I run almost exclusively in the morning. And I love it. I’m a morning person by nature so it doesn’t really seem all that weird to me to get up on a Tuesday at 4 AM to run 15 miles. However, I get some “How can you do that?” when I tell friends about my early morning runs. I figured I would share some tips on how you can become an AM runner too. Because, let’s face it, getting your workout in before the sun comes up is a fantastic way to start your day! Not to mention that getting it out of the way first thing is a bonus.
1. Go to bed early. This seems like a no brainer but a lot of folks must think I stay up as late as they do when they shake their heads at me incredulously. If I have a 5:30 AM run scheduled you can bet that I’m in bed by 9 PM. I’ve got Netflix and Hulu so I’m not missing anything on the TV and I eat dinner right after I get home from work around 6:30 PM. As a caveat, I don’t have children and the S.O. sometimes stays up after I do, so this routine works in my household. I know it’s not ideal for everyone.
2. Meet a friend or two. Getting up in the dark to run solo is way harder than getting up in the dark to run with friends. I started my own little running group when I first moved in with the S.O. because I hate running alone in the dark. I’m a chicken. And even if you and said friend(s) don’t run the same pace it’s nice to know that someone is out there with you. My little group keeps tabs on each other and stays within about a mile and a half of each other for the majority of our runs. Safety first.
3. Get your clothes ready the night before. Just before bed I pick out what I’m going to wear for the morning run. I usually keep my running clothes and shoes in the guest room so that I can ninja out of our bedroom and try not to wake up the S.O. and Lloyd. This prevents me from digging around and deciding that getting back in my warm bed is a better idea.
4. Don’t hit snooze. Hitting snooze actually makes things worse. I try to get up as soon as my alarm goes off. I know this is tough, but the more I think about sleeping, the more I want to sleep. I don’t give myself any wiggle room with the time I wake up either. I know that I have a finite window for getting ready (and eating if I’m running for more than an hour). I don’t want to keep anyone waiting and that also helps me get moving.
5. Make it a habit. The trick for me is that I have a solid routine of going to bed early and waking early. I’ve done it for so long now that it’s second nature. It wouldn’t work if I went to bed at midnight one night and then nine the next. I think the habitual nature of getting up early truly does make it easier.
If getting up early isn’t your thing and you don’t mind an evening run then I say stick to what works best for you! I know that once I start crossing the bridge on my way home from work that I become lethargic and want nothing more than to sit on my couch and veg out. I’ll do evening workouts in a pinch but for me, morning runs are the way to go.
Happy Hump Day! Tell me, are you an AM or a PM runner?