In my running career, I’ve found there to be two types of runners: those who run in the mornings, and those who run in the afternoons. You can tell a lot about a person based on when they run. How organized are they? Are they high-strung, or more laid back? Do it right away, or get to it when get to it? Me? I’m a morning runner.
I run in the morning for many reasons. Chief among them, I don’t trust myself to run in the afternoons. After a long, stressful day at work, the last thing I want to do is change my clothes and head out for a run. The couch just looks too inviting at that point. Secondly, in Memphis, the weather tends to be hotter than hell. Even in the mornings it’s pretty bad, with high humidity and dew points. This morning, I went for a seven mile run before work. It was 80 degrees with a dew point of 76. I was soaking wet before I had gone a mile. It wasn’t running, it was swimming. Running in the mornings gives a bit of a break from that heat. If I wait until after work, it could be 95 with a heat index of 110. No thank you.
Want more reasons? How about not having to take two showers? You save water and energy. How about not missing out on happy hours or impromptu dinners? Your afternoon is free to do as you please. Just don’t stay out too late, otherwise you may sleep through your alarm. How about just getting it done and over with. If you run in the morning, before any other obligations or surprises come up, it’s done with. You may need to stay at work late, or get stuck in traffic. There are too many ways to have to miss your run. Better diet and a stronger metabolism also come with morning running. Don’t believe me? Just check out this article from US News and World Reports.
So what does this say about me? It says that I need to accomplish it early, or else I’ll get side tracked. In that sense, I’m both organized and a high risk to get distracted. It says I’m susceptible to poor runs in the heat, which if you’ve seen my workout from last week, you know is true. And it says I value my evenings more than an extra hour or so of sleep.
Nothing against afternoon runners, of course. I’m of the belief that if you’re doing any sort of exercise, trying to live a healthy lifestyle, then good for you. Find what works for you and stick with it. I do other workouts in the afternoon (spinning, lifting, yoga, etc.), I just have a hard time running after work. Not that I haven’t done it, or won’t do it. When it stays dark early, I usually switch to afternoon runs for a bit. But now, during the summer, oh hell yeah. Wake up, go for a run, and you know your day will be great.