Becoming a Morning Runner

I am a morning person. On a typical day I am at the office before my roommate even wakes up and it’s not unusual for me to have completed my run by 6:30am.

But I wasn’t always that way! When I started grad school, I was the queen of hitting snooze and sleeping in late.

Can't I get my PhD from here?

Can’t I get my PhD from here?

When I took up running, I quickly realized what an asset getting up early would be. A few miserable, sweaty runs in the heat of the day and a few missed runs due to long days at work convinced me that morning running would be worth a shot.

Now, I am a “go big or go home” type of person…so upon deciding to try morning running, I immediately set my alarm for 5:30am the next day.

This was a bad idea. After sleeping in for years, my body/mind were not ready for such an abrupt change.

I reevaluated and decided on a more gradual approach. One week I would wake up at 8:55am and the next I would shift to 8:45. It took a while, but eventually I was able to wake up pretty much as early as I wanted.

Becoming a morning runner has done wonders for me. It makes me a happier, more productive person – I am always ready to face the day after a run. It’s also helpful when I am preparing for races, which often start early in the morning!

For the Disney Princess half marathon, we had to be on the bus at 3am!

For the Disney Princess half marathon, we had to be on the bus at 3am!

So perhaps you have been thinking about trying some morning runs. Shifting your schedule takes effort and patience – you will have groggy mornings and times when you don’t want to get out of bed.  But it gets easier and you may even learn that you love the morning! Here are some basic tips to get you started – none of this is groundbreaking, but it just might help you out:

1) Have your running gear ready!

I always lay out my outfit the night before so I don’t have to think about it in the morning. On days when I am getting up super early I actually sleep in my running clothes. Now, you may not feel like swapping your PJs for compression shorts, but preparing for your run the night before can make a big difference.

Running gear ready to go!

Running gear ready to go!

2) Get to bed early.

This one isn’t fun. It can be so tempting to check Facebook just one more time or watch just one more episode on Netflix. But it is even less fun to hear the alarm at 6am after staying up all night!

Turns out being out until 3am is not conducive to morning runs...lesson learned the hard way

Turns out being out until 3am is not conducive to morning runs…lesson learned!

3) Actually set an alarm.

This one may seem obvious, but I forget at least once every six months. This past Tuesday for example…oops.

4) Don’t hit snooze!

It’s so tempting! But once you start, it’s a slippery slope. Try putting the alarm across the room or turning off the snooze option on your phone.

Just say no!

Just say no!

5) Remind yourself how GREAT you will feel when the run is done 🙂

After an early run, I feel energized for the rest of the day. It’s wonderful not to worry about whether or not I will get my run in. I also like knowing that no matter what happens, I got a chance to run…which means it was a good day.

After the Princess Half - it's about 8am and I am already done!

After the Princess Half – it’s about 8am and I am already done 🙂

Finally, remember that there is no magic formula for becoming a morning runner and it’s not for everyone. But if you find that running later in the day is a struggle for you, it might be worth a try!

Are you a morning runner?

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5 thoughts on “Becoming a Morning Runner

  1. I can’t run until after 8:15 when I drop my daughter off at school, and that seems to be a good time for me to run. Either that, or before dinner…if it’s not too hot that is! Today I went out and ran 10 miles at 8:30 and it wasn’t too hot yet. I don’t know if I could get up and run at 5, especially since I stay up so late and my daughter doesn’t sleep through the night…someday though I might be! My husband was up and out at 4:30 while training for his iron man, but my gym daycare doesn’t open until 8…

  2. Hi Noelle, when I am in the zone and really working on taking care of me I would much rather run/exercise/do whatever in the early am. Although, I admit that I do hit the “button” from time to time…I would much rather get up and do it all at 4:30 and be done with it.

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  4. I completely agree! I feel…heavier…when I run later in the day–like the stress of the day is on me and I can’t get out of my head! I also find that when I run in the morning, my brain isn’t awake to recognize that I’m RUNNING! and it kinda leaves me alone, which is great!

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