Are Old Habits Holding Me Back?

I feel like I’m repeatedly posting about my inability to stick to my training plan. But until I make consistent training a real habit, I’m going to have this struggle. I’ve been back on the plan now for just over a week. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a start. This time period included a 5K race, a 13 mile long run, shorter runs, and cross-training. I had no problem sticking with my running workouts, but not such good success in doing my cross-training workouts.

At the end of my 13 mile training run; I live close to the W&OD trail in Virginia, so it's a popular location for my runs

When I get off track with the training plan, it usually happens on a weekday. Part of my problem, I believe, is that I’m not a morning person and I don’t like to get up early enough to train before work. That means I need to fit in the runs or other workouts after work. This can be challenging for various reasons:
  • I may work late and then it’s difficult to find time to work out at night.
  • Sometimes I’m just tired by evening due to a stressful day or lack of sleep.
  • Other things pop up on the calendar such as social events with friends; I don’t want to say no to all of them and alienate my social circle.
  • Especially in the winter, it can be cold and dark in the evening, making it less appealing to go for an outdoor run.
  • I may have errands or household chores to take care of.
  • I’m trying to cook more homemade meals, and I prefer to get the cooking and eating done before it gets too late. I’m not sure that a 10 PM dinner time is a good idea for several reasons.
If only I was a natural morning person, I think things would go easier. But my body is really not made this way. I’d like to say that being a morning person is a habit, but I think it is in part biological. I know that when I had times of unemployment, I would naturally stay up quite late, and then wake up naturally around 9:00 or 10:00 AM. I wasn’t sleeping too much, I simply adjusted my schedule to my natural body clock, still getting about 8 hours of sleep per night. This is what my body gravitates toward. All my adult life, I’ve fought that struggle to work in the world of jobs that require me to start my workday at 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM. It’s still a challenge for me to do this. It would be even more of a challenge to get up early enough on a weekday to fit in a workout before showering and getting ready for work. I’ve tried this on occasion, and I just don’t stick with it. Maybe it is time to give it another try.

Question: Are you an AM or PM runner/exerciser? Why?


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