Morning Run
20 Easy-To-Use Tips From Start To Finish
(part 1/2)

Morning Run

Going for a morning run, are you? Great!

Since I know this is something many of us wish to do, I've compiled a list on the most effective tips for successful running in the morning. As I said, many of us wish we could run in the morning, but it's very common to not really make it up or to quit after just a few days. This is what we really want to avoid here and if you look through these tips, all ordered from start to finish, then you will double your chances of making it great.

Nowadays I have a few periods during the year when I run in the morning, especially in the summer of course =) But for a while I used head out running almost every morning. It just gave me such a kick start on a new day!

Also note that even though there are many steps involved here, it's actually not that hard! Check out the final tip if you're here for the quick fix :-)

1. Create A Strong Reason

The first and most important thing once you've decided to go for a morning run is to really create a compelling and unbreakable reason. Something that will make you go "Yes, I'm gonna do it!".

Some great reasons from the top of my head could be:

  • Training for a specific race
  • Losing that extra holiday weight
  • As a cornerstone of your transformation to a healthy human being
  • To live each day and get a fresh and energetic start each morning

Whatever you find inspiring can be your motivational reason. Dig deep to find something that will drive you up in the mornings.

2. Lay Out All Your Running Stuff The Night Before

This is a must-do! It always helps to push me over the edge when I know it's just so simple to get out the door. Some even recommend that you sleep in your running clothes =) but personally I don't go that far. It's enough to put everything in order so you can just get ready in a few minutes the next morning.

3. Make A Commitment And Get In The Right Mindset Already The Night Before

Try to really promise yourself that you will get up tomorrow and run! Feel it and reach the point where it seems impossible that you wouldn't follow through. Use your compelling reason to really anchor your commitment and there's no way you will procrastinate once the morning arrives :-)

4. Plan Your Run

Don't just go for your morning run without knowing where to go. Instead, make it simple for yourself. Decide a route to take and set a target goal of about how long it will take you.

I suggest going for something like 20 minutes of running in the morning. Personally, I like it short and intense which is enough to really give you a great start of your day. Also decide your exact wake up time and what time you'll be out the door. All this will make your morning much simpler and remove all doubt in your mind that this is actually a good idea to begin with.

5. Go To Bed Earlier

At this stage you have done all preparations you're able to do the evening before. Next step is to make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time as well.

There's nothing worse than ruining your plans for tomorrow at the day before already. I hope you have a good bedtime and wake up habit from before that incorporates about 7-8 hours of sleep. If you have, then waking up early will be a no-brainer. If not, start your habit of running in the morning with going to bed a bit extra early to simplify the transition.

6. Do Not Snooze

Snoozing for 9 minutes can totally destroy the motivation you created the night before. So do whatever it takes to get straight up - put your alarm clock far away, use a wake up song or any other strong method to wake up in the morning.

I know this is an obvious point, but if you're at all serious about going for a morning run, then do not snooze under any circumstances. If you lose time by snoozing, then you'll just be stressed while running to catch up time - a feeling that won't give you the start you're looking for.

7. Eat Before Running

There are two main reasons why you should eat something before heading out:

  • You're hungry like crazy in the morning
  • You need the energy to get you through your morning run

Based on these two, which both apply to me :-) I have found some great food to start with before running:

  • A bagel with some jam
  • A banana, some yoghurt and a glass of juice
  • An energy bar

All of these three will both give you the energy and stop the immediate hunger feelings. If you're goal is weight loss I would avoid the energy bar though. In general, go for easily digestible food without fiber to make sure you get quick energy. And remember, this is not your full breakfast but just something to get you going.

8. Drink Before Running

Just as important as eating before running in the morning is drinking. After a long night without water your body really needs to hydrate again. Even if you feel that you don't need it when you wake up, take my word for it and drink a few cups. Otherwise, there's a risk that you suddenly start feeling dehydrated in the middle of your jog.

Just water is enough, but juice, milk or anything similar is perfect as well.

9. Don't Check The Weather Or Outside Temperature

Ok, so at this point you're up and ready to go. Whatever you do, don't start checking the weather too carefully. If thoughts like these starts to enter your mind...

  • "It looks cold outside, perhaps I should postpone until tomorrow..."
  • "Is that rain I see, hmm, perhaps not the ideal conditions..."
  • "That strong wind will probably make it feel very cold, do I really have to go out..."

...then you're in trouble! So stay focused at your goal of getting out the door whatever the conditions are.

And I guess I don't have to say this - once you're out, never return without completing your mission :-)

10. Get Out Running Within 10 Minutes Of Waking Up

One thing that I've found really important to avoid any chance of changing your mind in the morning is to limit the time from the alarm rings until you're out. If you’re able to use only 10 minutes or less to get dressed, eat lightly and drink some water, then you're set up for success.

What can happen otherwise is that your mind starts saying things like "perhaps I need a bit more sleep to get me through the day..." or "why I am really doing this so early in the morning...". So again, my tips is to stay focused at the task at hand and just

  1. Wake up
  2. Get ready
  3. Run

Simple as that :-) at least in theory!

Read part 2 of this article for 10 more great tips for running in the morning.

Morning Run - Part 2

Early Riser > Morning Exercise > Morning Run

Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan

Return to the top of Morning Run