How early do you get up to workout?

I asked this question on my Facebook page last week, and was amazed at the number of you who wake up in the 4 or 5 o’clock hour to run or get in your workout!

I am a pretty solid 6-something girl… generally, when our daughter gets up, we get up, and I head out from there around 6:30 or 7am.

One morning last week, my husband had to leave the house at 6:45 am and I had an 8 mile training run on the schedule.Β  With evening plans, my only option was to set the alarm and get out early.

So I was up at 5:10 and out the door by 5:25am.Β  It was dark, but for the most part the streetlights lit the way.Β  I have to admit that I was a bit freaked out by the dark and didn’t really feel safe until half way in when the sun rose at 5:55am.

I think I dressed bright enough, right?!Β  πŸ™‚

As everyone promised, it did feel amazing to have my run done by 6:30am and still have my whole morning ahead of me.Β  I felt energized until about 3:00pm when I felt my energy slowing draining out of me.

I am not a coffee drinker and have been working hard at eating for sustained energy throughout the day (more on this soon- it works!) But I don’t think you can trick a missed 90 minutes of sleep.

It was a sluggish hour or two until dinner. I’ve learned this one many times before, but I need my sleep!

How much is different for everyone, but I feel my best on 8 hours.Β  I wish I could function well on 6 hours… I could be so much more productive!

Some of the benefits of getting enough sleep include:

  • faster recovery time for training (as your mileage increases, your body needs more sleep to repair and rebuild itself)
  • better control of hunger (lack of sleep suppresses your appetite satiation hormones)
  • more productivity and steady energy levels
  • balanced blood sugar
  • stronger immune system
  • better mood (this one is definitely true for me!)

PS- For more tips and support to improve your running, there is still time to join the virtual coaching group, whether or not you join the Fall 5 and 10.Β  Details here!

How early do you get up to workout?

How much sleep do you need to feel your best?


76 thoughts on “How early do you get up to workout?

  1. For me I hate running in the dark. I can get up at whatever time is necessary to work out but if it is dark out I will go run on the treadmill. I normally wake up around 5:30 which seems to have worked out the last year. :p
    Hollie recently posted..Fractured Elbow and TrainingMy Profile

  2. I get up at 4:45 so I can run (usually an hour) and get everyone out the door by 7:15a. Running in the dark isn’t fun, I ran better/faster when it’s light out, but it’s better than no run at all! And yes, it’s creepy sometimes – I run the same two routes over and over because I feel they are safe.

  3. i used to get up at 5am to workout… i’m definitely an early bird so itz no big deal… however that being said, i get to bed by 9! sleep is so important! 6 is the minimum i need but 7-8 is ideal for me!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..weekend highlightsMy Profile

  4. I wonder if this is why (more mileage means more sleep to recover faster) I had a rough few days last week. I definitely need a little more sleep but as you know it is hard to dictate that when you have a little one! Case in point, she got up this morning at 4am!! I also wish I could run in the morning but it only seems to work for me on race days. I just can’t get my body moving enough. Thankfully, the adrenaline on race day carries me through for those runs. I also don’t feel safe running in the dark during the morning and my neighborhood has some wooded spots and NO street lamps :/
    Laura @Runthusiast recently posted..Foodie Friday!My Profile

  5. I’m also an 8-hour a night girl! But sometimes go to bed a bit too late and I definitely hit a 3pm wall. I’m up at 5:15 to workout. This has been more thank okay during the summer but now that the weather is getting colder and the mornings are getting darker I’m nervous how I will maintain my training in the am.
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted..My First Race [MIMM]My Profile

  6. I wake up at 5am just to get to work on time, so I am definitely an after work worker outer {technical term}. πŸ™‚ Last winter I DID get up at 3:30 to get my work outs in, but I’d have to be in bed by 8pm, which was REALLY hard for me.
    Maureen recently posted..Can’t Wait to Inhale Sprouts & KaleMy Profile

  7. I used to be a 4:30am runner. I still run in the morning but have changed the time…I like to head out around 6am. But now that school has started I’m running at 5:30. I forgot how much I do NOT like running in the dark. The sun starts rising around halfway through my run so that’s good. My friends keep begging me to run with them at 4:30 but that extra sleep really helps me. I need at least 7 hours and it takes away from my time with the hubby when I have to go to bed early for an early morning run.
    Mindy @ Road Runner Girl recently posted..The Weekly Chase #35!My Profile

  8. I was getting up and starting my runs by 5:30 but now that it is staying darker longer I am having a hard time wanting to get out there. I just hate running in the COMPLETE dark… even with knuckle lights to help illuminate my way.

    I’d say I’m at 5:45 start right now but I don’t love it… I’d prefer slightly earlier so I’m not as rushed POST run before work.
    Cori @ olivetorun recently posted..Olive to Pretend to Cook and GREAT Long Run Advice!My Profile

  9. I’m up at 4:30 and workign out by 4:45. With the darker mornings I’ve been using my treadmill for the first couple of miles as a warm up. Last year I had an early morning running buddy that made a huge difference in how comfortable I felt running in the dark. Seeing the sunrise always is an extra perk for me.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..The Good and The BadMy Profile

  10. Before my husband started running I used to get up at 5:30 to run by 6. But now that he runs as well, he gets up and runs and then I head out. Usually by 6:45/7.

    I used to love running in the morning darkness. That is until last fall when I caught a skunks attention. We were too close for my comfort but luckily I wasn’t too close to scare it! It still freaked me out though!
    Angie @ A Mother’s Pace recently posted..Riding Bikes and RunningMy Profile

  11. Through the ‘summer’ when sunrise is 5:15, I am up and running by 5am. Now that it’s pitch black at that time and I need to start the school routine at 6:30, my workout doesn’t happen until after the kids are on the bus.
    I always assumed I got 8 hours of sleep. My fitbit tells me otherwise. More like 6 hours and change. Seems to work for me though.
    Marcia recently posted..Week in ReviewMy Profile

  12. I am pretty much always up in the 5:00 hour, six days/week. And I LOVE sleep and need my 8 hrs. So that means getting into bed really early. That has always been easy, but now that my son is getting older (he’s 12) I’m finding that it’s going to get tougher as he gets older. My husband stays up later than me, so that helps; we’re not far off of a time when I go to bed before my kids–it’s crazy!
    misszippy recently posted..Who’s afraid of the dark?My Profile

  13. I get up between 4:30 and 5:00 – it took awhile to adjust to the early mornings and being able to make it through the day without that draggy afternoon time. We are pretty much in bed by 10:00 most nights!!!
    I don’t sleep a lot anymore – 5 hours (broken up in 2 or occasionally 3 hour chunks) is average.
    I just saw Miss Zippy’s comment – we do go to bed before our boys some nights now that they are older!
    Kim recently posted..AutopilotMy Profile

  14. I run early once a week. I get freaked out by the dark and normally feel the lack of sleep hit me around 2 pm. I wish I could get on a more consistent schedule and actually go to bed earlier. Then again…I will just wait until the sun is up.
    Julie M recently posted..Listen To Your BodyMy Profile

  15. I am not much of an early bird. I can usually manage a 5:30 wake-up call, but no earlier than that. And I generally like the sun to be up before I go for a run. Running in the dark can be a little unnerving…
    Krysten recently posted..Something GreaterMy Profile

  16. I am a SLEEPER! Love my 8 hours. I can NOT and get up early to exercise (well I guess I would if there was no other way of getting it in). I do it first thing in the morning which is still a lot later than most people. When I worked I used my hour lunch break to run/exercise. If I started training for something I supposed I would have to start getting up earlier but than I would have to adjust my bedtime. πŸ™‚
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Caramelized Hemp and Chia Seed PopcornMy Profile

  17. I am up anywhere between 4:15 and 5:00 depending on prescribed workout for the day. Today I had 9 miles on tap so have to be up and at it early in order to get to the office on time (I like to get in earlier than my 9am time).
    I will say though I am usually lacking sleep. I try and get to bed early but find myself unable to fall asleep.
    I work 10-12 hour days so the alternative of waiting until after work isn’t really ideal, I find myself usually too drained for a quality workout then. Something short and sweet sure, but when I have speed/tempo/hills etc it needs to happen in the morning! I do find myself on the treadmill more these days as well since I get a little frightened alone at that time in the dark.
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted..Hartford Marathon Training Week 9My Profile

  18. Good for you!! I also HATE running in the dark but when you have no other option…
    Luckily I get out for a run when the kids go to school around 9. Unluckily, in the summer it can be boiling outside by 9 so there’s good and bad. I would prefer getting up at 6am to run but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it. I’m looking forward to this eating for energy concept! Sign me up!!
    Allie Burdick recently posted..SEXISM? YOU BE THE JUDGEMy Profile

  19. I like to get 7-8 hours of sleep. I’m best on 8. I get up at 5:00 – not always to run but to workout in some way and to get time in with the Lord before I need to get about my day.
    Randi recently posted..1st day of schoolMy Profile

  20. With all the running you do, it’s actually refreshing to hear that you aren’t a crazy-early morning runner. Most runners I know are the crazy-early type, and I just don’t get it! I work from home, though, so I have the option of starting my day later if I need to fit a longer run in. Ideally, I like to run at 8 am. Sometimes earlier, but I’m usually not physically awake enough by then.

    Love your facts on sleep! It’s all so true.
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted..Taking Charge of Your Inner PerfectionistMy Profile

  21. I usually get up between 5 – 5:30 to exercise before work. My job can be unpredictable so I prefer getting my workout done before I start my day. The benefit of living in a city as big as I do is that there is _always_ going to be other runners in the park. It’s not ideal, but at least I feel safe and I can prioritize my workouts.

    I do try and catch 7 hours of sleep each night, so for me that means hitting the sack early.
    Petra recently posted..Quick update & Marathon Training Runs #20 & #21My Profile

  22. I was up and out the door by 430 yesterday. Had the alarm set for 3:45, but was sluggish out of bed. That isn’t normal, but when I’m doing a long run 18+, I’m usually awake by 4 am. In order to balance spending time with the fam, I need to get my runs in early.

    Yestarday, I was done with 21 miles by 8:30. Gave me the whole day. When I drive into the city to run, I’m usually home by 11 or so.
    PavementRunner recently posted..US Half Marathon: $10 off promoMy Profile

  23. It totally depends on the day–but once per week in the 4 a.m. hour I get up to teach BodyPump. It is worth it, but it’s hard!

    The rest of the days it’s usually in the 7 a.m. hour–which is a lot more manageable, esp with the bump nowadays! hah.

    Way to get up early though & get up & run!! Love your bright outfit.

  24. When I worked out alone at home I had to make myself get up. Now that I have an excuse not to, because I have a workout partner that prefers afternoons, I can not force myself awake. I negotiate with myself to sleep as late as possible.

    I did feel like I had more energy and was more on top of my game when I woke up earlier. Maybe I should try again to do a mini workout at home before the rest of the family is up. Nothing wrong with two-a-days, huh?
    Aimee recently posted..The Beauty BalanceMy Profile

  25. I actually really enjoy working out early in the morning. Twice a week I run with my yogi running group in a town that is 30 minutes from where I live, so I am up at 4 and out the door by 4:30. I truly embrace coffee on these days. πŸ˜‰ Other days I try to get up around 5 and am out the door by 5:30. I live in a (very) rural area, so running in the dark is fine, I very rarely see cars. I actually fear running into snakes and skunks WAY more than any person! Long runs have been difficult for me lately because of the heat, so I’m going to have to start getting up around 5:30 on the weekends to beat the heat!

  26. During the school year, I have to wake up around 4:30 to get my run in before going to work. I’m staying home for a year with the baby, so I’ve been able to run a little later this summer, but then I found someone to run with and when I run with her, we meet between 5:00 and 5:30. It’s definitely scary to be out there when it’s still dark! I’m okay with anything 5:00 or later and I grumble if it is before 5:00.
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..Route 66 week 6 recap & running with othersMy Profile

  27. I used to get up early to workout before work, but after having Keenan, I just can’t do it anymore. I get up around 6:30 or 7:00 when Keenan wakes up and then I’m up for the day. We head outside and I workout while Keenan plays for a bit. It works, but as soon as he starts preschool next week, I think I might have to get up before him to fit in my workout on those days. We shall see!

    I wish I could function on less than 8 hours of sleep, but I’m a 8-9 hours of sleep person. I am just irritable if I don’t get enough sleep!
    Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy recently posted..A Marvelous Weekend!My Profile

  28. I am totally with you on this one! I am amazing and somewhat jealous of all these 4-5 am people!!! When I pick I like to get up about 6:45-7 and leave the house about 7:15-7:30. Now that school has started I need to leave the house by about 6:45…not too much earlier, but it makes a difference. I take about a 1/2 hour to get up and get ready (at least! I can never seem to get out the door as fast as I want). Friday should be interesting though because I have a long run and need to get out BY 6.
    It would help if I went to bed earllier….I need to work on this!
    I am happy with 8 hours too…especially with marathon training. The hard workouts and long runs drain me!
    Jen Floyd @ milesandblessings recently posted..The big 26.2!…a mile to a marathon…part 4My Profile

  29. I’m actually bummed that it’s too dark to run at 5am now. I love getting out the door early, but I’ve never been comfortable running in the dark. And I generally only get about 6 or 7 hours of sleep, and fare pretty well with that. Another hour probably wouldn’t hurt me, but there’s too much to be done after I get the kiddos in bed, so I always end up staying up later than planned.
    Michelle recently posted..Not Ready for Summer To EndMy Profile

  30. I used to be able to feel rested after 6-7 hrs of sleep, but after chemotherapy (eight years ago), I’ve needed a solid 9 hrs. It is interesting to notice how exactly my body functions differently after such intense treatments. That said, I’m kinda terrified of becoming a mother and having to function on less…
    Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie recently posted..Fantastic MondayMy Profile

  31. Well, if Jacob wouldn’t get up by 5 at the LATEST, I would get up around then and head out. So, we have to work between his morning school, naps and childcare times at the gym Or even a late evening run sometimes. I definitely don’t get enough sleep – on the rare night I do, I’m an entirely better person the next day.
    Amy @ Mommy Rodeo recently posted..Zoo runningMy Profile

  32. I do best on 8 hours, but can get by on 7. I usually get up at 4:45 to run at 5am. I love getting it done so early in the morning, but I do struggle with making sure I get enough sleep.
    Jerilee recently posted..5k Foam Fest!My Profile

  33. I’m up and out the door by 5:00 in the morning, but I still struggle with the dark. There’s one stretch on my road with no lights and these trees that arc over the road, and I always feel like I’m running into some fairytale forbidden forest! I use my knuckle lights, and by about 5:30 the sun starts to come up and I feel much better.
    Jen M recently posted..Sunday RecapMy Profile

  34. Since my schedule changed, I have to get up at about 4:45 am to get a run in before getting ready for work. Oof. I feel best with about 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep, sometimes I can get away with less, but not on a regular basis. Obviously as I post this at 11:00 pm, my morning workout is now in jeopardy…
    Nikki @ run+breathe+be recently posted..Monday Meditation: AttitudeMy Profile

  35. I actually workout at night. I’m sure I’m in the minority. My girls hop into bed with me in the morning and if I was up at 4 they would be too, couldn’t handle a day like that! So I wait until they are in bed for the evening.
    Jess recently posted..What’s happening WednesdayMy Profile

  36. The better mood thing when rested is definitely true for me!! I also get sick more easily when I’m tired. Crabby, sick, and tired, not a good combo! πŸ™‚ I don’t normally work out in the a.m. because that is my hubby’s slot. He gets up at 4:30 every day to swim or bike (triathlete) and is to work by 7:30 at the latest.
    jan recently posted..Motivational MondayMy Profile

  37. I get up at 5 to run during the week (an hour later on the weekend). The only way I can do this is knowing I’ll be running with my friend. Otherwise I would snooze for sure!

    Three quarters of the year that means running in the dark and cold (I’m in Canada).

    The challenge is to go to bed early enough. Luckily I’m good with 7 hours of sleep, sometimes less.

  38. During the week I always run in the evenings. My hubby gets up and heads to the gym by his office before the sun comes up to avoid morning rush hour traffic. On Saturday mornings it’s 7:30 with the group for long runs. This last week we met for the long run at 6:45 to get back earlier for yoga and it was nice to be out a bit earlier before the summer heat and sun came in.
    Katie @ Twin Mom Runs recently posted..A New Trend in RacesMy Profile

  39. i’m an afternoon runner…but if i’m FORCED (in the summer; when training for a race) i get up early. i love running at 7:30 am, but now that i have kids getting up at 7:30 would be sleeping in!!!
    Amanda K. recently posted..Twenty-four monthsMy Profile

  40. My alarm goes off around 4:30am. I have to be back home by 6am so I can shower before hubs leaves for work and I have to get Kid1 up and ready for the bus that comes at 7:15a.
    I usually go pretty well with 6-7 hours of sleep. My body tells me when I need more and I get to bed by 9pm. πŸ™‚
    Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat. recently posted..I pulled the TriggerMy Profile

  41. I’ve been getting up at 6am to work out, but might start pushing it earlier as I need to start getting in longer mileage and my boys are waking up at 6:30 typically. I need 7 hours of sleep to feel good, and lately I have been going to bed TOO LATE. Need to fix that!

  42. I would probably get so much more done if I got up earlier to run, but I just haven’t been able to make myself do it:/ I love my sleep way too much! Once school starts I will have to get up at 6:15 to get the kids ready, so there is no chance I will get up early to workout;)
    rachelle q recently posted..How To Make a Superfood SaladMy Profile

  43. Great job Laura! I usually have no problem running early in the summer, but in the winter I can never motivate myself!

  44. I’m with you- 6am-7am wake ups- usually closer to 7am. I do like to bang out early once a week though, usually on Wednesdays. I feel like I can handle the early wake ups (4:45) for getting it done early if it’s only once or twice a week. If I did it every day though, I think the cumulative hours of lost sleep would catch up… let’s be real here, there is only so much sleep you can get waking up at 4:45, unless you can actually turn your brain off and really fall asleep at 8:30! I try, but 9:30 is about as early as I can fall asleep! Nice job getting it done early! πŸ™‚
    Lindsey Hein recently posted..Lindsey’s CRRG 5K ReportMy Profile

  45. I am definitely someone who needs my sleep! Summer time in Arizona ends up meaning 8:30-9 bed time so that I can be awake by 4:30 to “beat the heat” and get my runs in. It’s not my favorite, and while I am a total morning person, I would much rather wake up at 6 or 7, but there is definitely something to be said about being done so early! Way to go getting it done lady!

  46. If I am running alone, I get up ready to run when the sun is up. So 6am or 7am depending on the season. I have recently joined a crossfit box for 2class/week and those days I’m up at 5am for a 5:30am class. However, I am up at 6am anyway to get my kids prepped and ready for school bus.
    Smitha @ FauxRunner recently posted..Tech Junkie or Tech Slave?My Profile

  47. My alarm goes off every day at 5:01. I had a stretch where I went to a 5AM bootcamp, so I was up at 4:35. That was rough. My husband gets up at 5:00 every day, so it’s not that bad. I only work out for about 30 minutes and I don’t go out to run, so I’m not sure if I could do that so early. I have to be in the shower at 6 in order to get everyone up and us out the door by 7:30 every day. I’m pooped at night, but in bed at 10 like clockwork, so I do get almost 7 hours of sleep every night. I get used to it. And, I drink coffee.
    Carrie @ recently posted..Friday FiveMy Profile

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