Finding the ideal time to run

Now that the sun is scorching hot and the days are long, I can play around with my running schedule a bit more. It’s incredibly hard trying to fit everything I want to do in my schedule, so I have to experiment. In my dream world, I’d have 1 hour a day to practice the piano, 1 hour to run/workout, 2-3 hours to study, 8 hours to sleep, 1 hour to have dinner and relax, 1 hour to catch up on reading/news/world happenings, but work + commute = 12+ hours of my day, so my ideal schedule is pretty much impossible. If only I worked 8 hour days with a 1 hour (total) commute. Sigh.

Anyway, since I now work more regular hours (no more 3am calls woohoo, although I do have a 9pm meeting on Tuesday followed by a 5am meeting on Wednesday. Love globalization. Do not love giving up beauty rest), I can now have more regular running hours too. I tried a few different things this week — running before work, running during work (instead of taking a lunch break), and working out after work.

Here’s the verdict:

  • Running before work: 5am alarms + me = not friends. I did a 3 miler before work on Thursday, and I nearly fainted due to hunger because my body can’t process food so early in the morning. Did not enjoy this experience and don’t plan on replicating it ever again :/
  • Running during work: Gym at work = best thing ever. I’m not a complete introvert or anything, but spending my lunch hour talking to coworkers exhausts me. It’s me, not them. I’d rather spend it alone working out and relaxing. I feel that it makes my afternoons at work so much more productive too. Instead of being drained after lunch, I get a second wind. I’m also low maintenance, so I hop in the shower after my workout, blow dry my hair for like 5 minutes, and I’m all set to be back in business casual. I don’t wear makeup or do my hair thanks to being blessed with wonderful genes. Ahaha just kidding. I’m just lazy :p So yeah, this works really well for me. I’ll be doing it more often. This plan will probably get me through the winter too! 🙂
  • Running after work: I’m wayyy too tired after work to want to workout after work. The work day and the commute home are already tiring enough. I have to take a bus to the train station, take the train to another train station, transfer to another train, and then after I get off, I have to walk 10 minutes from the station to my house. Managed to finish Orange is the New Black (the book) during my commute this week though!!

Monday: faux speed workout after a long day at work = 1 mile around the block (7:41 pace)
Tuesday: 30 minute cycle (8 miles) during my lunch break because step class was canceled. SO SAD.
Wednesday: Rest… was supposed to do 3 miles but moved it to Thursday morning instead
Thursday: 3 miles (9:50 pace with two walking breaks)
Friday: 4 miles (9:07 pace)
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 8 mile long run in the heat accompanied by Celine Dion 🙂

16 miles this week woohoo.

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When do you run and how do you plan your runs to maximize your day?

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6 thoughts on “Finding the ideal time to run

  1. andrea1626 says:

    I’m not much of a morning runner either (at least during the week), so after work is my preferred time!

    • Non-morning runner solidarity! I’m probably going to do a few after-work runs this week, too. I just got a car, so I’m probably cutting down my commute time by about an hour every day, which means more time to run and less of a tiring commute. I’ll probably see a mix of during work/after work runs as I figure out the perfect balance

  2. Lately I’ve been meeting up with friends before work to run, which works out really well. I love getting it done before the heat sets in and before I’m tired from work 🙂 Thankfully my wake up time doesn’t have to be 5am though!

    • That’s awesome! I leave for work early in the morning, and it’s sooo much cooler out than any other time during the day. So lucky that you can take advantage of the perfect weather!

  3. Wow, trying out 3 different times of day in one week – that’s dedication!
    I tend to change when I run or go to the gym based on what time of year it is. If it’s spring or fall, I prefer to be outside after work so I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn. But seeing as it’s summer now, I’ve been trying to run before it gets too hot out. And morning running means I should be making an effort to go to morning body pump instead of the evenings before a tough run, but lately it’s been pretty tough waking up before 5 am to lift weights.
    Mid-day workouts are awesome, it’s cool you can make them work with your schedule! I used to do them all the time, then they faded to weekly, and now I don’t really do them since I don’t have the time to get the mileage in that my plan calls for. They’re a great way to break up the day though 🙂

    • I wanted to try different times, and it just so happens that my schedule finally allowed me to do that — perfect timing!

      Getting up at 5am is so tough for me (body doesn’t function early in the morning), so I’m always incredibly impressed by people who can do it, especially on a regular basis with lots of miles andddd body pump. Wow. Hope your work schedule is being more accommodating to your running/workout plans!

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