We have talked about the pros and cons of running in the morning. The morning running routine is definitely for morning people who, like me, love to jog in the pre-dawn hours and ward off the creatures of the morning.
But if morning runs don’t work for you let’s look at another option: the mid-day routine.
For many years I maintained this type of routine. At the time, it was probably the best routine for me. I worked for a company that encouraged physical fitness so every building had a locker room and shower facility.
What was also important was that I really didn’t need to punch a clock. Whenever I wanted to take time off during the day to run I could do so.
I usually would run either just before or just after the traditional lunch hour”¦mostly after wards because I hated crowded locker rooms.
I would hit the locker room at about the time everyone was just buttoning their last button or lacing their last shoelace to return to work.
It made for a long morning but if I went out somewhere between 12:30 and 1:00 I would usually get back to my desk sometime around 2. Of course in those days I was not training for a half-marathon so my runs were usually no more than one hour long.
What is nice about a mid-day routine is that it allows you the best chance of training all year long”¦something quite difficult for the morning routine.
In the dead of winter the best time to run is during mid day when it’s probably the warmest”¦.and you can see your footing.
Not so in the early morning hours”¦.cold temps mean more layers and also a greater chance of “Whoops!” icy spills.
For a lot of people being up and about for a few hours is just as important as stretching.
For many the mid-day routine works best for them because they can function best at that time of the day.
The other thing to keep in mind is fuel. If you run during mid-day then you at least would have had breakfast so you’ve got some “fuel in the engine””¦not so when you run in the morning.
Not to be forgotten is the Sun. Some people hate to run in the Sun while others draw energy from it”¦if you are among the latter then this may be the right routine for you.
Are there drawbacks?
Well it DOES interrupt your day and for some people that is not a good thing. However others prefer that “break in the action” and gets them through the day knowing that they will be able to give themselves that special time they need each day.
Another drawback to the mid-day means that those lunch hour errands are now shoved to the end of the day. There’s a domino effect here”¦if you do those errands after work then that chunk of errand time will delay your getting home.
Running during the day also means you must allow time to pack your running gear in the morning before you leave for work. Of course you could do this at night instead of the morning.
The other thing to consider is traffic. Now unless you are living in some rural area or near a track that you can run on you are going to have to deal with traffic which means dodging these vehicles with which you must share the road. This also leads to another health issue; exhaust fumes.
So that’s about it for the mid-day routine.
Does that work for you?
There’s one more option and that of course is the late day routine.
This workout time could be right after work or even later than that.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this option.
A late-day routine allows you to work out the stress of the day. Many people look forward to their late-day workouts for that very reason.
Also for some they need to have most of their day behind them before they can relax and work out. If there are things on their mind then it takes away from the enjoyment of the workout”¦.sort of like “unfinished business” that needs to be taken care of before the workout can begin.
We have talked about fuel. If you do your running late in the day then you have already enjoyed two meals and should have plenty of energy to burn. If you are someone who needs that fuel then the late day routine will work best for you.
The drawbacks are pretty obvious. There are more people out and about in the late afternoon and early evening so crowds and traffic may be an issue.
Of course with traffic comes the exhaust fumes problem too, unless you do your running on a treadmill or a track.
One of the drawbacks of a late day routine is it’s vulnerability to being bumped. That is, sometimes a day comes along in which one thing leads to another and the whole day gets put out of whack, especially your best laid plans to run.
The later in the day you do your routine the more likelihood of that routine being wiped out simply because of delays or unforeseen issues that force you to cancel your workout.
Finally, the late-day routine may not prove to be a good choice because there will be those days that just wear you out to the point where you are just in no condition to do any running.
I’m sure there are a many other pros and cons I’ve overlooked regarding morning, mid-day, and late-day running schedules.
What’s important to note here is that regardless of what I do or your neighbor does or your friends do it’s what works best for you and your schedule that will offer you the best chance for success.
If you’re not sure which routine works for you then give each one a chance. This means trying a routine for a full week before passing judgment on that routine.
Also, don’t forget that even combo routines will work for you”¦.maybe a few morning runs”¦then a few mid-day runs”¦then late day runs. You may even find that your work week routines are different than your weekend routines.
You make the choice and stick with it.
Next time we’ll talk about runner identities”¦I’m a snowball.
What about you?
Mike’s Running Journal
For those of you training for either the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K and/or the 2008 Walt Disney World half or full Marathon I thought I’d let you know where I am in my training.
I’m currently running about 5 miles every other day. Each time I go out I am adding anywhere from 1/10 of a mile to 2/10 of a mile to my distance. Actually I’m not adding distance as much as I am adding time.
Each time out on my “on” days I am adding one more minute to my workout. That amounts to about 3 to 4 minutes each week.
It’s a gradual build but it works wonders for the stamina and I am beginning to see some subtle gains in my pace. On my “off” days I just run between 2 and 3 miles.
I am about 65-70% ready for the Tower of Terror 13K race (about 14 weeks away) and 40-45% ready for the half-marathon (about 27 weeks away)..
I’ll revisit these numbers each time we meet and I encourage you to take a look at where you currently are in your training as well and if necessary revise or adjust your training to be sure you are ready for your targeted race.
MagicMeets is less than a week away. I plan to be there and am pretty excited to see everyone.
If you are going to MagicMeets please stop by and say hello, especially if you are intending to run in either the Tower 13K race in October or the WDW half or full marathon in January.
Harrisburg, here I come!