Whenever someone says, “I just feel so energized when I work out before work,” you can find me over in the corner giving that person side-eye and skeptically furrowing my eyebrows. Work makes me tired. Working out makes me tired. Combining the two makes me tired.
During most of my running career (can I get away with calling it that?), I’ve been an afternoon runner. For over a year, I took my work out clothes to school, and I’d change in my classroom at the end of the day before running around the neighborhood. I can’t recall a single day that I ran before teaching. Of course, long runs took place in the morning (it is Texas, after all), but long runs happen on the weekend, meaning the rest of the day can be full of napping, ice bathing, burrito eating, etc.
Now that I’ve shifted to a job that doesn’t give me the entire summer off (bummer), afternoon running ain’t gonna cut it. My options are to run before work or hop on a treadmill. And let’s be real: if I don’t run before work, it’s not going to happen. Once I get home, the couch is too comfy, the food in the pantry is too tasty, and the time with my husband is too valuable. I fall into a post-work vortex and nothing can drag me out of it, and certainly not exercising. (See work = tired, working out = tired above.)
I’ve started experimenting with working out before work. I wake up a little bit earlier, immediately change into my work out clothes, and go for a run. Maybe I’ve only done it a few times, but I’m quickly realizing that I don’t hate it. In fact, I like it, a lot.
Does it give me more energy? No! Running three or more miles before going to work for nine hours isn’t the equivalent of an energy pill. But but but it gives me another kind of boost. Running before work makes me feel accomplished, it makes me feel proud, it makes me feel ready to tackle the day, it makes me feel good. I can look down the barrel of the day and declare, “I’ve already run. The heat couldn’t stop me. The sand flying in my face couldn’t stop me. That crazy dog that tried to jump over the fence and rip my face off couldn’t stop me. I got this.” I find that I’m happier at work when I work out first. Maybe not more energized but more confident. I’ll take it!
The verdict: there will be more pre-work work outs in my future. Unless I get scheduled to work the opening shift at work (it starts at 3:30 am!), in which case, I guess all this is moot.
Do you work out before work? Does it give you more energy?