A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Morning vs Evening

Last night was another Monday night of sub-9:00 minute miles. Not quite as fast as last week but still pretty fast. My average pace was actually faster than my 10K PR pace. And a 10K is only about three quarters of a mile longer than what I ran on Monday night.

Mile 1 - 8:57
Mile 2 - 8:39
Mile 3 - 8:58
Mile 4 - 8:22
Mile 5 - 8:49
Mile .5 - 7:25 pace

Average pace - 8:38

There were a few pauses for traffic in there but, really, I think this just goes to show you how much of a non-morning person I am.

I've been running consistently for almost 4 years and I don't think I've ever run my best in the morning. Maybe once or twice. But for the most part I hit my peak in the evening.

In the evening I've had all day to drink water and ingest calories. I think I'm blessed with a pretty fast metabolism. That's great for keeping off weight. It's not so great when trying to keep myself fueled for a run. For an evening run I have two full meals and some snacks under my belt. For a morning run I have a little bit of the dinner from the night before and whatever I eat that morning. If I don't eat something before a morning run I feel sluggish and light headed almost immediately.

And no, I can't drink caffeine before a run. Baaaad idea. I actually avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible unless caffeinated tea is my only option for something warm to drink in the winter.

Basically, I'm still trying to figure out the sweet spot for feeling good on a morning run or race. Eat a HUGE dinner the night before. Go to bed stuffed. Get up at least 3 hours before the race start. Eat a white bread bagel with peanut butter. That's my current routine. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes I wish all races started on Monday at 6:30 PM.