Everyone knows there are many challenges of training and running in the pre-dawn hours. So many people struggle with being too sleepy. "This occurs because body temperature and heart rate dip to their lowest point at this time. And in the presence of light, body temperature and heart-rate increase, which makes it easier to be active," says exercise physiologist Julia Moffitt, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology at Des Moines University. But did you know that the carbohydrates IN YOUR LAST MEAL play a role, too. The night before you run, if you skipped dinner or ate fast-digesting carbs like rice, bead, or sugary desserts, your glycogen levels will be depleted, making it even harder to muster the energy to get up.
SO HERE IS YOUR WEAPON: Prep for an early-morning run or train the night before. Eat slow-digesting carbs like broccoli, beans, and lentils. Set your automatic coffeemaker to brew before you wake. "Caffeine can help stimulate your arousal system and get you ready to run," Moffitt says. Don't forget to get enough sleep. If you're constantly waking up feeling exhausted, it's a sign you aren't getting enough z's. You should turn off the TV and the computer at least 30 minutes before you hit the sack. Also make sure you have blacked out your windows-the absence of light boosts production of melatonin, a natural hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
Hopefully, you can apply these tips to overcoming the obstacle of fatigue when running/training in the early morning hours. Be sure to tune in for other annoying roadblocks when you are running/training and how to overcome them. HAPPY TRAINING!
Runners World. March 2010. Pg. 42.