Adjusting Your Workout Schedule

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | By Hal Higdon
 
 
 
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Have a question about running? You're in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon's Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.

QUESTION

First time marathoner here, and I am trying desperately to turn myself into a morning runner, because my race will be early-morning. The problem is, I feel terrible in the morning. I have trouble going only 3 miles in the morning, whereas running 10 at night is almost effortless. How can my training and fitness level be so different at these times of day? In the mornings I feel dehydrated, weak, and completely out of shape, or something. Any help would be appreciated. Kind of desperate here.

HAL’S ANSWER 

It takes a while to adjust to a different times of day for workouts and races, but adjust you must since most races start early. Maybe you need to create more space between getting up and getting moving. Have a slight snack before hitting the road. A cup of coffee works for some. Stopping to stretch 5 minutes into the run also can allow your muscles time to start moving. Don’t feel you need to have all body systems at 100-Max two steps out the door. John A. Kelley, the legendary runner of 61 Boston Marathons, once told me that a pair of Finnish runners one year came to run Boston and stayed with him. John noticed that they walked the first quarter-mile of their early-morning workouts, a trick he then borrowed. Consider also utilizing a carbohydrate snack just before going to bed, so you have some extra fuel waiting in the tank when you awaken. Some people are morning people. Some people are evening people.

Some people are any-time people. Experiment with different strategies to see if you can convert to any- time.

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