Many runners are early risers…or is it that many early risers are runners? I know for me as I became a runner and started running in the morning it became my favorite time of day. Throughout my adult life I’ve been a morning person, but even still, it can take some work to become a morning runner. It’s one thing to wake up early and sit around drinking coffee; it’s another to wake up early and go for a run. If you are looking to become a morning runner, here are some tips to get you started.
Tips to Help You Become a Morning Runner
1. Develop a morning routine
Having a routine is key so that you know exactly what you need to do when you wake up. You can even write down your routine as you are getting started. Maybe when your alarm goes off you turn on the coffee, get dressed, eat something small and drink coffee, warm up, and head out the door by a certain time.
2. Hold yourself accountable
How will you make sure you stick to your plan? Well, first off, it’s helpful to have a plan. If you use an app like VDOT or another training tool you can schedule your runs. Maybe mark down whichever days you want to run in the morning. It can be satisfying to mark a run as “complete” or check something off of a list!
3. Start becoming a morning runner in the summer
Personally, I think summer is the easiest time to start running in the morning. The sun is out so early that it kind of tricks you into thinking it’s later than it is. This gives you time to make it a routine before the winter, when it can be more challenging to get out the door in the dark.
4. Reward yourself for getting started
Positive reinforcement can be really helpful, especially at first! Maybe reward yourself with a special coffee or breakfast the first time you run in the morning. Then find something different for getting through a week of morning workouts. How about treating yourself to some new running gear once you’ve run in the morning for a month? You shouldn’t need to use rewards forever, because eventually running in the morning will become a habit.
5. Make sure you know how to stay safe
You may feel better about running in the morning if you feel like you are prepared. Follow these tips for running in the dark and always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Stay vigilant on your morning runs and make sure to wear gear that will help you be seen by cars. If you listen to music, keep the volume low, use one earbud, or try headphones like Aftershokz that allow you to hear your surroundings. If you don’t have a safe place to run outside in the mornings try to find a gym where you can work out or use a treadmill if you have one.
6. Run with a friend or running group
Many runners prefer to run with others, especially in the mornings. If you have a running buddy who will meet you for a run, it’s more likely that you will get out of bed knowing that they are waiting for you. You can also see if there are running groups in your area who run in the morning.
7. Shift your sleep schedule
As you transition to morning running, you will want to transition your sleep schedule. If you are waking up an hour earlier you will want to go to sleep an hour earlier. This may take some time to get used to. If before you were running in the evenings, then technically you should have more time now to go to bed earlier. If it’s hard to fall asleep earlier than you are used to start by trying to go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and go from there. Eventually you will adjust to a new routine.
8. Start with one morning run a week
If you are really struggling to become a morning runner, start with just one morning run a week. This is what I did when I was first out of college and working a full time job. I didn’t want to run in the mornings every day, but I knew I wouldn’t go to the gym after work on Fridays because I usually had plans. So on Fridays I got up early to run before work. I realized how much I liked having my run done early and not having to do it after work. From there I started running in the morning on other days too.
9. Give yourself plenty of time for your morning run
The last thing you want is to feel rushed or to be late to work. If you know you are going to snooze your alarm, set it for earlier than you need to. Factor in time you need to get ready and add an extra 10 minutes just in case. You will want to be sure to include time for a good warm up and cool down as well.
10. Make it a habit and stay consistent
The key to becoming a morning runner is consistency. If you make it a habit it will become easier to stick with it. That’s not to say that becoming a morning runner is easy for everyone. Some people are naturally morning people and others are not. If you get into a good routine for a month or so, it won’t feel so hard and hopefully you will love how it feels and want to keep up with it.
What time of day do you prefer to run?
What helps you stay motivated to get out for a run?
If you are a morning runner, how did you get started?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner and Runs with Pugs to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.