Early morning running

I’m on quite a high right now! I’d forgotten just how energised a (good) run can make you.

As mentioned yesterday (in the blog post I wrote instead of going on my five miler .. ehem ..) I’ve been really keen to move my training sessions from evening to morning. Last night, I decided that I’d give it a go today. I set my alarm for 6:30 (not early by some people’s standards, but still) and then .. I lay in bed trying to fall asleep until about 1am (at that point, I stopped looking at the time). D’oh.

Despite the late night, I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm. The trick? Drink a few hundred ml of water before going to bed, and by the time you wake up you’ll need the loo so badly that you won’t be able to get back to sleep! Genius!

Well yknow, desperate times and all ..

I wanted to get out of the door fairly sharpish, so I didn’t eat before I left. Instead, I drank some water, and grabbed a sports drink to give me some extra energy during my run:

drinks0

I don’t pretend to be an expert. I’m a pretty average runner, and this is the first real ‘early morning’ run that I’ve done. I’m just experimenting as I go. But personally, this method really worked for me. I usually feel fairly dehydrated when I wake up, and was worried about muscle cramps and dehydration during my run, but (surprisingly) neither of these things happened. I took a few sips of water before leaving, and regular sips of sports drink whilst I was out – I like the light version, as it doesn’t taste as sugary as the regular ones, though I think I’d have felt better if I’d diluted it a little. My stomach was a little sensitive by the end – it felt the same as when you take a gel and don’t drink enough water afterwards.

When I got back, I treated myself to a mocha, as I didn’t quite feel ready to eat anything. I don’t know whether it was the run, the sports drink or the caffeine but I was buzzing by the time I got on my bike to go to work! Unfortunately, my quads weren’t quite so happy, and I’ll admit there was a lot of swearing in my head on the big hills. On the plus side, compared to cycling, running up long hills is almost enjoyable – my legs don’t hurt nearly as much!

.. How I’m going to cycle home this evening, I have no clue. Might have to hop on the train with my bike – I’ll see how stubborn I’m feeling later.

I think next time I might grab a banana before I leave, and eat something more carby the night before, as I felt I ran out of energy by the end. I’ve found that a banana works really well as a pre-run snack (at least, it does for 5k Parkruns) and it doesn’t affect my stomach at all even if I eat one up to 20/30 minutes before. My pace this morning was a little inconsistent:

stats01

(The slow bit right at the end – about .1 of a mile – might have been me running on the spot outside my house to get it to 4.4, as 4.3 didn’t look as nice on the screen .. It was exactly 4.44 at the end. Yes, I’m a bit sad haha). I covered just over 5 miles in total, but paused the band during my warmup jog. (Not that the rest of the run was much faster than a jog ..) So I can tick my 5 miler on the training plan! Woo!

At the end of the day, I wasn’t going for speed – I simply wanted to try out an early morning run. (And an outdoor run, as I’ve chickened out and run in the gym for the past few weeks). Given that I’m not a morning person, I was expecting it to be uncomfortable .. but I LOVED it. The weather was perfect – warm enough for a tshirt but with a constant cool breeze, and it was almost deserted. (I only saw 4 other runners in the hour I was out). Really peaceful. I’ll definitely be doing more of my runs earlier in the day 🙂

Yay for early morning running!

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