How to get up each day for a morning run

Every day, I get up for a morning run, and I love it! A few weeks ago, I shared with you reasons why you should become a morning runner.  Today, I’m going to give you some tips on things that helped me become and stay a morning runner!

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Commit to it. Each night, commit to your workout before going to bed. I guarantee you that if you are wishy washy about doing it, it will be much harder to get out of bed and do you morning run. Don’t leave the decision until the morning, make it the night before.

Give it 100% effort for 3 weeks. It takes time for your body to adjust, so don’t quit after a few tries at a morning run. Look at your calendar and find three weeks that you can commit to it.  Wait until you’ve tried it for three weeks before you decide if it’s for you or not. Just like running, it doesn’t happen in one day.

Get some accountability. Find a running partner to meet you. If that’s not an option, find someone to text with each morning.  Christina and I text many mornings as we are getting ready. It helps wake me up, but it also holds me accountable.

Go to bed early. This one may be hard at first, but it will become easier as you make this more routine. Shut off electronics an hour before you need to sleep, and read or take a hot bath instead. You still need your sleep!

Capturing a sunrise is a great benefit of a morning run

Capturing a sunrise is a great benefit of a morning run

Set multiple alarms. In case you accidentally turn one off, you’ll want a backup so you can make it out for your morning run.

Drink a glass of water before bed. Not only will it hydrate you, but you’ll need to go to the bathroom first thing (which will help you wake up).

Put your alarm across the room. This is probably my #1 tip for making morning run happen. Not only does it put your phone out of reach so you are forced to sleep instead of screwing around on it, but you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off.  Whatever you do, don’t go back to bed! Force yourself to keep moving. If you followed the last tip, you won’t have much of a choice…

Want to become a morning runner? These tips will help you be successful. #runchat Click To Tweet

Sleep in your running clothes (or lay them out the night before).  It’s just less effort in the mornings. In the winter, you don’t have to worry about getting cold undressing and putting on running clothes. Not everyone can do this though, so at the minimum, lay everything out the night before.

Experiment with pre run fuel. Many runners wonder what they should eat before their morning run. Some runners need something in their stomach, some are okay running on empty first thing.  This is a very individualized thing. I usually drink a V8 Energy juice, and if I’m going 5 or more miles, add food ranging from half a cliff bar to a bagel and hard boiled egg. Experiment and figure out what works for you.

Get some motivation. While I’m eating, I’ll read blogs, catch up on Instagram, or look at motivational images on Pinterest, usually while listening to music that pumps me up. Figure out what works for you to get your mind in the right place.

Train with no excuses, race with no regrets

Build in time for warmups, cooldowns, and stretching. When you calculate how much time you will need for your morning run, don’t forget these elements. It may mean getting up earlier, but they are an important part of the run.

Don’t forget the safety gear. Ok, so this isn’t a tip to help you get up early, but it’s important to mention! Running in the morning often means running in the dark, so safety is important.  Bright clothes do not make you visible when it’s dark! Here are three items I never leave the house without for my early morning runs (note: affiliate links).

Wrist Pepper Spray  – I have thankfully never had to use this, but after a run-in with a coyote one morning I immediately went online and got this.  Even if you live in a very safe area, you never know when you could have a run-in with wildlife or a person.  This pepper spray is lightweight and gives me (and my loved ones) some piece of mind.

Reflective Vest – It took me forever to find a vest that I liked, because I didn’t want something heavy or bulky.  This vest is essentially just the reflective tape and it works great.  It’s very adjustable – I’m petite and it works great!

Headlamp – It’s dark out there! I love this headlamp, it’s nice and bright and stays in place.  I wear a headband or visor under it.

Be safe outside! Don’t forget your gear.

Streamline the rest of your morning routine.  I’ve spent some effort here in order to give myself more time in bed.  I’ve found hairstyles that take half as long, I pre-prepare meals that I can eat on the go, and most importantly, I don’t putz around! I’ve shaved over 30 minutes off of my morning routine and it really helps! Sign up to be a part of my community below, and you’ll get my tips on saving precious time in the morning. More time = more sleep!

If you’ve found these tips helpful, will you please considering making a $1 donation to my fundraising efforts? I am on a mission to raise $10,000 to run the NYC Marathon with Fred’s Team, which supports cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  You can click here to read more about my efforts, and you can click here to donate!

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  1. I’d add to have a designated area where you keep all of your running stuff. I have a shelving unit in my home gym where I have all of my running stuff – hats, flipbelt, headphones, fuel, watch, bracelets – everything is stored there. One central location for it all means that I’m not hunting around for stuff in the morning or scrambling around to grab everything. I make it a point to take everything off when I’m standing at the shelf after the run so make it all easier to put away.

    • Totally agree with this tip! I have a “running bin” where I keep my reflective stuff, pepper spray, etc. It does make it super easy to find everything!

  2. Mine would be have a job that doesn’t require you be in the shower by 5:30 am. Waking up at 3:30/4 am is just too much for me. So while I prefer morning runs I only enjoy them on weekends.

    • Yes, having to go in early is a huge bummer. I usually have to be in the shower by 6:15 if I’m going into the office, but on the flip side I don’t get home until well after 6pm!

  3. I have a hard time staying motivated and committed to running. What is the best way to discipline oneself as a runner?

    • Ashlie, there isn’t a “silver bullet” unfortunately. You need to know your WHY for running and understands what drives you. Maybe it’s a time goal, or maybe it’s setting a good example for someone in your life. I’ve found that running for charity has been super motivating. At the end of the day though, you just have to do it. Your desire to be successful has to be greater than your excuses. Try to find a running friend for some accountability. Good luck!

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