early morning workouts

This summer I went from running in the afternoon to running in the morning. And by “morning” I mean first thing in the morning before sunrise. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy early morning runs. NEVER! Actually, I never thought I would enjoy running but look how that’s turned out.

Around the beginning of July I met another mother while the boys and I were at the park. On our second time of randomly being at the park at the same time we got on the topic of running. She mentioned she ran in the morning before her husband left for work. I somehow sort of invited myself to go running with her the next morning and she said yes! On the way home from the park I thought to myself, ” Did I really just commit to running at 5:50 am? Wait that means I need to get up prior to that to have time to dress, eat, etc.”

It defiitely wasn’t easy at first but after a few weeks I fell into a regular routine of am runs and my body adjusted to the early wake up calls. It’s still hard some mornings but once I get out the door I’m always glad I made the choice to get a run in.

If you are have always wanted to workout in the morning but have yet to do so I say, “GO for it! It doesn’t hurt to try. Here’s a few tips to get you started.

Find a running buddy! I LOVE running with friends. Knowing my friend Laura will be there waiting for me at the top of the hill each morning is a great motivator. No matter how much I am tempted to turn my alarm off when it goes off I can’t because I’ve made a commitment to my friend,

Prep your gear the night before. Lay out your running clothes/shoes/ipod, garmin, etc. Having your clothes laid out and ready to go is super helpful. I always check the weather the night before and plan my outfit accordingly. If I’m not sure if I want an extra layer {jacket, quarter zip, gloves, etc.} then I usually lay that out too just in case. A quick step outside in the a.m. will help me decide!

Give yourself enough time to wake-up before your run. At first I tried to wake up just ten minutes prior to my set run time. HA! There was no way I could put my contacts in, dress, eat, and stretch in ten minutes. Never mind the time it took to walk to where I was meeting my friend. I’ve learned that 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time for me. That gives me enough time to do all the things I mentioned above. Sometimes I even read a blog post or two on my phone while I am eating.

Have a mini breakfast. I usually have a couple of sips of water and few sips of coffee. At first I thought I could never drink coffee prior to running but my SIL changed my mind this summer. Just the smell of the coffee brewing as I come downstairs helps me to wake up. I drink just a little to get the juices flowing but not too much.  I also have a half a piece of toast with pb or a few pb crackers. I like to have a little bit of protein but I don’t like to eat much. Also I lay out my breakfast the night before and set my coffee to brew a few minutes before my alarm goes of.

Find a routine/schedule that works for you and stick with it! At first I ried to run M-F at the crack of dawn. I think around the afternoon of day three I was totally exhausted! I wanted to quit early morning runs at that point. But instead we scaled back our early morning runs to M,W,F. Saturday we still go in the morning but we go an hour later than normal. It’s funny that 6:30 seems like sleeping in to me now!

I hope these tips are helpful if any of you are thinking of trying early morning runs/workouts. I won’t pretend it’s easy getting up at the crack of dawn to run. Right now it’s actually really hard because it’s SO dark and cold out. It’s pitch black when I leave the house and pitch black when I get home.{ I could write a whole another post on the adventures of running in the dark!} My favorite part about getting my run on in the morning is that my workout is done for the day. I don’t have to worry about trying to fit one in during the day. If you have little people at home than I am sure you know how tricky that can be!


2 thoughts on “early morning workouts

  1. I’ve been thinking about early, early morning runs. This post definitely helps me think through a game plan, but we’re trying early evening runs the next few weeks first.

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