One of the questions I always get: how in the world do you get up in the morning to run?
I’m not going to lie, it’s never been easy and it’s not that easy now.
I first started running in the morning when we initially moved to NYC. Otherwise, I had always been an after-work runner, squeezing in workouts as soon as I got home and before I settled in for the night. It was kind of a downer because it did limit how much after work stuff I could do because, especially when I was training, I didn’t want to miss out on a run.
Anyways, when we got to NYC, I realized that wasn’t going to work. My work hours were a lot later (til 6 p.m.) and that didn’t mean you were going to get done at that time. On top of that, I had at least a 50 minute commute (on a good day!) so basically got home in time to make dinner. And then what, go run? It just didn’t make sense.
I knew it was going to rough, but I figured starting a morning running routine was the best option to keep my running alive.
And oh man, it was rough. There were SO many days I would turn off my alarm in my sleep without realizing it; or other days where I would hear it, turn it off and go back to bed. Now, over five years later, I feel like I have a good handle on running in the AM but there are still those days where I wake up and just think, ugh, seriously?
There are a few things that can help when find your love for a morning run:
1) Lay out your clothes the night before. The less you have to do in the morning, the better. I always lay out my clothes the night before and leave them in the bathroom so I can jump in and get ready to go. Not having to think about this is immensely helpful. And I can never use the excuse that I don’t know what to wear.
2) Have someone hold you accountable. This was the most helpful for me.
If you can’t have someone push you out of bed, make plans to run with a friend. Set a time with a running coach. Whatever it is, have “someone” support your drive to success.
3) Don’t jump into it too much fast. There are days now where I get up at 5:15 a.m. (and know a lot of other people get up even earlier!). If I would have started with this right off the bat? I would have failed. Slowly get yourself into getting up earlier… maybe setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier and adjusting, then adding 10 minutes til you adjust, and so forth. It will give you a chance to get your workouts in without making it too hard on yourself.
4) Reward yourself. This sounds silly, but it’s SO true! I’m not talking about gifting yourself a spa day every time you get up and run, but give yourself a small break. Like, if you make it through your run, you get a five minute break in the morning as you’re getting ready. You get to sleep in 10 minutes later on your rest day. Figure out what would be a good incentive and live by it.
5) Enjoy those rest days. Speaking of those rest days, those are the BEST days. In fact, I have one today. The crazy part? I am sleeping in TWO hours later than I did yesterday. TWO hours! Make sure you use your rest days to your full advantage; it will incentivize you to get up earlier on the other days and keep you well rested to tackle those workouts.
Any other tips for hitting the road in the AM?
Who else is a morning runner? Evening runners? What do you love about running at that time?
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