At this busy time of year, it can be useful to run in the early morning. But that’s easier said than done with dark mornings and frosty starts. Here’s our best advice on how to become one of those morning people!
Why Run in The Morning?
Get it done early – running in the early morning means it’s done and dusted before you do anything else!
Enjoy the peace and quiet – morning runs tend to have less traffic and fewer pedestrians
A sunrise treat – time it right and you’ll see a winter sunrise whilst most people are still asleep
Energise your day – running in the morning gives you physical and mental energy for the rest of the day
Reclaim the evenings – and you’ll have the evening free to do…whatever else is on your to-do list (or perhaps even to relax!)
1 Work backwards from bedtime
You need to get 7-9 hours sleep, especially if you want to live an active lifestyle. Make sure you go to bed at a decent time, and don’t lie in bed on your phone. Wind down and actually go to sleep.
2 Lay out your kit
Get everything ready for your run before you go to bed. Lay it all out (in a separate room, if you need to avoid waking up your partner). Make it as easy as possible to get out the door.
3 Drink water.
Sip a glass of water whilst you get dressed and get ready to go out. Don’t go for a run in your overnight dehydrated state.
4 Warm up.
Running when you’ve just woken up can mean you are stiffer and less mobile, especially in winter temperatures. Use the first mile or so to run more slowly, and consider stopping to do a few easy stretches after your warm up mile/s.
5 Keep it slow(er)
Morning running in winter isn’t the best time to do speedwork or sprints. The risk of injury is too high. Keep these runs for your recovery runs, long runs, or mid distance runs. Use routes you know and feel confident with.
6 Meet a mate.
It’s much, much easier to commit to morning running if you know you have a friend waiting for you. Arrange to meet a running buddy at a halfway point – that way both of you know you need to leave the house (plus you can use that as a warm up run and perhaps stretch together before you set off).
7 Well-lit surfaces
If your run is going to start in the dark, plan a route that will be well lit, with an even surface, and no risk of slippy or ice cobbles (or similar hazards). Be sensible and avoid parks and dark footpaths.
8 Make it a habit
Morning running might not feel magical to begin with. In fact, it might seem like the worst idea you’ve ever had. But stick with it for long enough for your mind and body to get used to the idea. Because it might just be the best runny habit you ever adopt.
9 Get your family on board
It’s much easier to be a morning runner when your partner and kids aren’t making a fuss. Ask for their support, explain why it will make life easier, swap some morning chores with your partner or older kids. Once everyone is onside it will be much easier to head out the door in the morning.