Every runner’s schedule and training plan differs. And deciding when to do your run may primarily be impacted by the other obligations in your life. Runners that are are on a strict training plan tend to preplan their runs and when it’ll work best for them. Others run for fun and when they feel like it or the weather is good.
I wish I was a morning runner. I’m a morning person for sure and definitely like to get my weekend runs done first thing. But during the week when I know I have to get up early for work, its a lot for me to wake up 2 hours earlier to run; especially when it’s cold out. During the week, I fit my runs in right after work. I drive from work to the gym and get on the treadmill first thing or I drive straight home if I’m going to run outside. Any stops along the way, and I usually lose my motivation. However, on the weekends, I run first thing in the morning. I set out my gear the night before and set the automatic coffee maker.
Is there any best time of day to run? I don’t believe so. You need to run when your schedule allows you to. A lot of people have to balance work, kids, and other responsibilities. So typically, their run isn’t first on their daily priority list.
What is your favorite time of the day to get your run in?
What impacts what time of day you run?
As with any goal, you should always look to reward yourself. Not only so you have something to work towards but also so you remember what you did to reach that goal. The end of a training cycle is not just reaching the finish line; but also the struggle and commitment it took to get to the finish line. Celebrate your daily/weekly devotion and effort.
When I first started running, I would reward myself with an awesome dinner or some wine. Then I started running more often and longer and I was packing on the pounds. I realized my reward was counterproductive to my goals. I have since learned that I want to celebrate the journey and have a reminder of what I accomplished.
Here are some of my favorite ways to reward myself:
1. New running clothes!
My thought is that if you use the ones you have often enough; its time to shop for more. And who doesn’t get excited for that first workout in new clothes? One of my new favorite online running apparel stores is RunningSkirts.com. They keep me stylish while sweating it out!
There’s nothing I look forward to then taking a nice mid day nap after my long runs. I let myself sleep as long as I want with a movie of my choice playing in the background. My muscles get to relax and my body can rest.
3. Race Bling!
When I ran my first marathon, I promised myself a 26.2 commemorative necklace to mark my triumph. And the day after the race, I placed my order. And now I wear it everyday to remember the journey that got me to the finish line. EricaSaraDesigns.com makes great jewelry to keep you motivated during training and to reward yourself!
4. Signing up for another race!
When you accomplish one race, keep going and look towards the next with a different goal. Whether it be to run a longer distance, run faster, conquer a trail run or a hard course, or to just run for fun.
*I was not paid by any retailers mentioned in this blog. And I realize I abused the use of exclamation points – sorry.
How do you reward yourself?
In running, you need to learn to be flexible. There are always things that happen out of your control that you must learn to deal with. The more races you run, the better prepared you’ll be. I couldn’t prepare myself for the cancellation of the NYC Marathon this year. No one could. Like thousands of others, I was physically and mentally prepared to run 26.2 miles on November 4th, 2012. Only to be disappointed when it was cancelled at the last minute.
The NYC Marathon is one of the largest in the world. People come from all over the world to compete. It’s an honor just to get selected via the lottery system. I couldn’t believe I was chosen the first time I applied. I knew at that point I had to run it. Nothing was going to stop me. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to run this elite race. Immediately after I found out I was selected, I booked my hotel room, formulated a training plan, and got to work.