Why a Runner’s City is Best Served Before 7am

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Why You Should Train in the Morning to Experience Your Local Surroundings

I’m going to write an open-letter argument of sorts. I’ll focus on my city/town, and in the end, you’ll have a strong case of why you should train in the morning more to experience your local surroundings.

In the movie Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise’s character David Aames is living his life in a dream-like state, unsure of what is real and what is not. He’s living in a world that is not quite right, and he knows it. It’s only when he wakes up and faces the reality that he can truly live his life to the fullest.

Waking up early and experiencing your city (or town) before the hustle and bustle of the day starts is a lot like waking up from a dream. You’re seeing your city in a whole new light, and you realize that there’s so much more to it than you ever imagined. You’re not just living in a dream-like state anymore – you’re fully awake and present.

What You’re In For

I’ll start it off with what I see when I’m out, how it’s different and better and then ask you to think about your city/town/community in a different… light. #PunIntended

*Please note, I’m speaking about Sydney, Australia and the city of Sydney in particular, but this could apply to any city that you live in that you might be hating on. If you love your city/town for exactly how it is, then the following combination of words was not meant for you.

I was going to start this off as me hating on Sydney, Australia. Hating this city is effortless. Some people hate it because of the lack of nightlife, the high cost of living, or the poor public transportation. Some people hate it based on the old “anything that is actually worth doing is crowded” that can really get to you. But again… I’m not going to make this another “Sydney Sucks” post. We have enough of them.

On the flip side, I’d like to present a new theory. Sydney and most cities are best served before 7 am on weekdays and before 10 am on weekends and holidays.

Here is just a short list of what you can expect to see, do and experience while out between 5am and 7am (this is a sliding scale depending on how late your city is);

  • The sunrise (you’d be surprised how little you see)
  • Little to no traffic
  • Your gym, pool, park, etc., isn’t crowded
  • It’s quiet and calm
  • Because you are moving just a tad slower than you would without being distracted, you can see and be present for things you didn’t even know were there
  • Everything looks just a bit cleaner and brighter in the morning
  • Fewer distractions for you to focus on the now

I’ve lived in a few cities over the last 4.03 decades of my life, and I can say that this is true of most cities. In New York City, I loved going out for bike rides before 7am (yes, 7am in NYC is early since it’s a late city.) The calmness of the streets and people made it feel like a sleepy town. I love that feeling.

There are a lot of cool things you can do in a city, and most of them cost money. Timeout Magazine, while super resourceful (and sometimes frugal), usually promotes paid things to do in your town. For me, that doesn’t make sense as I’m frugal AF and believe the experience and people are much more valuable than how much money I spend.

I understand that you might be a night owl and prefer to sleep in and get more done in the evenings. I 100% know as we all operate differently, and what I’m proposing isn’t for everyone.

But may I challenge your night owl theory?

If you start working, creating, and/or training at 1 am, how long do you think before you get tired? Three to four hours? Is your quality of work still the same? How enjoyable is it when you are rounding into 4, and 5 am and just generally exhausted?

The morning theory trumps the night theory because you can wake up at 4am and work until 8pm. That’s a solid 16 hours of high-quality product. Starting at even 10 pm and finishing at 4am yields a very tired and sunsetting qualitative experience of only 6 hours.

Alright so I’ll play devil’s advocate to my own writing and take the side of someone that won’t agree with me because.. gasp… people in the world don’t agree with everything I say.

Let’s poke holes at it;

Counter arguments

Counter argument 1: Early mornings might not be practical for everyone. Some people may have work or family obligations that make it difficult to wake up early in the morning. For example, if someone has to commute a long distance to work or has young children to take care of, it might not be feasible for them to wake up before 7am. Additionally, some people simply may not be morning people and find it difficult to function well early in the morning.

Counter argument 2: Nighttime activities can be just as enjoyable. While I argue that there are many benefits to experiencing a city in the early morning, some people might prefer to experience their city at night. For example, many cities have vibrant nightlife scenes, with restaurants, bars, and clubs that are open late into the night. Additionally, nighttime can be a great time to stargaze or watch the moonrise. Some people might also prefer to exercise or work on creative projects at night when it is quiet and there are fewer distractions.

In the end, the best time to experience a city depends on personal preferences and the specific attractions and activities that are available in that city.

But… I’m not arguing; I’m just telling you why I’m right

This is just my opinion based on some anecdotal evidence. I’d love to hear from you if you feel the same or otherwise.

What do you think about waking up early to train and experience your city, town, or community?

What problems do you have with it?

Why do you think doing things at night is better?