Everyone hates to hear their alarm clock each morning; it is a universal emotion. Cold, rain and darkness are the threats to a succesful morning jog. This is especially true for those runners who have yet to fall into a morning routine. Below are 5 suggestions to help you conquer the early morning hours.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Get the easy stuff out of the way the night before, particularly if you share a bed with someone else. Lay out your clothes (after checking the weather report for the following morning), set up your breakfast, and position your running shoes near the door. This way, the only work you have the next morning is convincing yourself to leave the warmth and comfort of bed. There is nothing worse than hunting for your favorite socks or waiting for your iPod to charge while your partner is trying to sleep and you're trying to get out the door. Avoid a chaotic morning by preparation at night.
Research Your Route
This compliments preparation. Know where you would like to run and how to get home. The morning is not an ideal time to get lost, particularly if your boss isnt fond of tardiness. A fulfilling morning run can be the perfect start to your day or destroy your entire daily schedule. Avoid missed meetings or a rushed post-run shower by knowing your route.
Run with a Friend
Knowing that a buddy will be there to encourage you makes it easier to drag yourself out of bed. As you know, misery loves company. Running isnt miserable, but knowing you've left a good friend to run on a rainy morning by themselves is. Local running groups will often hold morning and evening runs. It is always a good idea to stop by a running shop or sporting goods store to ask about local groups that love the sunrise. Plus, early daylight runs with a group feel kind of secret and exciting, since you know the rest of the world is still snoozing away.
Long Runs are for After Work
No need to go for a PR long run in the morning. Start in small steps. The right distance can energize you for the entire day, but go to long and you'll be sleeping on your desk by 3pm. Even if you can run long, fitting in a 90 min run with time to eat, shower and get to work may not be ideal. You can always make the morning a time for tempo runs to fit in high intensity while still keeping the overall time commitment manageable.
End with a Treat
Youve just completed a run before most people have brushed their teeth! Indulge your sweet tooth and eat syrupy pancakes or a chocolate-walnut muffin! Or, if you are a caffeine addict, end the run at your favorite coffee shop. Of course, don't overindulged and ruin the work of your early run. Treat yourself to a post run treat on occasion to reward yourself for getting up extra early.
Now get out there and conquer the morning!