Running early has some distinct benefits, especially during Austin summers!

Let’s face it. Squeezing running into your busy schedule isn’t always easy, yet it’s so important.  One way to help ensure that you always get your workout in is to run first thing in the morning before your day starts. Since consistency in training is key to success, that’s a strong incentive right there to run early. But there are plenty of other reasons to run early—read on to find out.

Texas heat. No question that early morning runs are your best shot at avoiding the triple-digit temperatures that dominate Austin summers. In addition to simply enjoying your workout more, you’ll find it not as taxing to run speed workouts before the sun comes up. Additionally, you won’t have to slather on sunscreen and you won’t lose quite as much fluids as you would in direct sunlight.

Curb your appetite. Believe it or not, early morning workouts tend to curb your appetite. The jury is out as to whether this is a mental or physical thing, but who’s going to argue with it?

Brain booster. OK, this one has been well-documented. Numerous studies have shown that exercise elevates mental sharpness for up to eight hours, so why not make those hours count by running before your workday?

Mood regulator. Ever wake up and find it’s hard to get out of bed, get going and into your busy work schedule? You’re not alone. But by running first thing in the morning, you generate endorphins that help handle the stress of the upcoming day.

Peace and quiet. Between family obligations, Zoom meetings, and everything in between, today’s lifestyle is pretty hectic. Morning runs are your own time to find reflection and respite from the non-stop buzz.

Burn more fat. You’ll find endless gels, power-bars etc. that promise to make your workouts better. And while those may be useful in a marathon, the truth is, it’s more beneficial to run on an empty stomach. And the only time you’re really going to do that is first thing in the morning. Running on an empty stomach teaches your body to tap into fat stores as a fuel.

Better sleep. We all know that sleep is king when it comes to recovery. And although exercise in general will promote better sleep, running in the morning has been shown to especially set you up for a good night’s rest.

So yeah, running any time is good, but running early has some distinct benefits, especially during Austin summers!

Upcoming Races: Sunday, July 4 at 7:00 a.m., Popsicle Run 4 Miler at Negley Elementary School in Kyle. Saturday, July 17 at 6:30 a.m., Stars and Stripes Half Marathon/5K/10K in New Braunfels.