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Finding a Time to Run

Most of us try to run at a time that is convenient. The following are some advantages and disadvantages of running at certain times of the day.

MORNING:
Many runners run in the morning, before breakfast. It's a good way to begin the day. You can be up, running, back and showered before the rest of the family is awake. Start your morning run by doing some brief stretching exercises before beginning, walk or run slowly first.

NOONHOUR:
For some individuals who have an hour or more for lunch, this is the best time. Some businesses are located near health/fitness clubs and encourage workers to exercise mid-day. Noontime is a good time to run as it makes maximum usage of your working day.

EVENING:
This is best done on your way home from work. This may not work if you are expected to put food on the table. On the other hand this may present a growth opportunity for the rest of your family. You and your spouse can alternate training and home duties. Late evening is another option, but it could mean running in the dark. You should always run in a safe area, but there may be some places you do not want to run alone.

WEEKENDS:
On Saturdays and Sundays, runners find they have more time to fit run into their schedule. Most runners (particularly those training for a marathon) do their long runs on the weekend. One spouse can do this in the morning and then do the 'kid' switch at noon.

SUMMARY:
Who says that you need to run at the same time every day? Once running becomes a regular part of your lifestyle, you can experiment with different training patterns.

The human body likes to follow a routine but the key is consistency. Running every day one week, then only once the following week, is not a very good way to increase fitness or manage weight. If you are comfortable running four to five days a week, try to run four to five days every week.

Running an extra day a week isn't such a big deal, but suddenly taking a couple of weeks off completely certainly could.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:
There are times when it is more important to recover from illness or heal an injury than it is to stay with your running schedule plan. It is important to understand that increases in training are fine as long as they don't happen too fast. Your body is used to a particular level of training and will react to sudden changes.

The key again is consistency. Avoid unplanned interruptions. Plan your training during times of the day when interruptions are least likely to occur. Try to run with other people, since they will provide you with motivation when you might be tempted to skip a run. Make your run a priority.

©Women in Motion -September 1.2000