Level of activation in the A.M.

In Chapter 6 of CFTS, under key points Charlie states,

“all activites involving a maximum effort such as speed training should never be done in the morning since the level of activation of the system is not at a sufficently high level. The athlete cannot perform at as high a level of quality in the morning and it more vulnerable to injury.”

well as most of you know a great deal of our meets wheather you in college or higher level start in the morning. Since the level of activation of the system is not as high is there a chance we are not as fast in the morning or does that only somehow apply to training?
to tell you the truth i feel alot better running in meets later in the day especailly at night when i feel most awake. But im sure that is also because you have been moving around around all day and your body is in fact more awake rather than competing after 8 hours of remaing asleep in one position. thoughts comments?

Excellent point!! Why do they run meets so early in the morning. Especially trial rounds of the dash or 100m.

I definately agree with this. The only way I have found to work around this is to make sure everything else is balanced: sleep, nutrition, etc. I try to have my athletes up 4 hours prior to their earliest event when we travel, (when events such as LJ are at 10am). What do others do for preparation?

If you have AM comp, get up early and make sure you warm up with extra care. Fortunately, this is usually for rounds. Some athletes prefer to work out in the AM nad can handle it with no problem. In this case though, I’d be careful about food intake, as digestion competes for the blood suply etc.

I generally perform best in the afternoons (and this is when I usually train) but, if I know that I am going to have an early am competition, I will usually try to slowly move my training schedule earlier, starting about 2 weeks before the competition. The idea is to drag your butt out of bed and start getting used to performing at a high level even if it is early in the morning. This makes it less of a shock on the day of the competition. In addition, you get a chance to experiment with what kind of food intake works best for you when running in the morning since, as Charlie says, this can be a problem.

The other good advice is to make sure you get up early enough…dlive11’s advise (at least 4 hours) sounds like a good rule of thumb.


I get up at 6am and train from 7-8am every tue and thurs. These are my 2 main CNS intensive workouts for the week. I seemed to cope pretty well with it this year, I can never eat before training though.