Are you thinking of becoming a morning runner? It makes sense because running in the morning comes with benefits. For example, morning runs check running off the to-do list, first-thing and also provide a way to start the day with more energy. Furthermore, morning runs mean cooler temperatures during the summer or in hot climates.
However, becoming a morning runner also requires discipline, and that begins with rearranging your morning schedule and taking time to adjust to the new routine. Fortunately, some steps make transitioning into a morning runner easier. Find tips to kickstart a morning running routine below.
- Make sure to get a good night's sleep. Set an earlier alarm to be sure to get the recommended 7 - 8 hours. You will need plenty of rest to be at your energetic best during a morning run.
When the alarm rings, you may be tempted to press snooze. Placing it out of reach before bed will help avoid this.
- Get running gear together before bed by laying running clothes out ahead of time or putting them by the bedroom door. (Having running gear in sight provides a visual cue that it is time to run.)
Some runners even sleep in their running clothes. Everyone has a preference.
Note that running in the morning may mean running in the dark. If so, your running outfit should include reflective or bright (neon) clothing so that rush-hour drivers can spot you.
- Eat smart and stay hydrated.
Even if you wake up starving, do not overeat before a run. On the other hand, eat something because running on an empty stomach could lead to feelings of weakness, nausea, etc. Therefore, eat the right foods like bananas or breakfast bars that give energy but will not slow down the run.
You may be hungry and thirsty upon waking. So, before you run, be sure to hydrate, too. Coffee is okay, but as a diuretic, it does not suffice. After hours of sleep and no water, replenishing liquids is necessary. Drink enough fluids, like water or an electrolyte-rich sports drink, to hydrate but not too much as it may cause stomach discomfort during the run.
It takes motivation to wake up early and run. Create some by rewarding yourself for consistently sticking to your morning runs or treating yourself during the run. An incentive can look like a jamming playlist that will motivate you and get your heart pumping or a spa day for completing X number of morning runs - anything to make morning runs feel worth it.
- Get a running buddy.
Tap a running partner like a family member or friend to run with (or at least hold you accountable.) A running buddy can encourage you to achieve morning run goals and increase the likelihood of sticking to a morning run routine. Also, for safety's sake, a running buddy is beneficial if running in the morning equals running in the dark.