I've been sticking to after-work running on weekdays all winter and so far this spring but now I'm trying to get used to the pain associated with my ringing alarm bell at 5 a.m. or earlier. Ugh, I hate hate hate the first part of early morning running because my early mornings are very early.
Last few years, I'd embark on 10 to 12 milers at 5 a.m., which means a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call to deal with waking up properly and hitting the washroom. (Sorry, must be a more delicate way of saying that)
The bonus of the morning workout is that after the first mile or so, you start to enjoy it and as a plus, if the sun happens to be rising at the same time, you're treated to a gorgeous view. I also love to have the run over with so I have my evenings free and finally, the most important, the mornings are cooler than evenings, key for summer training.
Here's a few things I've learned about morning running
-Lay out clothes: I always prep my shorts, top, socks so there's no fumbling
-Charge the Garmin, iPod: If you have a GPS, nothing more annoying than standing around at 4:45 a.m. hoping to charge it up a few percentage points. Also good idea to check the iPod too
-Eat earlier dinner the night before: I find my digestive system works better if I can get through issues when I wake up. The biggest annoyance is teaching your body that it's time to get moving early
-Get fuel ready the night before: I fill my bottles and stick them in the fridge so they're nice and frosty
-Figure out hte game plan: Remember what your mileage was... 8 miles with striders or a 7 mile tempo. You'll have to psyche yourself up.
-Warm up! You muscles are not warmed so start off the run slowly.. key especially if you're doing any thing close to speed work
-Stay close to home the first mile: I'm telling you, sometimes after the first kilometere, i'll feel like I'll have to go to the bathroom, so sometimes I start my run with a quick 500 metres out one way and turn around so by the 1K mark, I'm near home...