"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Best Time of Day for the Best Performance?

Well, the 3 days rest did the trick and my legs are feeling good again. My run this morning felt great and I can once again remind myself of the benefits of resting. Although I felt great and everything was perfect my time was not particularly fast. This got me thinking about a question I’ve always asked. When is the best time of the day for the best performance?

I run early in the morning, usually somewhere between 04:00 & 06:00 on week days. On weekends I run an hour or two later and find that my times are always better when I run a bit later. Between 06:00 & 08:00 seems to be my best time for good performance. If I run later than 08:00 my performance drops again mainly because the fuel tank is empty by then. This is worse when I didn’t eat a proper meal the night before. If I take in some fuel for the run all is fine again and performance is much better than very early in the morning. Some of my best runs have also been at night races and one or two races run in the afternoon.

I suppose this has something to do with one’s internal clock. It seems that I can run a faster time later in the morning or day with the same effort I have to put in for a slower time early in the morning. I don’t worry too much about this because I’m a slow runner anyway, but I always wonder if it is better to go for fast times a bit later in the day. That is of course if it isn’t the middle of summer with very high temperatures. For me the perfect time seems to be late morning in the colder months.

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