Running in the morning can help you feel like you gained a couple hours in your day. It’s also a great way to wake up, give yourself an energy boost, and feel like you’ve accomplished something right from the start. You may even find that a morning run is easier to fit into your schedule and that it helps keep your exercise routine consistent.
Since most races are run in the morning, it’s also a good idea to practice your morning run routine before a big race. If you want to become a morning runner, there are a few tips you can follow to make it a little easier.
A morning running habit starts with proper planning the night before. Some people think they can watch late-night TV and still get up early for a run, but sleep is important. Do yourself a favor and DVR your favorite late shows and plan to go to bed earlier. Give yourself enough time to guarantee seven to eight hours of sleep.
Once you’ve done a couple of morning runs, you’ll get more tired earlier at night. This makes it easier to get to bed early, so it’s just a matter of training your body for a new schedule.
It’s hard to blow off a run when you’re already dressed for it. If you really want to get a jump start and find motivation as soon as you open your eyes, simply wear your running clothes to bed.
This trick may seem a little silly, but runners who have tried it say that it works. You might not want to wear yesterday’s sweat-stained clothes to bed, but a clean set should be nice and comfy. Of course, don’t sleep with your running shoes on—those you’ll have to put on once you get out of bed.
If you don’t feel like sleeping in your clothes, at least lay them out so they’re ready to go. Having your clothes in your sight will make it easier to get dressed and head out for a run.
Some runners like to put their clothes in the bathroom, which forces them to wake up a little and then get dressed. As a bonus, if you have a snoozing partner next to you, he or she will appreciate not being disturbed.
When that alarm goes off early in the morning, it’s tempting to keep hitting the snooze button and skip your plan to go out for a run. If your alarm clock is across the room, you’re already out of bed and a lot less likely to say, “Just 10 more minutes…”
If this trick doesn’t work and you just fall back into bed, try placing your alarm in the next room and turn up the volume. The more steps you can put between you and the bed, the more likely you are to follow your plan.
If you’re training for a specific race and following a training schedule, it’s much harder to blow off those morning runs. You’ll think to yourself, “I have to be ready for that half-marathon,” or, “My schedule says 5 miles today. Gotta run.”
The more motivation you can give yourself, the better. Don’t have a race in mind right now? Give yourself another goal that will get you up and running. There’s almost always some new personal goal to strive for if you think about it.
Plan out your morning run the night before—how far, for how long, and what course you’ll run. Go into as much detail as you need and get yourself psyched up for how great you’re going to feel tomorrow.
Put the details of your plan on a calendar, if that helps you stay on track. Doing so will help motivate you for the run. It also ensures that you have enough time for before you start the rest of your day.
Running with someone else holds you accountable for keeping a schedule. If you usually run by yourself, try to recruit a friend to meet you in the morning. You can also find a running group that meets in the morning and join in with them.
Your running partner may even be in your own home. If your partner, kids, or roommate have an interest in running, now is the perfect time for you to team up and motivate each other.
It’s never good to run on an empty stomach. In the morning you may be more pressed for time, so it’s likely that you won’t have a lot of extra time to eat and then digest your food before heading out.
Rather than heading straight for the door, take a minute to grab something quick from the kitchen while you wake up. Try eating small foods like an energy bar or a banana so you’re not running on empty.
It is common to be dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Since running requires that you stay hydrated, you’ll definitely want to drink some water before you head out.
Give yourself a few minutes to drink about six to eight ounces of water. It will also help you wake up and give you a moment to find your morning motivation. It’s a small step, but an important one.
It’s important to stay safe and make sure you can be seen when running in the dark or low-light conditions. If you’re running in the early morning, wear white, yellow, or orange clothes that allow others to see you.
Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Although some items like running shoes and jackets already have reflective pieces on them, it doesn’t hurt to add more.
BY Christine Luff [www.verywellfit.com]