#BCOD Workouts: Why and How

I never planned on being a BCOD runner (or a runner at all for that matter). The whole workout before the sun rises started when I was pregnant with my oldest.

Picture 23


For whatever reason I couldn’t sleep past 4:30 a.m. Not kidding. I would wake up and just lay there staring at the ceiling wishing I could fall back asleep. Eventually I’d flick on the tube to numb my mind until it was time to go to work. One day I got a wild hair up my butt and decided to go to the gym since I was awake anyway.

My first time at the gym at opening was weird. I was the sole preggo in a group of mostly men over the age of 60. Lucky them. I walked the treadmill, lifted light weights and made friends. I was eventually accepted into the geriatric club (literally) and bets were placed on when my little dude would arrive. It was nice to be held accountable by my new group of friends. Β If I missed a day they were sure I went into labor. I had to give my peeps a head up if I wasn’t going to be there and they did the same.

Eventually my boy arrived and kept me up all night like most babes do. Since I was up I would get him back to sleep and head to the gym at 5 am. I was up and if I didn’t go then lord knows I would not have gone. Working out at the BCOD was becoming normal for me. My friends helped get me back into shape (old people are awesome) and eventually worked out with me through baby #2.Β 

When my Dad talked me into the running thing at the end of 2009 my first 2 mile run was at the gym. I thought I was going to DIE right there on the treadmill. It was so hard. There was an 80-something year old named Chuck who walked on the treddy every day for an hour and would then crush the elliptical. The dude was amazing. Β Each day he would chat with me about running and would encourage me to keep going. I came to realize that if this old cat could stay on the hamster wheel for an hour I could eventually do it to. And I did. At 5 am. My old friends saw me train and finish my first marathon all at the BCOD.

The rest is history. This fall I will celebrate 7 years of BCOD workouts. It’s not easy to wake up at 4-something in the morning. There are times when the alarm goes off and I turn it off and go back to sleep. There are many mornings when I have to literally talk myself into getting up. There are also days when I talk myself out of it!




I guess my best advice to those trying to do this BCOD thing is don’t do it alone. Find someone to hold you accountable. Lay out your clothes each night, fill up your water bottle, set more than one alarm and commit to it. It’s not for everyone but you will not know if it works for you until you try it. If you miss a day so what. It just means your body needed rest! At least that’s what I tell myself πŸ™‚

Some of my best runs have been along the beach watching the sunrise. It’s so quiet that it almost seems like all in the world is perfect. I’m pretty lucky to live and workout in such a beautiful place. That in itself is motivation.


Are you a morning person? Lunch runner? Night owl?

~ When I miss morning workouts I often go at lunch. I’m sure my office loooooooves that.

Off to the Carlsbad Expo!! Wheeeeeeee! Excited for packet pickup!



33 thoughts on “#BCOD Workouts: Why and How

  1. I am the opposite of a morning person. But I want nothing more than to be that early morning runner! I know there is no way I could do it without a morning running buddy, and I’ve yet to find one. I envy your ability to drag your butt out of bed that early!

    YAYYY for Carlsbad! I have a few friends running it so I may see you there!

  2. I think the only way i can be a BCOD runner is if (like you mentioned) I had accountability. If I know I had a friend waiting, that would be the only way to ensure that I would get my butt out of bed. Otherwise, I workout in the afternoon. I’m a student, so my schedule is pretty flexible.

  3. I went through a very brief period of BCOD. I’m not exactly sure why it stopped becoming a good choice, but now that the boy child is old enough to work out (when did that happen???) my runs have been on the good old ‘mill while the guys do their thang. Maybe when it warms up I’ll start BCOD runnng again. Maybe. πŸ™‚

  4. I am a BCOD runner too. I wake up at 4am, pump and am at the gym running (outside or inside, depending on the weather or work out) by 5am. I do this so that I can be a marathon runner, work full time and still have my evenings to be a wife & mother to my husband and kids.

  5. Wow, it took me until the very end of your post to figure out what BCOD means (thick-skulled, anyone?). Despite the fact that I’m always saying I’ll never be the kind of person who can wake up that early in the morning to work out, I think I COULD do it if absolutely necessary. Hopefully it never comes to that, though. Although actually, I guess I have already done it-I rowed in college for a year and a half and we were out on the water at 4:30 a.m. every day. My body seems to have blocked out nearly all memory of those early mornings, though… PTSD, I guess.

    1. I can’t stop laughing at the rowing early morning PTSD comment. I have that from college 2-a-days on the cheer squad. Oy vey, it would be hotter than fricking hot at 6 a.m. and for each person that showed up late we had to run ax extra lap around the dang track. And we knew this yet every dang day peeps showed up late. Always. Maybe that’s why I hated running…

  6. Those early morning runs are tough, but I have to say, that some of the best runs I’ve had have been watching the sunrise up over that horizon. Peace and love my beautiful friend, have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

  7. Oh definitely a first-thing-in-the-morning runner. Always have been, hopefully always will be. Working out first thing is almost a MUST for my day to be any kind of normal at all.

  8. Early morning training sometimes means 2 (or more) miles of warm up before I feel ready for fast intervals. In the evening it’s not much more than one mile. However, CDT (Cold Dark Thirty) running is better than not running, and like most folks I have to be flexible to accommodate work and family etc.

    BTW, I find it much easier to get out of bed for a run than I do to get out of bed to go to work early!

    1. I am with you. It takes me a good 20 minutes to warm up and wake up for morning intervals. My times are much better in the afternoon. Work/family/running balance can be tricky but we all find a way to make it work.

      I agree that it is much easier to get up for an early workout than it is going into the office!

  9. Totally crack of dawn runner. Before the crazies wake up and before I have to go to work. Only way to do it because I could never put in a full day at work and do it when I come home. I also would feel guilty taking time away from kids, and I don’t feel bad running in the morning because they don’t even know I ran!!!

    1. Isn’t it great? We get to sneak out and they have no idea we are gone. It’s a win win! We work out and feel good, they get the sleep they need and then we all spend time together in the evening. The balance works!

  10. I have recently become a BCOD worker-outer (ha!). I don’t run that early, but I go to a boot camp class 3 mornings a week from 5:30-6:30. The first week was sure torture getting up, but once I got home, showered, got the kids up and to school, I had the best day ever!!! Now, I’m addicted. You’re right……..get everything ready the night before! The other day I set the alarm from 5pm instead of am. I woke up on my own though and realized what I did. I damned the alarm clock up and down, and turned it off deciding not to go. Lying there, I felt guilty, and I said “you’re clothes are right there……….get your a## out of bed, and go.” Sure enough, I went and had an awesome work out! I am now completely addicted. However, by 9pm, I am toast, and ready for bed (talk about geriatric). πŸ™‚

    You rock though girl!! Love seeing pics of those cutie kids too!!!

    1. I sure wish my gym had 5:30 a.m. classes! That would motivate the heck out of me. I think the earliest is 7 am maybe? Boooo. No way I could do that with getting the kids to school and then myself to work.

      I always blame the alarm clock when it doesn’t go off, lol. No way it could be operator error…heheheheh!!

  11. I agree with the poster above…it is so easy for me get up at the BCOD to run but on the days I have to wake up early to go to work…hitting the snooze button it is lol! But I do admit, it’s hard here in eastern Virginia when I wake up at the BCOD and its 20 degrees..and I have to crank out 12 miles. Then I laugh and remember that I whine all.dang.summer here when at 6am it’s already 80 degrees and 90% humidity-ugh…sweaty! I need to move to SoCal…perfect running weather!!

  12. Oh, I am not a morning person! Well, not a BCOD morning person. I like to do my running at 8:30-9am time for when I head out the door. I’ve tried to be an earlier runner but I just cannot get myself out of bed for running, even though I love it…I love sleep more. Funny think about evening running is that I don’t like it at all but yet my fastest events and best times I have come from evening races. Haven’t figured that one out just yet.

  13. Your post hit home with me because I was a night-time runner and used to read your blog and think “how does she get up at BCOD”? Now I’m pregnant and towards the end of my first trimester my eyes starting popping open awake at 3:45ish. So I thought, might as well try working out in the morning. While my runs are slower and shorter being pregnant, I would say I am more consistent day to day than I was pre-preggo because running in the morning just gets it out of the way and starts my day off right. I hope we are able to figure out a schedule when our baby girl gets here so I can hopefully keep working out in the AM. I agree with laying out clothes the night before, it helps a ton. You are very lucky to live somewhere so beautiful too! Thanks for this post! I may have to talk about this topic on my blog sometime too!

    1. See what kids do to us?! LOL!! It actually works really well. Now I get out for runs and the kids have no idea I am gone. I’m home before they wake up and its as if I never left. You will make it work my friend. So excited for you!!

  14. What time do you go to bed? I would love to work out in the mornings again (I did that for years before I had kids), but I find myself needing to be up doing stuff around the house. And I like having a little time with my husband after the kids go to bed. I would need to go to bed at about 8:30 or 9 to get up early enough to work out before all the kids wake up. That’s when my kids go to bed!

    1. Gah, so I shoot for 9. If its later than that I feel like arse and it ends up being a horrible workout. The kids are usually in bed by 7:30 (they are still little enough for me to get em down that early) so it just depends on how much crap I need to get done and then I try to get to sleep. I know what you mean about trying to get things done around the house in the morning. I’ve had many days spiral OOC and fast…

  15. I did BCOD spin for a while but then coudn’t maintain it. I’m at up 6am but much earlier than that it feels like death.

    Then again, I go to bed at 10:30 so, 7-7.5 hours I guess is standard.

  16. Playing hockey from age 5 all the way through college was always an evening thing. And now I work in a night owl business (advertising). So it’s nice to unwind and shut down the brain for a bit at the end of a day with either some crazy movies on the DVR or a snow-falling quiet run outdoors (my favorite). I also find that I’m really tight in the mornings and runs hurt more. By the end of the day, I’ve limbered up and tend to “feel” each run a lot less.

  17. I so want to be a morning runner, but I like sleep way too much and I’ve never figured out how to get myself out of bed early enough to make that work. On the weekends, in the summer, I am motivated by the fact that it’s going to be 100 degrees by 10 so if I’m not up by 5:00 the run is going to be awful. Maybe I need a gym to make the workout in the morning work.

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