Many runners enjoy getting up early and beginning their day with a run, while the other half of us struggle to wake up, get our coffee, and make it to work on time. Over the years, I've found, especially during marathon training season, that it can become very difficult to squeeze in your miles if you put off your run until the end of the day. Because of this, I thought what a great time to share my 5 tips to help you with your morning run.
1) Go to bed early
While this sounds so simple, it can actually be a daunting task. Time management only gets easier with consistency and discipline. No matter what, ensure you wake up to run with a full 8 hours of sleep! This will guarantee your body has the rest it needs for optimal performance. I'd recommend setting 2 reminders on your phone. The first to let you know when it's one hour prior to your bed time. This serves as a warning to let you know that it's time to finish your bedtime routine and get in your pjs. The second alarm should be set for 15 minutes before bedtime. This should give you a red flag of warning! Go now, and pencil sleep into your calendar! Because we need it y'all.
2) Eat breakfast
I am so guilty of skipping breakfast when I run in the morning and have found myself irritable, lethargic, and drained during my run. Every training run will require fuel for your body. Some of my favorite breakfast items include:
- Oatmeal & a Banana
- Toast with Almond Butter & an Apple
- Clif Bar (I love Chocolate Chip!) & an Orange
Not everyone's body will handle breakfast the same way. For instance, I know many runners who enjoy coffee prior to a run. While on the other hand, people like me could NEVER do this.. and must wait until we have completed our miles to enjoy our mugs. Trial and error works best here. Find out what combination of food you run the best after eating and what upsets your stomach. This will also prep you for race day! I also love to drink a glass of water about 45 minutes prior to a run. Helps me to feel hydrated but still gives me enough time to digest.
3) PJs = Running Gear
I know what you are thinking.. WHAT? But this has proven to motivate me to get my butt up at 6AM. When I know I'm going to have to run in the morning, I will go to sleep in my running shorts and shirt. This gives me 15 extra minutes that I would usually spend looking for my sports bra or finding my matching top. It's one step on my list that I can check off early. Try it.. I know you will never look back. (Also, less laundry! Win-win!)
4) Pick Your DJ Wisely
Remember, the morning time is when you will need extra motivation to get going. Take this into consideration and remember when you scan your iPod or create a playlist, to pick artists and songs that get you pumped! I'm talking ones that give you ALL the emotions. Here's some of my favorite morning jams to get me going:
- Rihanna & Eminem’s, “Love the Way You Lie”
- Miley Cyrus’s, “Wrecking Ball”
- Moon Taxi’s, “Whiskey Sunset”
5) Find a Running Buddy
Accountability was one of the most important lessons that running taught me when I trained for my first marathon with Tristate Running Company. If you have a morning run scheduled with a friend who is counting on you to be there, you are much more likely to show up and not make an excuse! A running partner can keep you on track for mileage, weekly goals, and pacing time. I recommend finding someone who is close to you in location and is training nearly the same pace time that you are. It makes running much more enjoyable!