August 18, 2014

In Praise of the #5amRunClub

I posted some motivational images about running early in the morning on this post, but this post will talk about it in detail.

One of the biggest challenges of my current Jack Daniels inspired training program was finding time to do five runs each week. I constantly saw dailymile posts by Nicole, Sam, Emma, Patty and others featuring the hastag #5amRunClub, so I decided to join in. I wasn’t disappointed.

(To be fair, the idea of running early in the morning wasn’t entirely foreign to me; I ran early in the morning during my Dopey Training last fall)

It is tricky to find time to exercise. It feels like we’re always so busy that we don’t even have time to breathe. And the thought of securing 5 nights a week for running was ridiculous; I have other things to do with me time (like tai chi and weight training). So, I had to find time!

Normally, I have to be at work around 8am. It takes me about an hour to commute. Add in time to shower after the workout and have breakfast, and I need to be done my workout shortly after 6am. So, I’m running at 5am is out of necessity, not novelty.

In all honestly, I’m not a morning person. In university, my best studying and working hours were from 10pm until about 2am. I can remember still being awake when the morning shows started on the radios at 5am.

And no, I don’t drink coffee. I’ve barely touched the stuff in 4 years. I fee like many people are overly addicted to coffee. And the last thing I need is to be dehydrated.


#2 on <a href=
#2 on Runner’s World’s “25 Worst Questions to ask a runner


CONS of RUNNING at 5am

  • It’s an absolute necessity to go to bed early. Getting ready for bed around 8:30pm seems ridiculous, but you get used to it
  • It’s dark: Usual tips for running at night apply
  • It’s hard to go high-intensity intervals while still half-asleep
  • I feel a little rushed to finish because I need to get ready for work
  • I have to go to bed very early*

*This going to bed early business is the weirdest. In my New Year and Half-Year Resolutions, I resolved to sleep at least 8 hours a night. So, to get on the road by 5am, I’d have to be in bed before 9pm. Ouch!

But, it didn’t take me long to realize that a lot of things I do at night are easy to cut out. I don’t have an active social life, so I’m not missing out on that. I watch few TV shows. I found the only thing I missed by going to bed early was wasting time. It’s amazing how much time I wasted in the evenings when I could have been sleeping.


PROS of RUNNING at 5am

  • It wakes me up and I feel more energized all day! Better than coffee (not that I would know…)
  • I have a sense of accomplishment all day
  • It’s quiet, there aren’t any cars
  • Beautiful sunrises
  • Afternoons are free for whatever: more workouts, housework and chores, or social calls.



One other things about #5amRunClub is that it makes for great selfies:

Running during the "supermoon"
Running during the “supermoon”

Being a goofball of a runner early in the morning
Being a goofball of a runner early in the morning




And you don’t have to run alone

Forced smiles around 5am
Forced smiles around 5am

#5amRunClub growing... apparently I'm contagious
#5amRunClub growing… apparently I’m contagious



I’m not the only one who thinks morning exercise rocks!



I will continue my membership in the #5amRunClub past the end of this season and plan to continue running early in the morning. It will definitely be darker, so I’ll have to rely on my Knuckle LightsAs it gets icy, I may wuss out and find an indoor track 

Further, since I resolved to do a triathlon next spring, I plan to join the #530amSwimClub that Mari and Sam talk about on dailymile.



Comments closed


  1. Zorbs says:

    ha, I haven’t gotten out the door before 6 for a loooong time. I hereby revoke my #5amrunclub membership.

  2. macnic says:

    It makes a huge difference. there was a thread on a chatboard I frequent about “how do you fit exercise in.” I stated that *I* wake up at 430 to fit it all in. I got a bunch of grumbles about that. Too early, I can’t do it, no way. Well, if you want it badly enough, you will.

  3. mark terrado says:

    5am is my usual running time when I was running in Manila. Hope to join you and your group some time.

  4. […] helpful. I could feel a difference in my mood, in my work, and in my workouts. As much as I loved #5amRunClub, it played havoc on my sleep cycles so I don’t know if I’ll subject myself to that […]