bike. I started it because I told my boss that I always exercise in the afternoon and this is a reason I didn’t want to come back to the office because if I have to commute then I lose my workout slot. His reply was I should work out in the morning like he does. 😉 Well I started trying it and actually it wasn’t too bad. So now I would say I mostly work out in the morning and sometimes I don’t, in which case I still aim for the late afternoon or evening once in a while. (It’s all about the “back up slot” concept!)

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