So you’ve decided to start running in the morning. Welcome to the club! Running is an excellent, simple cardio workout with tremendous physical and emotional benefits.
Studies indicate that you’re much more likely to get your workout in if you do it in the morning before the rush of your day starts. You also avoid feeling pressured to choose between priorities and you have your first win before most people even wake up!Here’s how to make your morning run happen:
Don’t forget to also read our collection of running quotes that will motivate you to stay active.
14 Tips to Be a Morning Runner
1. Get clear on your Why.
Why do you want to run? Why do you want to run in the morning? Getting clear on your Why will tip the scales in your favor when it is time to do battle with your alarm clock.
2. Get a running app.
There are a lot of free ones out there that basically do the same thing so take the time to try a few to see which one works for you. Runkeeper is one example that is free, simple to use, and will connect to your diet apps and social media (if you like to share.) The biggest benefit of having a running app is to track your progress as you stay committed to your goals.
3. Get organized.
Start the night before. Lay out all of your running gear—from your headphones to your shoes. The less time you spend trying to get ready in the morning is less time you have to talk yourself out of it.
4. If you’re new to running, start where you are, not where you think you should be.
Nothing kills motivation faster than pain. Choose a couch to 5k app on your phone that will allow you to repeat workouts. If the jump from one day to the next feels like too much, or you’re feeling weaker, simply repeat the day you’re working on until it feels better.
5. Exercise at the same time each day.
One simple option is to scale back the intensity and duration of your run so that you can do it every day.If running every day doesn’t work for you, then still use that same time in the morning for another activity. Consistency is the key to long-term success.
6. Attend to your thoughts.
Thinking negative thoughts while you are running significantly dials back your energy and endurance. Conversely, positive thoughts will energize you. In fact, maintaining a positive—or at least neutral—mindset is the secret to getting that elusive runners high.
7. Indulge your personality.
Are you an introvert? Then respect that and adjust your workout plans accordingly. You have the entire rest of the day to find balance. If you want to run alone, do it! Don’t feel like you have to run in a group because someone once said that a buddy will keep you accountable. For introverts, a running buddy is usually just one more effort to get through—just when you can recharge the most! Are you an extrovert? There are many ways to find a running buddy or group—putting out a call on social media can be helpful as can doing a search for your local running club, just be sure to use common sense caution when meeting someone new.
8. Embrace the variation.
You will have days when you feel like you’re flying and other days when you are running through peanut butter. Be careful not to judge them as good or bad days. Adjust your running plan so that you don’t bully yourself and then allow your heart to fill with gratitude. You are a runner who gets to watch the sunrise. Not too shabby!
9. Eat a light snack before you run.
This is especially important for morning runners since you likely haven’t eaten since the night before. While nutritionists might disagree about what to eat, the best bet is to experiment to see what works for you. Whether it’s a piece of toast or a cup of yogurt, eating something light before you run will give you the energy to get through the miles.
10. Ask your family for what you need.
Small adjustments in the morning routine may be all you need to carve out that wonderful time for yourself. Remember, you deserve to take care of yourself with exercise as much as you deserve to shower. State your needs clearly and your family will adjust.
11. Safety first.
Run in a place and time of day where you feel safe. Not only is this a good idea for your physical safety, but worrying about your surroundings can completely drain your motivation before you even step foot out of the door.
12. Use the Five-Minute Rule.
If you don’t feel like running that day or feel too busy, commit to running for at least five minutes. If you want to stop after those five minutes, that’s okay. Not only does this keep your motivation intact, but it also sends a clearer message to your family about your new routine.
13. Don’t run if you are sick or injured.
Just don’t. If it’s a short-term illness like a cold or flu, get better first, and understand that it may take time for your energy to fully return even after the worst of the illness passes. You may have to reduce the intensity or duration of your runs while you’re getting back into it, but it’s better than doing too much and wearing yourself down. If you have an injury, talk to your doctor about resuming your runs safely. Above all, trust and respect your body.
14. Make sure to get some sleep!
If you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to use that snooze button, and if you do get going the run will feel like a chore. Sleeping well the night before can mean the difference between feeling run down or feeling strong, energized, and happy.
15. Run in the morning.
Running in the morning sets the tone for fitness and greater emotional wellbeing throughout the day ahead. Lace up your shoes and get ready to change your life!