Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why do a #5at5?


One of my favorite low-maintenance routine workouts is my #5at5 run.

Ever hear me mention it?


When I was training for Route 66 last fall, my coach had me doing  easy-paced 5-mile runs on most Monday mornings. Although my friend, Barb, wasn't training under a coach's instruction, she was also training for Route 66. Since her and I do a lot of our training runs together (because we often are training for the same races), it just made sense to do some of our easy-paced runs together.
Yes, we're quite a sight with our belts all aglow ...
She was not much of an early-morning runner, but was interested in becoming one (and, quite frankly, I was eager to have someone to chat with and keep me company). I invited her to run one of my 5-milers with me. I told her I wanted to leave my house around 5:00, so I'd be back well before 6:00. She jokingly said, "Oh, 5 at 5?" And, just like that, the #5at5 was born.

I know, I know....when there's 24 hours in a day, why choose to lace up and run at 5:00 a.m.? Especially in the winter, when it's dark and colder than usual...and, let's keep in mind, a 5:00 a.m. departure (with the body fully clothed and the muscles "warmed-up") usually requires a 4:30 a.m. wake-up.

Here's a few reasons why I do it:

**5 miles is a perfect moderate distance...it's not too far, but far enough that it's worth your while. As I said, I run most of these #5at5's with my friend, Barb. I have a 5-mile looped route (that I mapped out years ago). We meet up at the halfway point between our houses and go from there. On the rare occasion when I'm running solo, I have a different route I do that doesn't take me too far from my house when I'm alone in the dark hours (it's sort of a figure-8 route, near the college campus, so it's well lit with lamp posts).
The sun is just starting to rise....
**An early morning run is a great fat-burner because you're running in a "fasted" state. I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight, but there's always a bit of residual fat hanging around (and that's quite alright....but I don't mind whittling away at it either). Even with a small snack before I head out, I'll still be burning more calories over the course of five miles than what I consume prior to hitting the street....and most of that will be from stored fuel (a lot of which will be stored fat).
My front porch is my main "post-#5at5 selfie" stage
**Starting the day with a negative calorie deficit has its benefits.
--if you ARE trying to lose weight, it gives your metabolism a jump start
--if you're NOT trying to lose weight, you can eat a big breakfast guilt-free

**Getting it done early can give you peace of mind. It is quite freeing to have the entire day to not have to worry about the weather, or feeling fatigued after work, or running out of time at the end of the day. Here's a bonus: oftentimes, after a long day (which consequently starts at 4:30 on those #5at5 mornings), I'll actually forget that I ran earlier in the day...and it's a total happy dance moment when I remember that I don't "need" to run later.
The Vizi belt gets a lot of use on my early morning runs
**Bragging rights for being an early-riser. There's quite a bit of satisfaction in returning to my house before most of my neighbors are even awake. Also, in the spring, it's pretty neat noticing the days getting longer and longer and the sun rising earlier and earlier before I make it back from my run. Even in the winter, although the sun doesn't rise earlier, I don't notice it staying dark longer because it's usually still dark when I return around 6:00 anyways.
Sometimes we're out the door as early as 4:30 in the summer to beat the heat
So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Bottom line, most of who run (and train for long-distance races) have some degree of craziness in our genetics or we wouldn't do what we do. If you'd like some tips on running in the dark, you can check out this post from last year: Running in the wee-dark hours.

What's the earliest (or latest) you have gone running? Ever done a #5at5?  Or does a #6at6 sound more appealing?

I'm linking with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner

And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout

34 comments:

  1. I am a morning runner too. I think once I left around 4:40 am to run during the week because I had to do like 11 miles or something before work. I love getting my run in before the day gets started!

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    1. I can honestly run any time of the day (or night LOL), but I do LOVE my early morning miles the most!

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  2. I am always impressed with your 5 at 5 bragging rights for sure. I am so not an early bird I would just be dead the rest of the day. We have a 5:30am group in our MRTT that gets around 10 ladies 2x a week they always amaze me

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    1. You might surprise yourself...you might get totally charged and amped up for the day!

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  3. Marcia likes to refer to 5 milers as a "fish". As in 5-ish....

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    1. ha ha ha .....I can just hear Marcia saying that LOL

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  4. I would prefer to run in the morning, but I have to leave my house by 6:50 for work so it makes it tough to run in the morning. During marathon training I did do a few 5at5 runs and I did enjoy it! It was a little bit of a rush for me to run, shower and get dressed for work, but I liked having my evenings totally free after work.

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    1. I'm glad I've kept up these 5-milers well beyond my marathon training last November.

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  5. I used to run in the early mornings sometimes during the summer, but I've pretty much gotten away from that. I'm very lucky that I have a lot of latitude with when I run.

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    1. You are lucky! I didn't run when I had the daytime flexibility when I wasn't working outside the home. Actually, I do have some flexibility now, but I do prefer to get it done early to have most of my daylight hours to do other things.

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  6. I need to figure out a way to get back into the morning running gig! I used to row in the mornings almost every day when I was in college and my 20's but now have a hard time getting out of my cozy bed. I do love how I feel after a great morning workout!

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    1. That feeling after the workout is amazing!

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  7. #5at5...genius, I love it! When I start fueling right again I am going to try it :)

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    1. Well, fortunately, for a 5-miler, not a lot of fuel is required (at least for me). I usually grab a fruit snack or a granola bar and I'm good.

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  8. My sister is like you she's out the door by 5 or earlier every morning to run and swim.
    I used to do the 5am thing but then I was falling asleep by 10 lol. I have been running at noon when I had a break but I'm switching to 7am now because 100 is getting a little hot to run in lol. Wish I could go earlier but that would require a 9pm bedtime and I haven't shifted to that yet lol.
    Love your #5 at 5 though. Great idea!!

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    1. My body doesn't need much sleep...I'm seldom ever in bed before 11:00, and even then I'm not sleeping. I usually wake before my alarm (5:30...on my non running mornings), believe it or not.

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  9. I have started my morning runs as early as 4 am, HELLO 3:30!

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  10. No fasted running for me! I would be flat on my face if I tried to go more than a single km without eating a banana at least!

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    1. Well, for five miles I don't need much...but a fruit snack or granola bar is perfect.

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  11. I really do envy your 5@5 routine. But I don't like running alone in the dark and I don't have any runner friends nearby. I used to run with my friend, Julie, but that was before I moved. Now I'm all by my lonesome!

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    1. I'm lucky where I live...I'm just a few blocks from our college's well-lit campus. There's a very basic 1-mile loop I've run a lot when I've been on my own...it gets a bit boring, but I run it clockwise, then counter clockwise, etc. until I have daylight LOL

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  12. I used to do 6 at 6. I really want to get back to that. Lately I've just been doing 4 miles whenever I can fit it in.

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    1. Four miles is a good distance, too. It's far enough that it's worth your while and you can get a good calorie burn.

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  13. I love all your reasons. I'm totally an afternoon runner and perhaps that's why i'm not burning any fat????

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    1. I had read about "fasting" before running...ideally after a night's sleep, when the body is used to it. If you add fuel before your run, your body naturally burns that first because it's readily available. Obviously, most people need some fuel prior to running; the trick is to not overdo the fuel if you're hoping to burn a little bit of fat in the process.

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  14. I love seeing all of your 5 milers a 5 am on Instagram! I am not a morning person, so it is a struggle for me to get it in at the crack of dawn, but I try to when I can!!

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    1. I'm not sure when I actually started doing early morning runs...probably 4 years ago, when I trained for my first 26.2 and needed to get the miles done before it got hot. I just know, I've come to LOVE running early and then having the entire day at my disposal ;-)

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  15. LOVE this!! I like running in the morning but my morning isn't as early anymore! lol!

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    1. Well, I have ti get to work at 8:00, and need some computer time as well...if I get the run done early, I can get the rest of my "stuff" done as well ;-)

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  16. I like being an early morning runner, although since I have been off I have gone out later trying to adjust a little quicker to the heat :-) When working I have been known to get up at 4:30 to be out by 5- its not a bad deal!

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    1. And it's really not that difficult, is it? Especially, since these are "easy" runs, I don't have to be fully alert and revved up in the first couple miles LOL

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  17. I love he 5at5. I do try to run early, sometimes it works sometimes not so much, I am too chicken to go by myself.

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    1. I'm lucky that I live in an area that enables me to feel safe. I don't do all of my runs on my own, but when I do, I don't have any stress about it.

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