The 9 Stages of Your Morning Run

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A recent single-participant, statistically-insignificant study on the psychological and physiological effects of morning runs provides evidence that each morning run includes nine distinct stages. In the following text we break down each of the nine stages and its accompanying effects. When analyzing your own experience, it is important to note that, much like the five stages of grief, the length of each stage of a morning run will differ depending on the individual.


The Leaving-Bed-Will-Result-in-My-Untimely-Demise Stage

It’s not a joke. Getting out of bed might kill you, without warning, in some horrible fashion, probably involving an icicle or a deranged possum. Why risk it? Lies and self-deception are the only ways to get through this stage. It might be fun, right?


The Stimulant Stage

It would be nice to think that there are some runners who are completely free of dependencies. It would also be nice to think that chocolate is completely free of health risks. Whether it’s jitter juice, gels, chews, pills, music, sugar, or a hard slap to the face, we all crave that initial boost.


The Baby’s First Step Stage

Much like a toddler ambling through their first steps, the opening strides of your run are just about not falling over as your muscles struggle to remember how to perform basic motions.


The Geriatric Stage

Your legs are much like an early 90s desktop computer. Booting them up takes a while. Unfortunately, booting up a pair of legs is painful and often results in a crone-like shuffle.


The Angry Geriatric Stage

After waiting what feels like the appropriate amount of time for a pair of 90s desktop legs to boot up, you still feel like a garbage. Why? This never happens when you run after work. Confounded things must be broken.


The Self-Abuse Stage

As is the case with any broken appliance, the application of brute force is generally accepted as the fastest solution.


The Born Again Stage

Just as you begin to seriously consider throwing your shoes into your neighbor’s lawnmower, your muscles relax and your stride becomes fluid. Finally!


The It’s Over Already!?! Stage

And right when you start enjoying the run, it’s over. Time to get on with the rest of your day.


The Accomplished Stage

Well, it might not have been enjoyable, but no matter what happens, you already got your run in.


Further studies are being conducted on the approximate length of each stage for different age groups. Initial results point to a linear relationship between the two factors, but additional analysis is needed.


Looking for alternate options of caffeine intake? See the links below to see an assortment of caffeinated hydration mixes and tabs that can take the place of that morning coffee.

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Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.

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