5 Steps to Becoming a Morning Runner

Do you ever wonder how IN THE WORLD your friend, co-worker, or social media buddy posts at 8 am sharp with something like, “Mornin’! Already ran 7 miles, walked the dog, and made breakfast this morning! Woohoo!”

I mean, really?

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That’s insanity.

But it’s POSSIBLE! In fact, once you get in the habit – it’s not only possible, it’s desirable. Yes, there’s such a thing as WANTING to wake up and run; being EXCITED to wake up and run.

At 4:30 am.

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Here are some tips that I have to get yourself going.

  1. Set your alarm at the appropriate time. This doesn’t mean set it ridiculously early. In fact, the opposite! If, in order to get to work on time, you need to get started on your run at 6:00 am and you take 30 minutes to get ready, set your alarm for 5:30. Not 4:30. But – ‘I won’t wake up to the first alarm.’ Well, if you already know you don’t need to wake up exactly at the time your alarm goes off, you aren’t going to wake up when your alarm goes off. Simple as that. Then you’re in this cycle of hitting snooze and making it even more difficult to wake up. Plus, you don’t get every ounce of sleep that you can. That hour of hitting snooze (then possibly not even waking up in time at all), you’re still awake. Just set your alarm at the time you know you need to pop out of bed. And do it! tired morning bill murray smash alarm GIF
  2. Set out your running clothes/gear. Have everything ready that you need. Not only will you take less time to get ready and be prepared for your morning run, but waking up knowing that you’ve already invested a little time in ensuring you get up and run will be motivation for actually doing it. I personally set out my clothes, shoes, socks, and my contacts. I always have everything else right by the door (my headphones, headlamp, etc). This helps a TON. Take it up a notch by WEARING your run clothes to sleep! Even if just your run shorts or a sports bra. If you’re dressed the part, you’re more likely to par-take. 
  3. Make plans! For example, meet a friend at 5:30 am sharp for a morning run – you’re less likely to sleep in if someone’s counting on you! This isn’t the only option though. If you’re like me, and don’t know many (if any) people crazy enough to run before the sun comes up, make other plans that motivate you to get your run in before the day starts. Many times, I’ll make lunch or afternoon plans knowing that if I get a run in AT ALL, it will have to be before work. This is a huge motivator, especially if you have a mileage goal, or specific run-goal for that day. If you have other obligations, it’s now or never!
  4. Get plenty of rest! This one is probably pretty obvious, but it is so important. It also goes along with eating right and doing your best to have an overall healthy lifestyle. If you feel good and are rested, it’s much easier to wake up at ridiculous morning hours. There are nights that I start getting ready for bed at 8:00 pm (seems crazy, I know!) so that I’m asleep by 9:00 pm. This is a tough one to get your mind over – a certain time might seem CRAZY early for bed time, but it’s not crazy if you’re up pushing your limits before the crack of dawn! Quality sleep is important for every aspect of running.
  5. Make it a routine! Find the tips and tricks that work for YOU, that get YOU going – whatever they may be – and stick with them! Once you get in a routine, it DOES get easier, and as mentioned before – will likely even become your preferred way to start the day! Yes! You will WANT to go to sleep early, you will WANT to wake up and start the day off with something that makes you feel AMAZING. Any other routine you can add in helps. For example, I wake up, feed the pup (she expects breakfast at 4:30 am which helps get me up!), sit on the couch and drink my pre-workout or coffee, scroll through Instagram, then put my contacts in and get my clothes on – and I’m ready to go! I have my run gadgets, Spin/cycle shoes, and Kickboxing gloves right by the door at all times, so I just grab and go. Take the extra steps and be mindful of what it takes to set yourself up for success. Then do it!                                      

What tips/tricks do you have for waking up in the morning? What gets you going?