In my last post, I talked about some reasons why I am a morning runner. But you should know, it wasn’t always that way.
I used to be a night owl. I used to scoff at the idea of getting up before the sun for anything, let alone to run. I scowled from my apartment window, still in my pajamas and sipping on my first cup of coffee for the day… who are these people?! These are freaks of nature, I thought, because who would ever choose to run so early? To me, it was insane, mainly because I never thought that I could be that person, greeting the day with a run.
But here’s the thing – I am that person now. I am that person who has a hard time not starting my day with a run. I know it isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to start this new habit, here are 8 simple tips to live by as you begin your journey to early morning running bliss:
- Think positively. If you go to bed the night before dreading your early morning run, you are bound to wake up dreading it, too. Try to stay positive. And just remember, once you get in the groove of running early, it will become a more positive experience by nature. Attitude is everything.
- Get good sleep. Staying up past midnight is not conducive to waking up rested for your early run. There is no magic number of hours that works universally, but the common thought is that seven is a good amount to aim for. Seems like a no-brainer, but this is something that I continue to struggle with, and I have only found through experience that it makes the a ginormous difference.
- Get the right gear. If you’ve always been a day runner, you should consider making a small investment in gear that will be appropriate for running in low-light (or no-light) and cold weather conditions. This means illumination gear and layering.
- Hydrate. Of course, the amount of hydration you will need depends largely on how long and how far you are running, but being well hydrated helps me wake up raring to go. Cold water can also be invigorating if you have a hard time waking up.
- Set out your running gear the night before. It’s just one less thing you’ll have to do when you wake up. Check the weather forecast so that you’re prepared for what conditions you may face and plan your outfit accordingly.
- Don’t let yourself hit snooze. Not even once. I know… an extra ten minutes seems SO appealing at 5:30am, but it won’t help. Not only will it give you less time to run before work, but it literally won’t make you feel more rested. It’s science. If you need a little help resisting the snooze button, try putting your alarm clock across the room.
- Find the beauty. Make your early morning runs more enjoyable by finding nearby routes with sunrise views. It’s a heck of a way to start the day.
- Be persistent. This may be the most important tip. Habits are formed over time, and on average it takes 66 days to form a new habit. If you don’t fully commit to making this new habit of running in the morning, it won’t stick. The good news? Do it consistently for a few months and it will get easier and easier.
Are you a morning runner? What tip would you add to my list for those who are starting out?