Exercise is important. It is crucial when you are training to be consistent. And yet there is a fine line between pushing through when you are tired, and getting adequate rest when you are exhausted. And it is a really hard line to distinguish sometimes. How do you know when you are just convincing yourself to be lazy vs. actually needing to take the day off?

Sometimes you don’t.

I am a night person. I would much rather stay up late and sleep in than go to bed early to get up well before the butt-crack of dawn. But I also know that if I had to exercise of an evening, I wouldn’t do it. I am too tired from working all day and my couch just sounds so much better than a long run at 5:00 p.m. Not to mention, if I exercise in the evening, I miss time with my family. So I have had to make the hard choice to go to bed early every evening (usually by 9:00 or 9:30 p.m.) so I can get up between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. to exercise (depending on the day, and anticipated length of the workout). And to be perfectly honest, it stinks. I don’t like getting up early. But once I am up, those early morning runs are beautiful, energizing, and, the best part is, they are done. Before 7:00 a.m. And I have the rest of the day to do with as I please.

But sometimes, after some less than stellar nights of sleep, it gets really hard to get up. I’ve been known to turn my alarm off in my sleep and not even know it. When that starts happening, I know my body is crying out for more sleep. But rather than skip a workout, I will first try to get to bed earlier that night. Or if it is the weekend, try to catch a nap. Because training and exercise are so important, I don’t want to miss a workout unless I absolutely can’t do it. But sometimes, it is necessary to get more sleep because the effectiveness of the workout is going to be lessened by the fact that I can’t give what I need to give to it. Or because I my defenses are down and sickness is trying to creep in. So I sleep. And that is ok. The important thing is not to let it happen often, or consecutively. Because it is a lot harder to start again when you have gone a few days (weeks, months) letting yourself sleep in than it is to get back up the next day and get back at it.

Today, my crew and I all slept in instead of doing our Friday yoga. But tomorrow we will be back at it, hitting the roads to log our miles.

What time of day works best for you to workout?