How to Commit to Early Morning Runs

Rise and Grind!

Thoreau said, “An early morning walk is a blessing for a whole day.”  What would he have thought of runners who sprint 12 X 400 repeats, or mix in Yasso’s 800 meters at MGP, or complete an 8 mile run all before the sun is up?  He would have thought what I think-we’re all awesomesauce…okay he probably wouldn’t say it using that exact term but I’m certain he would have been impressed.

I had a great comment on my Instagram account after I posted this motivational quote.

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The comment said, “How can I get back to morning running?  I used to get up so early, but I can’t seem to do it.”  The teacher in me loves questions.  Answering questions leads to understanding, understanding leads to learning, learning leads to knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Here are my 5 tips to Early Morning Runs:

Tip #1-Find Your Motivation

When your alarm clock goes off at 3:55, 4:20, or 5 am there has to be a reason pushing you out of bed.  Motivation can come from wanting to live a healthier life, it can be weight loss goals, it can be wanting more energy, it can be qualifying for Boston or chasing a new personal best.  For me the best way to stay steadily motivated is to register for an upcoming race, it’s a goal with a deadline that I have to continue working towards every day.

Tip #2-Have a Friend

Runs are so much better with friends, especially when you are dressed like two coal miners, (Head lamps anyone?) ready to explore the Artic, (January will be here before we know it.)  in reflective gear so bright you look like a tired 80’s pop princess.  These are the kind of memories you make when you run with a friend.  A friend helps you be accountable, a friend keeps you safer, a friend will be an important part of your run-therapy where together you attempt to solve all of the world’s problems before the sun rises.

Tip #3-Be Organized

It’s okay to channel Adrian Monk when you’re prepping for a morning workout.  You need to be a little OCD when it comes to laying everything out.  You don’t want to be untangling ear buds at five in the morning or hunting down the match to a pair of socks in the laundry basket at 4:30 am.  Yes, it takes some extra time and planning, but the investment into your health and happiness is worth it.

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Tip #4-Expect it to be hard…for a little while.

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”  So what are we?  What habits are we forming?  Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a habit, although the more difficult the habit, the more time has to be invested in creating it.  Don’t let that discourage you-let it inspire you!  Habit, is simply a matter perseverance and practice.  Aristotle continues, “Excellence…is not an act but a habit.”  We are just a 21 day habit away from excellence.

Tip #5-Consider the Alternative

Keep sleeping in, keep putting it off, keep thinking there’s not enough time in the day, keep saying tomorrow, keep putting yourself last, keep feeling guilty, keep wishing for change, keep everything the same.  Or…make a change, find your happiness, trade an hour of sleep for an hour of awesome, push yourself out of your comfort zone, find out how strong you really are, attack the day with energy and enthusiasm.  It’s waiting for you and it’s just outside your door.

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What has been a hardest habit for you to make?

Are you an early morning runner?

What’s the best part about waking up and running?

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