Over the course of my training for the Boston Marathon I have been doing more of my long runs at night than I have in the past. This time around it has just worked out that doing my long runs at night is what worked best. It has meant heading out the door for runs longer than 20 km between 8:00-9:00.
My preference is still to do my longer runs in the morning in order to get them over with. Doing a long run at night means having to work harder to stay motivated and to stay disciplined with your nutrition throughout the day. Fortunately the more often I do a long run at night the easier that gets although it is still a challenge.
For the reasons mentioned above I find the biggest challenge with doing long runs at night is just getting out the door. Once I get going I tend to find it easy to settle in to my routine. In a way it feels like more of an accomplishment to get these runs done late at night. One thing that helps is knowing that I have a good meal to come to and enjoy when I finish since I eat my usual pre marathon meal consisting of oatmeal and a banana before my long runs instead of eating a regular dinner.
I have had some interesting experiences with these long runs. For example, last Sunday my Garmin would not turn on so in order to get in my planned 32 km run I mapped out a 10 km out and back route from my house. I did the route three times then added a bit extra to the last lap to bring me up to 32 km. Since the route involved running back and forth along a major street I am sure a few people saw me pass several times, likely questioning what I was doing in the process.
So far I have completed a couple of 30-32 km runs and a couple of 25 km runs at night. While, as mentioned above, it is still not my preferred time for doing a long run but I am getting more comfortable with my ability to do them at this time.
When do you like completing your long runs?
The majority of my running is done early in the morning while my family is sleeping or in the evening when I run home from work. Recently, I have been getting more accustomed to running later at night. The change is a result of my previously mentioned efforts to stay closer to home as we await the arrival of our baby and being busy with preparations for the baby’s arrival.
i wouldn’t say I’m still a big fan of the late night runs. I enjoy the early morning runs because it means you have the whole day ahead of you. I also like running home from work in the evening because the isn’t a better way to clear your after a long day at work than going for a run.
Running later at night is different. You have to stay motivated and disciplined for a longer period of time in order to get that run in. The fact that it is dark and cold can also impact discipline and motivation.
On the plus side these late night runs don’t really impact my life. My daughter is bed and the day is winding down by the time I get around to going for my run. In addition, by leaving for my run around 9:30 I am not really affecting my regular sleeping habits.
As mentioned, I still prefer the early mornings and hour following work but for now the late night runs are what works best in my schedule.
Do you have a favourite time of day to run?
It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.
Here are this week’s stories…
Beer and running keys to a long life? This is a study I can get behind!
Does running at night feel faster for you?
Some great tips on evaluating nutrition claims.
A great post about running and dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Finally, the latest #runchat takes place on Twitter tomorrow night.
If you have read my blog for any period of time you will have noticed that most of my running is done early in the morning or in the evening as I run home from work. Running at these times of day have become my preference for different reasons.
If I can get in the habit of heading to bed earlier, getting up early and getting in a run before work is a great way to start the day. It leaves me feeling more energetic as I head to work and I don’t have to worry about staying motivated for a run later in the day or having to change my plans because I was stuck late at work.
Alternatively, my other preferred option is to run home from work. The benefit of this is that I can fit in an 8-10 km run without really disrupting my day as the run home gets me home almost as quick as taking the bus home.
Running later at night after my daughter has gone to bed is not my preferred time to run for a couple of reasons. I usually end up running on a full stomach because I had a big meal not long before my run and it is often hard to stay motivated when you are tired after getting home from a full day of work.
For various reasons, my last 3-4 runs have all been completed later at night. I am not planning to make this a regular habit but it just turns out that it was the best time for me to run on the days.
What is your preferred time of day to run?