Running in the morning. While it might seem torturous to the uninitiated, running in the morning is a fantastic way to start your day. It won’t only make you feel great about yourself (not even counting the superiority factor!) a morning run can quite literally change the course of your day. Still not convinced?
We know it’s much easier grabbing an expresso than your running shoes – that’s why we’ve compiled this list of nine tips for running in the morning. Even if you don’t consider yourself an early bird or a runner, you’ll have your alarm set and be ready to go the distance by the end of this article! Let’s get into it.
Why You Should Start Running in the Morning
Finding a regular time to exercise is the best way to stick to your training or workout routine. If you find yourself exhausted after work or in the afternoon, then running at that time just might not be for you.
There are many reasons you should start running in the morning. Let’s check some of them out:
- A morning run will help boost your metabolism and energy levels for the day to come.
- The morning is generally cooler and a much better time to exercise – especially if you live in a hot climate.
- You are less likely to suffer sun damage.
- The morning is a peaceful time, and you are more likely to be able to grab a treadmill if you do like to work out at the gym.
- You’ll be starting your day on the right track, which means you are more likely to make healthier choices in the afternoon.
- A morning run is a great way to increase your fitness level.
- You can run before your morning shower.
- You will feel more active over the following day.
- Morning runs are better for your sleep patterns than running at night.
Tips for Running in the Morning
Teach Yourself Good Sleep Habits
Getting yourself into a good sleeping habit is probably one of the best tips we can give you for running in the morning. Good sleep habits mean going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting at least 7 hours of quality REM sleep. A good night’s rest won’t only help you when you get up for your morning run; it’ll also help you in all the tasks the day throws at you!
The good news? Good quality of sleep is linked to exercise, so once you start your daily runs, you’ll be able to go to sleep quicker when the night does come and wake up easier just in time for your morning run!
Sleep in Your Running Clothes
You read that right! Sometimes the effort it takes to get ready in the morning is enough to put off the most motivated of us. It may sound strange, but this is a pretty great running tip, especially when you are a beginner runner. Going to sleep in your (advisably clean) running gear cuts out a lot of the hassle of early morning preparation. You might like to give the shoes a miss, however!
Sleeping in your running clothes has an added benefit, especially if your morning motivation needs an extra push. While you might skip your morning run if you are unprepared, changing out of your running gear before you go for a run might be the guilt-induced push you need to hit that morning run!
Lay Out Your Clothes
Of course, if you don’t want to sleep in your running clothes, another great option is laying your clothes out the night before. Having everything laid out and ready to go will make your morning preparation a breeze and be one less excuse you have for not going. It also saves a lot of time if you are like us and have difficulty making decisions in the morning!
Put Your Alarm Clock Out of Reach
One of the classic tips for waking up and getting up is quite simply putting your alarm clock out of reach. Doing so will make you have to physically get up and take a few steps to turn it off – and you are much less likely just to roll over and go back to sleep, like when it’s next to your pillow!
If you use your phone as an alarm clock, we recommend leaving it to charge in a power socket at least a couple of meters away from your bed. Separating yourself from your phone has a double advantage, as you are less likely to waste away those precious hours late-night scrolling! Remember, even just a 30 minute run can have significant benefits for your overall health.
Plan (and Regularly Change) Your Route
We advise preplanning your route if you want to make the most out of your morning run. Having a clear path will take a lot of decision-making out of the equation so that you can get moving straight away. It can also be an excellent motivator as you can count each mile. Knowing your distance trains you to keep a good pace, which is super important if you intend to try out some long distance running or are preparing for a marathon, half marathon, or any other race.
Just don’t forget to update your running route every once in a while! Add an extra half mile or so whenever you think your training plan needs a boost. Doing so will help keep you in proper running form and will help you shake up a tired running routine.
Find a Running Buddy
A great running tip is finding yourself a running buddy. A friend will help keep you interested motivated and can even act as an alarm clock on those sleepy mornings! Try joining your local running club or find a running group to meet other beginner runners like yourself!
Do you find yourself feeling tired, sluggish, and heavy in the morning? It may have more to do with what you were eating the night before than you’d probably guess. Our digestive system never stops functioning. However, if you are in the habit of eating rich foods or significant portions late at night, you might have noticed how much less energy you feel the next day. Waking up full and groggy is an absolute morning run killer. It’s all about eating smart.
Rather than eating just before bed, try to eat your last meal of the day at least a few hours before you hit the pillow. Similarly, don’t even think about a full English breakfast first thing in the morning. Overeating before your morning run is a killer recipe for cramps. If you are hungry or want to boost your energy levels, try having a piece of fruit like an apple or banana, and save your actual breakfast till you get back!
We’re so used to going for runs in the day, sweating in the sun, and sipping on water to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, during the early morning before the sun comes out, people tend to forget the sipping step! Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration among morning runners. Never forget to take your water bottle with you whenever you hit the track.
You might also like to try having a cup of green tea first thing in the morning before you go running. If you are a coffee fiend like us, the caffeine hit will give you a boost. It’s also still considered a clear liquid. Because it won’t stick in your tummy like a cappuccino or rich coffee might, you are less likely to cramp up on your morning run.
Wear Reflective Clothing
One of the essential tips for running in the morning is getting yourself some reflective running gear. In the early morning and at night, visibility is significantly worse. If you like to run close to roads or streets where cars or vehicles are nearby, it’s so important that they can see you in the semidarkness, to avoid any sort of incident.
While there are special reflective vests, much running gear already comes pre-equipped with reflective strips. Make sure they are clear, visible, and not obstructed by a jacket or something else you wear on top. Remember, safety is your number one priority.
How Else Can I Protect Myself?
Remember, no one is immune from a running injury. Even the most seasoned runners can suffer from an injury such as stress fractures, muscle tears, or an overuse injury. Getting yourself to the finish line is a great feeling, but it should never come before injury prevention. So How can you keep yourself safe?
- Invest in a good running shoe which supports your ankles.
- Never force yourself to finish a run if you suffer a fall or other running injury. Stop immediately, seek medical advice, or consult with a physical therapist if necessary.
- Develop an excellent running technique. A running coach can help you with this, or check out some of our related articles.
- Avoid running in the rain or when the ground is wet. A wet track is slippery, and you are more likely to fall and damage yourself. It is especially true during a morning run when visibility is poor, and you may not be able to see obstacles on the path.
- Try some regular strength training to decrease muscle soreness and aid recovery.
There are so many benefits of becoming a morning runner that it’s impossible not to see the way it can positively impact you and your life. Try it, just for two weeks, and see if you notice the difference in your fitness, energy levels, and your mood.
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Rosily Ryan is an experienced health and fitness writer, editor, and health activist in Sydney, Australia. She’s written for several publications like Pure Green Magazine.