Adjusting Your Workout Schedule

BY Hal Higdon

It takes a while to adjust to a different times of day for workouts and races, but adjust you must since most races start early.

Have a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


First time marathoner here, and I am trying desperately to turn myself into a morning runner, because my race will be early-morning. The problem is, I feel terrible in the morning. I have trouble going only 3 miles in the morning, whereas running 10 at night is almost effortless. How can my training and fitness level be so different at these times of day? In the mornings I feel dehydrated, weak, and completely out of shape, or something. Any help would be appreciated. Kind of desperate here.


It takes a while to adjust to a different times of day for workouts and races, but adjust you must since most races start early. Maybe you need to create more space between getting up and getting moving. Have a slight snack before hitting the road. A cup of coffee works for some. Stopping to stretch 5 minutes into the run also can allow your muscles time to start moving. Don’t feel you need to have all body systems at 100-Max two steps out the door. John A. Kelley, the legendary runner of 61 Boston Marathons, once told me that a pair of Finnish runners one year came to run Boston and stayed with him. John noticed that they walked the first quarter-mile of their early-morning workouts, a trick he then borrowed. Consider also utilizing a carbohydrate snack just before going to bed, so you have some extra fuel waiting in the tank when you awaken. Some people are morning people. Some people are evening people.

Some people are any-time people. Experiment with different strategies to see if you can convert to any- time.

Avatar1501767801 7
About Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for ‘Runner’s World‘ and author of 34 books, including the best-selling ‘Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide’. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that over a quarter of a million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks. Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans — check out more of Hal Higdon’s training plans on his website.