Why and How to Run in the Morning, and the Best Swimming Tip

I was up at 3:30 in the morning today. My kids were having a tough night, and by the time they fell back asleep, I was wide awake.
I got up, made myself some coffee, and sat on the computer.

 
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I like to read on my computer while it’s dark and quiet, besides I can never search for enough running/fitness gear online.

 
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After about an hour I was feeling sleepy and thought it would be a good idea to get a couple hours of sleep, since facing a work day after being up at 3:30 didn’t sound like fun. And then I remembered all the reasons while running in the morning is the best, and figured being tired later so I could run would be worth it.

 
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Reasons why running in the morning is awesome:

 
* Endorphins: Running releases endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel happy, and who couldn’t use a free and natural antidepressant?
* Best for losing weight: Jump start your metabolism and burn more calories through the day, need I say more?
* Wake up big time: Running is such an eye opener, you’ll get on with your day bright awake and ready to rumble.
* Get it over with: Some people really enjoy running, for others it’s a chore that serves a purpose, such as losing weight or staying healthy. Either way, knowing it’s behind you and you are free to do other things later in the day is worth waking up earlier.
* Nature and silence: Even if you live in the middle of the cement jungle, the quietness, the birds flying around, the cool morning breeze… it’s a million times better than running later in the day when it’s noisy, there’s a lot more people walking around, and you can smell the car fumes in the air.

 
I am a morning person, so waking up early to run is easy for me. If you struggle with waking up early to go run, here are some tips that might help you manage a run before work/school/other obligations:

 
* Get your gear ready: I leave everything I need on the living room so I have everything handy when I wake up, and so I don’t make a lot of noise looking for my gear and risk waking up my family.
* Mental prep: Even for morning people like me, it’s not always easy to get out of bed and get out of the house, especially when it’s dark and cold (or hot, or wet, or I’m just tired). Thinking about my run and my training the night before, usually gets me motivated enough to go out the next morning. Set your alarms: No matter how motivated you are to run tomorrow morning, chances are when the alarm sounds you’ll try to talk yourself out of actually getting out of bed. Setting a couple of alarms within a minute of each other, and putting them a few steps away so you have to get up to turn them off, could mean the difference between a run and a nap.
* Plan your route: Think in advance where you’ll run, so you can make sure the route is safe and well lighted, and also to avoid running longer than intended and being late.
* Schedule it: Figure out how long you’ll be running, and schedule your times accordingly. Allow yourself plenty of time to shower and get ready for what’s next, especially if you have to be somewhere at a specific time.
* Nutrition/hydration: You might need to try your food/drink intake a few times before you figure out what works best for you. I personally eat and drink before I run, I feel lethargic without some calories and caffeine.

 

 
Since I was up so early, I managed to get an extra long session at the gym.

 
Running:
45 minutes progression run, with intervals thrown in just because:
10 minutes warm up
10 minutes at 05:10 Min/KM (08:20 Min/Mile)
10 minutes at 05:00 Min/KM (08:04 Min/Mile)
6 minutes at 04:47 Min/KM (07:42 Min/Mile)
9 minutes consisting of 3 intervals, each interval was 1 minute at 03:52 Min/KM (06:14 Min/Mile) and 2 minutes easy at 05:20 Min/KM (08:34 Min/Mile).

 
Ab/core work:
About 30 minutes of crunches, planks, push ups and pull ups.

 
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Swimming:
750 meters / 820 yards easy swimming, with last third of the workout being as fast as I could manage, which is really not fast at all.

 
A woman at the gym who used to swim on a competitive level told me the other day that I should try to keep my body a bit higher when I swim, with the back of my head slightly out of the water. She said my swimming technique is good (I took this as a huge compliment), but going to low underwater slows me down.
I really appreciate when people who know what they are talking about give me knowledgeable/useful suggestions like this. I don’t have a swimming or running coach, so sometimes I can be making bad mistakes without realizing it.
I paid attention to this today and tried to stay higher in the water than usual, and felt a big difference on my speed vs effort output, she definitely gave me a great tip.
With that being said, many times people give me unsolicited advice on issues that are personal, or without really knowing what they are talking about, that really annoys me.

 

What is your favorite time to run?

5:30 AM start.

How do you feel about strangers giving you unsolicited advice?

0.01% love/appreciate it (knowledgeable/factual advice), 99.99% hate it.

 

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