Read part 1 of this article for 10 more great tips for running in the morning.
If you're starting to doubt your intentions after the alarm rings, then it's really time to bring out the big guns of motivation. To lift your spirit, go back to your compelling reason for why you're doing this in the first place.
I always find it helpful to visualize what I want to achieve - so really see yourself accomplishing, doing or getting the results you're ultimately after. How will that make you feel? And how will you feel if you fail? The potential pain of not reaching what we want can be as strong as a motivator as anything.
If you're still struggling, then pump yourself up using some good music or just start jumping up and down. You can do it!
If you're enjoying doing things in company with others and you think it would it more fun and motivating, then ask a good friend to join you. Perhaps someone at work would be interested in starting a morning run habit as well. Or why not someone in your neighborhood - wouldn't that be convenient? Last but not least, maybe your partner wants to join you?
Please note that it's not that important that you and your friend share the same reason for running in the morning. As long as both of you are motivated on your own, then you can feed off each other to make sure both of you stay motivated. And if you're a bit competitive, the spirit of "If he can do it, then so can I!" might help you keeping it up.
You're finally out the door :-) The excitement is hopefully all over you! You can feel how your legs are almost lifted automatically...
But wait a minute, stop!
Don't start your run too tough. This is especially true when you're running in the morning since your body has just woken up and all of your body's systems are getting up to speed again. So start slow for a few minutes to make sure you're good to go.
I always prefer listening to some music when I'm out running. It's just a way to keep me energized and focused during my workout. Although, it can sometimes be nice to skip them and instead listen to the birds sing and the wind blow. It's all up to you.
After a few minutes into your morning run, stop for 2-3 minutes to do some basic stretches. Just the normal ones for your legs will be fine. It doesn't take much time, but it can drastically reduce any risk of injury as well as decrease the muscle pain coming tomorrow.
Since you're already out running, why not make the most of the situation? I find it very good to just stop in the middle of the run and do a quick, but intense, 5 minute workout on the spot. Here's a great routine which you do 3 times:
The main benefit of including something like this into your run is that it will really expand the exercise you get. Suddenly you're legs are getting an intense challenge that will make them much stronger for next time. It also includes other parts of your body to make sure your workout is more complete.
A very common mistake when starting something new is to do it too hard for yourself. If you're not used to running and you're not an early riser yet, then don't aim for waking up at 0430 every day to go running for 5 miles (8 km).
Instead, take it step-by-step and try to form a habit out of running in the morning 2 times per week. Then from there you can scale up the frequency and the distance as you go along. This approach will surely give you better and more reliable results.
Great, you did it - the run is complete! Your first priority right now is to instantly get something to eat. The energy level of your body is probably low and to really benefit from your workout you need to recharge. Fast.
The best way is to prepare something easy before you leave home. For example a smoothie, some boiled eggs, a sandwich or some fruits are fine. As a rule, you want to eat food rich in carbohydrates. And this also applies to those of us looking to lose some weight - we need energy to burn fat.
If you're dead tired when you return from your morning run, then you gotta take immediate action. What could happen otherwise is that all you'll remember from your workout is the awful feeling in the end. Therefore, when you are done, reward yourself and celebrate your success of completing your exercise :-)
This could be done by simply visualize yourself as the healthy and successful person that you want to be. You could also use a more concrete method such as putting another 10 bucks in the savings jar for something that you really want or allowing yourself to spend an hour on your hobby. You get the idea - just something that you won't get to do unless you complete your run.
By this stage, you've heard many many tips for how to make your morning run excellent. This might give you the idea that this is a huge project that requires a lot of effort. But actually it's not. So follow Nike's words of wisdom - Just do it! Don't try to make it perfect, but just go for it and have fun. Relax and enjoy!
With all of these methods in your mind, there's no change you won't make it awesome. And please help me fill out any left out areas by commenting below. I would love to hear any more useful techniques for a successful morning run. Enjoy your run =)
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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