The Best Way to Set Yourself up For Early-Morning Run Success
Knocking out your run in the morning is a great way to kickstart your day. You begin the morning with energy, you aren’t worried about cramming it in after work, and you get quality “me-time”. But the biggest barrier keeping many runners from running in the morning is? It’s early!
Personally, I am 100% a morning person, but I empathize with the masses who are not. While you may not transform yourself into a morning person, here are the best ways to be a successful morning runner!
Have a Plan
I don’t know about you, but when my alarm goes off, my pragmatic thinking skills are not there yet. Waking up early with no plan makes it super easy to go back to sleep. You won’t be as committed to getting out the door when you can’t envision what you’re doing. Are you running for a set amount of time? A certain distance? What route will you take? When do you need to be back home? With that much up in the air, it can seem daunting to get going.
Your plan doesn’t have to be extravagant to be effective. Figure out what time you need to be out the door and need to return, and have a route (if you’re running outside) planned so you can get up and get out the door. This will make it much easier to get your feet on the floor.
Be as Ready as Possible
Having a plan for your actual run is part of this, but the other aspect involves your gear. Set out the clothes you will wear – check the weather the night before to have an idea of the temperature and conditions – and any gear you’ll need like water bottle, hat, FlipBelt, etc. so you don’t waste time searching for what you need. Full disclosure, I sleep in a sports bra more nights than I don’t.
It’s easy to cancel on yourself, but telling your friend who got up at 5:30 to meet you for a 5-miler that you don’t feel like getting out of bed is much harder! Look on Meetup.com for local morning running groups or find a morning runner friend to coordinate with. Having outside accountability is super helpful for days you start bargaining with yourself to hit snooze.
Set a Bedtime
Getting up early is significantly easier when you get enough sleep! It’s obvious in logic, but often goes to the wayside for another episode on Netflix. You should have a plan in place and know when you need to be out the door in order to get to work on time, so work backwards. Figure out how much time you realistically need to wake up, get changed, eat or drink something (if you need to), and set a bedtime alarm for 8 hours before that wakeup call. For more tips on creating a bedtime routine, check out this post!
Picture Yourself 10 Minutes In
No matter what I’m doing first thing in the morning, I question it when my alarm goes off. “Why do I even run?”, or, “Do I really need this job?” are the first thoughts I have. But, I’ve run enough early morning routes to know I will feel completely different the second I’m out the door. I love the quiet streets, my wandering thoughts, and the feeling of coming home energized and refreshed. When the I’d-rather-do-anything-else-but-this thoughts creep in, picture yourself already running. Imagine yourself a mile into your run, how it feels and how it sounds. Know that you just need to get over the hump of getting out the door for things to feel better.
If you never run in the morning, don’t set a goal of running 5 mornings a week. Start with one day a week, and get used to that routine before increasing the number of morning runs on your calendar. As your body adapts, it will get easier and you may soon find you enjoy enough about it that it’s easy to add more. Starting with a lower mileage or time is a great way to ease into morning running. If your standard steady state run is 5 miles, start by committing to 3. You won’t have to get up as early, and a shorter run isn’t as daunting. You may surprise yourself and after 2 miles, feel great and extend it. If not, you got your planned run in; win-win!
Are you a morning runner?
What’s the best trick to getting out of bed?