If you can go to work after a sleepless night, you certainly can run, but nothing will be satisfying about it. Generally, it will only make you more physically exhausted than you were before. Staying up late or only getting two or three hours of sleep can leave you feeling unmotivated, drained and sleep deprived, but there are ways you can add some pep to your step to prepare for your run.
Drink cold water
A cold glass of water can help you feel more awake and alert and help fix any dehydration issues. If drinking cold water does not do the trick, try splashing some cold water on your face.
The temperature of the water on your skin will help draw blood flow up to your head. This suggestion can help wake you up quickly and give a quick adrenaline boost. Having a cold shower can do the same.
A cup of tea or coffee
Consuming a caffeinated drink will speed you up for a couple of hours. Caffeine is a stimulant that can give you a quick boost if you are low on sleep. Caffeine can help you feel instantly alert, especially if you have not eaten anything.
Caffeine works by blocking the action of a natural brain chemical that is associated with sleep.
One or two coffees per day won’t harm your long-term health, but if you are having upward of 400 milligrams of caffeine (4+ coffees/day) you may want to cut back. Caffeine in large amounts may interfere with the absorption and metabolism of calcium. This can contribute to bone thinning (osteoporosis).
A quick nutritious snack
If you are feeling lethargic or find it difficult to focus, fresh fruit, oatmeal or nuts are all good energy-boosting options. Bananas, oranges, apricots and dates are all easy pick-me-up snacks that are also high in nutrients, to give you some energy before your run. (Although processed foods that are high in sugar may give you a quick kick, they can cause you to crash soon after.)
It’s important to remember that running should not be a struggle, so if you feel you cannot do it any longer once you’re out there, stop. Go home, get some rest, and try again later.