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10 Tips for Getting Up Early for a Run

 |  Running  | 

We’ve all been there. We’ve set our alarms with the intent of getting out of bed early to go for a run. When the alarm clock goes off, we hit the snooze button over and over again. Before we know it, we’ve missed the morning run that we were so determined to go on the night before. While running may be the most popular exercise for the morning, it can be a struggle for some. Read on for 10 tips for getting up early for a run.

All runners would agree at some point in their running routine, it can be a struggle to get up early for a run. Here are 10 tips to help you get up early for a run:

10 Tips for Getting Up Early for a Run

1. Gather your running gear the night before and lay it out
Get your clothes, shoes, socks, watch or any other gear you use during a run out the night before. This way you can’t use the excuse that you can’t find your left shoe, a clean pair of socks or that all of your workout clothes are dirty. Being prepared will help to save you time looking for your running gear in the morning.

2. Allow yourself some extra travel time
If you run at a local track or at your gym, allow yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Rush hour traffic can be unpredictable in the morning. Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes travel time depending on how far away the gym or track is that you are going to. It would be a shame to spend all of your running time sitting in the car instead of actually running.

Early-for-a-run

Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Be sure to get enough sleep the night before
It’s much easier to quickly get out of bed in the morning when you are well rested. You should aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. To make it easier for you to fall asleep, avoid using all electronic devices one hour before you go to bed. It also helps to lower the room temperature in your bedroom one hour before you go to bed. If you usually wake up at 6:00 am but are planning on a 5:15 wake up call. Aim to go to bed 45 minutes earlier than you normally would this can help keep your body on a similar schedule.

4. Schedule a morning running session with a friend
If you schedule a morning run with a friend, you’re less likely to leave a friend waiting outside. With a running buddy by your side, you can be held more accountable for your workouts. Having a running buddy gives you a sense of obligation. Schedule runs with a friend (or friends) a few days a week. Knowing that you have a buddy waiting for you can make it much easier to jump out of bed. You don’t want to leave a good friend hanging, do you?

5. Allow sunlight to get into your bedroom in the morning
When your eyes sense light, they set off a chain reaction in your brain. This leaves you feeling alert and energized. To help make it easier to get out of bed, position your bed so that it faces east. Natural light can help you to awaken more quickly. If you wake-up before the sun rises, invest in a light box that works to simulate natural light. This is a great substitution for natural light.

6. Brew some coffee
Drinking coffee helps to stimulate your brain. One study even found that just the scent of coffee alone could help ease stress caused by a lack of sleep. As a result, the smell of coffee may be able to help you get out of bed and out running even if you didn’t get quite as much sleep, as you wanted to the night before. Does your coffee pot have a timer? If so, set it to brew a few minutes before your alarm clock is scheduled to go off. This can add to your wake-up call.

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7. Place your alarm clock at the opposite end of your bedroom
Instead of having your alarm clock on the nightstand, where you can easily turn over and hit the snooze button, opt to place your alarm clock on the opposite end of the room. By doing so, you will be forced to get out of bed. You will be much less likely to continuously hit the snooze button if you keep having to go to the opposite end of the room to turn it off. To give yourself even more motivation, place your running gear right next to your alarm clock. With everything in one place, you should feel much more inclined to go on the morning run that you’ve set out to achieve.

8. Make it an evening goal to make yourself tired
If you can’t seem to fall asleep earlier enough to run out of bed the next morning, there are things you can do to make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. Try to limit your caffeine intake during the day. Additionally, make 4pm the cut-off time for any caffeinated beverages you may drink. Try a warm bath, a cup of tea or a calming yoga sequence before bed. Try to get yourself into a regular bedtime routine so that falling asleep early becomes easier and easier for you.

9. Make your morning runs a date with a local running group
Find a local running group that only goes for AM runs and commit to the group. Running groups are available for individuals who are just running to stay in shape all the way up to runners who are looking to set a personal best at their next marathon. Much like exercising with a friend, when you find a running group you really enjoy running with, you are going to be much more willing and excited to get out of bed in the mornings.

10. Don’t hesitate to reward yourself for a job well done
A little motivation can go a long way when it comes to getting out of bed at the crack of dawn. Pick a goal and decide on a reward. Perhaps your goal is to run three days a week. When you have achieved that goal, decide on a reward for yourself. Examples of rewards may be a new pair of running shorts, a new workout top, a manicure, going to the movies or enjoying a drink with friends after work. Rewards are huge motivators no matter what your running goals are. Thinking about the possibility of a reward can be a huge motivating factor when it comes to getting out of bed in early in the mornings.

How do you get yourself out of bed for a run in the mornings? Share your comments below.­