Quick Tip: How to Become an Early Morning Runner
We are all busy.
There’s no question about that. But if we are trying to maintain consistency in our training, which really is the key to improving and reaching our running goals, we have to regularly be able to find time to run amid the craziness of life.
For me, the biggest key to my consistency in training has been becoming an early morning runner.
It wasn’t something that I really wanted to do, but it was the best option for me.
Because let’s be honest, if you wait to run until after work, there is a whole host of things that can screw your run up (family, work, traffic, etc.).
But if you get up at 4:30, take the dogs out real quick, and meet your running group at 5:15, you rarely run into a problem.
Funny how “life” isn’t even awake enough to screw up your run if you go early…
How to Become a Morning Runner
I’m not going to lie, sometimes I hate that I have to run in the mornings.
And theoretically, I really don’t “have” to. I work from home, basically make my own schedule, and could damn well go running at 10 am everyday if I wanted to.
The problem is that by 10 am there are emails to send, blog posts to write, podcast interviews to record, sponsors to negotiate with, and on and on.
Never mind the fact that by 10 am in Central FL it’s hot as blazes and the humidity has reached about 126%.
But I digress.
If you want/need to start running before the rest of the day gets going, here are some tips that will definitely make the transition to being a morning runner slightly less difficult.
- Prep Everything the Night Before: And I mean everything. Running clothes laid out, shoes ready, coffee pot set, keys located, Garmin charged. And whatever else you need for your run. Have everything you need for your run locked and loaded so you don’t have to fuss with anything in the morning.
- Get Up a Little Earlier: The temptation may be to sleep until the last possible second, but that doesn’t work for me at all. I need to get up, take the dogs out, drink some coffee, and wake up a little bit before I run. I’m not the kind of person that can roll out of bed and be ready to go. I know that, so I have to adjust. If you need a little extra time to wake up, get up a little earlier. And that reminds me…
- Go to Bed a Little Earlier: Sleep is vital to our overall health, and most of us are already getting less sleep than we should. If you think you can keep going to bed at the same time while getting up an hour or two earlier, you are sadly mistaken. Your body is going to break down if you don’t give it enough time to rest, so shut it down earlier and hit the sack. Late night TV is just as good the next day on YouTube, I promise.
- Stop With the Debbie Downer Routine: Seriously, stop telling yourself you can’t get up in the morning and go for a run. There are plenty of things you can’t do. You can’t fly. You can’t run a sub-2 hour marathon. You can’t travel through time. One thing you can do is get your arse out of bed before the sun rises to go run. You may not want to, but you can do it. It’s honestly amazing how easy it is to get up to go run when you are looking forward to getting up to go running. A little positive self-talk goes a long way!
- Recruit Some Friends: Another sure fire way to get up for a run is to have a few running buddies waiting on you. It’s easy to justify turning the alarm off and going back to sleep when we aren’t letting anyone else down, but knowing that there are some friends waiting for you makes you think twice about putting the pillow over your head. It’s amazing what a little peer pressure will do for you sometimes.
Look, you might never “like” getting your runs in before the sun comes up.
I thought I’d be the last person in the world that would look forward to a 5:15 am meet up and workout. But I’ll promise you one thing, I have more energy, get more accomplished, and feel better after getting up and going for a run than I ever do sleeping in until 6:30.
And there is nothing like knowing your workout for the day is done before 6:30 am.
Are You a Morning Runner?
If So, Do You Go Early by Necessity or By Choice?
And If Not, What’s Keeping You From Running Before the Sun Comes Up?
I am NOT a morning runner. Now that it’s winter I’m more of a middle of the day runner. Honestly, I’m not a morning anything, ha! But yeah, sometimes life tells us we have to be morning runners and I’ll do it. When I was living in Syracuse last year and I was training outdoors throughout the winter for a race, it sometimes meant 5 a.m. start times. The traffic is much thinner and chances are the plow had just been through, so I’d grit my teeth and bare it for my 7.5 mile weekday runs. I hated it, but it was just safer to run at 5 a.m. then it was at 5 p.m. on those snowy, dark roads.
It’s all about finding out what works for you and doing it! Not sure I could handle a snowy run at 5:30 am, but if it was the only option I’m sure I’d figure it out!
This was great, thank you.
Have a wonderful day buddy!
Thanks Adam! You have a great day as well!
Thanks for the tips. I have luckily found a friend willing to meet me first thing in the morning to join me for part of my run and you’re right, knowing they’re waiting spurs me on! I also like to get my run out the way so I don’t miss time with my young son. Any breakfast tips for morning running?
You bet Marion!
The best tip I can give you is to try a variety of different things for your breakfast before a run. Start with something simple and easy to digest (like a banana with peanut butter) and see how that goes. The key is finding something that sets well in your stomach and doesn’t cause any GI “issues” mid-run, if you know what I mean.
You might also try forgoing breakfast before your run, and eating AFTER the run instead. But ultimately, you just have to try several option and see what works best for YOU.
I do sometimes run without eating breakfast but since training for a marathon on my 20+mile runs I definitely need breakfast so your idea of peanut butter sounds perfect. Thanks so much Denny!
You bet! Let me know how it goes!