Tons of people tell me that they want to become a morning runner but aren’t quite sure how. I’ve run in the mornings for about 5 years now and I love it. There is something about seeing the sunrise, having that time to yourself, and just the quietness you experience on a morning run that works as therapy.
Reasons to become a morning runner
You get to see the sunrise
Watching the sunrise is one of the best ways to start the day. If you haven’t tried it, do it- I promise it will change your entire mood. Running while seeing the sunrise helps to wake you up and fully appreciate everything you see.
You start your day off with success
When I was in college I ran at 5:45 am every morning. We would finish our morning workout around 7:30 when most people were just waking up. I loved that feeling of having already accomplished something before 8 am. It sets up the rest of your day for success.
You’ll make healthier choices the rest of the day
Studies have actually shown that when you start your day with a healthy choice (like going on a morning run) you will make healthier choices the rest of that day.
It clears your mind
Ever have trouble not reaching for your phone right when you wake up? I notice a huge difference in my general well being and mental clarity when I run first thing. When I don’t, I typically find myself checking emails, getting on social media, or just generally stressing myself out when I first wake up.
It will wake you up
I am sooo groggy when I first wake up in the morning and a morning run will really help me get up and going. It significantly reduces the grogginess portion of your morning.
You won’t have to worry about it later
Once you become a morning runner your afternoons are totally freed up! Plus you aren’t worrying about having to run all day. It gives me peace of mind knowing I’m done for the day and I can hang out with friends and family.
How to Become a Morning Runner
So now that you know why you might want to become a morning runner you are probably wondering how to do it. If you’re like me, you can probably muster up a bunch of motivation but then when it’s 5:30 in the morning you start talking yourself out of it. These tips help me to get myself up and running in the morning, and I hope they will help you too!
Commit to it right now
Sounds easy, right? Just commit. I know it’s a lot more complicated than this, but this little tip has helped me a lot in the past. I plan my morning around my run. When you look at as if it is going to happen no matter what, it will.
Sometimes I’ve thought “okay, if I wake up to run, my morning will look like this and if I don’t wake up to run my morning will look like this. Well, when I plan my mornings as if there is a possibility my run won’t happen, it doesn’t happen. When it’s 5:30 in the morning and you’re exhausted you will most likely give up if you’ve given yourself that option.
Meet a friend
When I ran college I thought that I was just an intrinsically-motivated person that didn’t need an outside push to accomplish my goals. However, I’ve found that morning runs are 100% more likely to happen when someone holds me accountable. If I leave running up to myself, I’ll put it off and it will be shorter than I originally planned.
I understand that solo morning runs help clear your mind and can energize you if you are an introvert. That is so me, but having a friend still helps me a lot. If this is you, try to find a friend that you are really close with and you won’t need to talk to the whole time. When I run with some of the girls on my college cross country team we often times don’t talk. It’s nice to have the company but still have some alone time with your thoughts.
Get some sleep
There are a thousand reasons you should get more sleep and one is helping you wake up for a run. Getting more sleep might be difficult at first and it takes time. However, going to bed early and getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Here are a few tips for getting high quality and enough sleep:
- Shut off all electronics an hour before bed. The blue light acts like the sun and messes with your hormones.
- Wake up early the morning before. Your bodies’ cues for sleep come from two primary functions: your circadian rhythm and homeostatic drive. Simply put, your homeostatic drive is low when you first wake up and builds throughout the day. So the longer you’ve been awake, the more sleepy you will feel. Try waking up early regardless of how much sleep you’ve had, and you will begin to want to go to sleep earlier.
- Keep the temp below 72 degrees F. The best sleep happens between 65 and 70 degrees F.
- Get sunlight in the morning. You’ve already got this one down because you are going for a run!
- Be consistent. Staying consistent not only helps with sleep quantity but also quality.
Put your alarm across the room
If your alarm is right next to you you are way more likely to just snooze it. Instead, put it across the room so that you have got to get up to turn it off.
Streamline your get ready time
Think about everything you will need ahead of time. Lay out your clothes – all of them, even your socks and shoes. Make sure you check the weather so you’ll know what to wear. Have a water bottle next your bed that is ready to go. If you are coffee drinker, have the coffee maker set up to either be ready right when you get up or where you just have to push one button. Make sure your gps watch is charged.
You’ve got this!!
Here’s some motivation for you. Everything you do, every action you take, is a reflection of the person you are. Whenever you do something, you embody the type of person that does that thing. When you wake up early to go for a run, you embody the type of person that goes on morning runs. Once you get into the habit of it, you will become a morning runner much more easily. So just 100% commit to it for awhile, and then soon you won’t even need to think about it.