Running in the early morning is a great way to ensure your run doesn’t get replaced by other commitments later in the day, and for many runners, it’s their only option to fit it around their work and family schedules. Still, forcing yourself out of bed before the sun comes up and while everyone else is asleep can be challenging, and running before work does take some planning. If you’re struggling to fit your runs into your daily schedule and are considering becoming a morning runner, follow these tips to make your morning routine a breeze.
Get ready the night before
You’ll likely be a bit groggy when you get up in the morning, so make your routine as brainless as possible by preparing as much as you can the night before. Set out your gym clothes next to your bed to avoid having to rummage through your drawer for socks at 6 a.m., and even have the clothes you need for work ready to go also. If you’re planning on having a sip of coffee before heading out the door, have your coffee maker prepped and ready so all you have to do is hit start (or even better, get one with a timer that allows you to set it to come on before you get up, so it’s ready when you walk into the kitchen).
Have a snack
If you’re often hungry when you first wake up, have a quick bite to eat, like a banana, a granola bar or something else that’s small and easy on the stomach, before you go for your run to stave off the hunger pangs until you get back. In fact, recent research suggests that female runners are better off having something small before a morning run than running in a fasted state.
Make a plan
Before you go to bed at night, you should already know what route you’re going to run, what type of run you’re doing (are you going for an easy run or is something faster on the schedule?), what playlist you’re going to listen to (if you enjoy music while you’re running) and anything else that requires a decision. Again, this saves time by preventing you from having to think too hard in the morning.
Go to bed early
If you’re getting up early for a run in the morning, don’t stay up until 1 a.m. watching Seinfeld reruns. Set a bedtime alarm to remind you to shut off the screens and begin making your way to bed, so you can get a good night’s sleep. It can be hard to force yourself into that routine initially, but your body will thank you when that alarm goes off the next morning.
Don’t hit the snooze button
This is often the hardest part for a lot of runners, but when that alarm goes off, resist the urge to hit the snooze button. If you have to, put the alarm far enough away from your bed to force you to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re on your feet, the rest is a lot easier.