Three times a week I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 and am out the door for my morning run within 30 minutes. Many people have asked me how I do it, why I do it and have said that they would never be able to. What is the secret behind becoming a morning runner? The simple truth is, I love running in the morning. In winter it makes me feel like a badass, running in the dark at temperatures around or below zero degrees. In spring and fall I can enjoy beautiful sunrises and in summer it’s basically the only time I can run outside without getting a near-heatstroke. These are things I discovered after I already started running in the early mornings, how did I start?
There are many, many tips to be found online about becoming a morning runner and some are better than others. I’ll tell you what worked for me.
Plan your workout the day before
This is a really good tip and something that still helps me get motivated to get up. While planning your morning workout (type, route, distance, etc.) beforehand you have something to look forward to and one less thing to worry about in the early morning! It also helps when you’re following a training plan, since it would be such nuisance if you were to mess up the plan. Check out my post on my experiences and progress with a training plan.
Go to sleep in your running clothes
This way all you need to do in the morning is put on your running shoes and go! I’m sorry? Although my running clothes fit well and are comfy enough to go running in I have different requirements for sleep attire. I’m also assuming this wasn’t any woman’s bright idea because who wants to sleep in a sports bra? Maybe some women do, I definitely don’t.
Place your running outfit ready to go next to your bed
Similar to the previous point, but highly more comfortable in my opinion. I did this while starting out and I do believe it helped me with the getting up and getting ready process. No need to think, no need to search for anything and then discover your favorite sports bra is unwashed, everything is ready for your run, are you?
Go to bed early
This might go without saying, but if you usually get up at 7:30, waking up 2 hours earlier does mean it’s wise to also go to bed 2 hours earlier. Most people need 7-8 hours sleep so aim for that. On nights before running days I usually go to bed at around 22:00 and am asleep before 22:30.
Find a running partner
Accountability. Knowing someone is expecting you will help you get up and out the door. I do believe this can work for some people, but I have two issues with this: 1. I am not a morning person. Yes, I know, this sounds strange with all this morning running, but it’s true! No one needs to talk to me the first hour orso after I’ve woken up, just let me be. 2. You’ll need someone crazy enough to go running at the same crazy time, who lives close enough nearby for it not to be nuisance and someone who is roughly running at the same level as you are. Even if I’d ignore point 1, I wouldn’t know where to find this magical partner.
Think about pre-run fueling
Some people can run perfectly fine on an empty stomach as long as they’re not training too hard, some people don’t. I eat a small snack, high on carbs, while I’m tying up my shoes and putting on my headbands, gloves and LED lights.
Place your alarm clock out of reach
You’ll need to get out of bed to turn that annoying noise off and while you’re out of bed you might as well stay out, right? Yeah, I tried it but this method just made me (and my boyfriend!) cranky. As I mentioned before, I am not a morning person and waking up slowly is an important step in my morning process. I simply turn on a dimmed light to let my body know it’s time to wake up, scroll on my phone for a bit and after about 5-10 minutes I am ready to get up. I understand this may not work for many of you, but this is how I do it.
Setup an automatic alarm
Most phones nowadays have the functionality to setup different wake-up times for each day of the week. My alarm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays is automatically set to 5:45. This really helped me to make my morning runs a habit. The alarm is going anyway, no need to think about it. Maybe it’ll help if you customize it to a song that reminds you of running. Mine just gives me a message: “Run!”
So what is the solution, how do you become a morning runner? My advice? Just do it, try some of the tips above or anywhere else, keep your own personality in mind and go find out what works for you. Start off easy and don’t give up! Aside from the beautiful views and the badassness you’ll also get this great energetic feeling after a run, like you can take on the world. And that’s probably one of the best ways I can think of to start the day.
If you’re interested in reading more about my experiences running in the early morning, check out my post about the memorable people I’ve encountered.