Are you running at the right time of day?

I probably need to stop admitting all of the things I do wrong at some point – but as I’m doing my best to fix most of them, why the heck not? Now, like many of us who have to work for a living, I tend to run in the evening, which means enjoying great sunsets in the Summer months and suffering extreme cold throughout the Winter.

The thing is though, that most of the races I enter tend to start at around 10am. So even were I one of these smug ‘morning people’, who are capable of getting up and running at 6am before heading off to work, I’d still be training my body to be ready to roll at the wrong time of day.

And so, now I’ve given up my full-time job to freelance instead, I’m doing my level best to get out for a run at roughly 10am on the days I’m working from home.

I have to say though, that this is absolutely my least favourite time of day to go for a run. Early mornings, on the rare occasions I’m up in time, have a freshness and wonder that seem to make it all worthwhile; while the late evening has a special beauty all of its own, as the sun sets and the moon rises.

Mid-morning, however, always strikes me as being the most miserable part of the day. My blood-sugar levels are at their pre-lunch nadir, even if I’ve had my long run breakfast of pancakes with banana and honey, and my concentration levels are pretty low too.

The only consolation, I hope, is that by switching the time of my runs, my body is going to feel more at home the next time I’ve got a run that starts mid-morning.

In all fairness though, while I’ve got a few races pencilled in between now and then, the morning run I’m really starting to obsess about is the London marathon. The new online entry system keeps firing out warning e-mails that the ‘you’re in’ and ‘you’re out’ magazines will be landing soon – and if I’m honest, it’s probably fixating on that particular prospective visit from the postman that’s spoiling my mid-morning runs as much as the actual time of day.

Try as I might to enjoy the other races I enter, and much as I do enjoy my regular training runs, I’ve got unfinished business with the FLM and I don’t think I’m really going to be happy until I’ve received another poll place and managed to prove that I really can beat the heat of London in April.

So I’ll be out there at 10am again tomorrow, trying not to think about crossing London Bridge, running around the landmark formerly known as the Cutty Sark, or even making a mental note to try and spot my family in Pall Mall (my excuse last time out was that if I wasn’t even in good enough shape to spot the Queen’s House, how on earth could I be expected to pick them out of the crowd)?

On the downside though, having finally changed my training runs to a more race-friendly time of day, it’s just one less excuse I’ve got to fall back on the next time I run London in an inexplicably bad time.

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