So, fairly often, when running, people usually ask about how to become a morning runner? Running first thing in the morning is a habit to many runners but not started that way. Natural morning people gravitate toward morning runs, but others created the routine to fit their lifestyle for the rest of life. Whether you are a morning person or not, you can become a morning runner.
I used to be a night owl and a person who despises getting out of bed. However, a couple of years ago, I decided to switch to morning runs and develop a plan to make myself more likely to succeed. Now that I have become a morning runner, I thought others might find what I did helpful.
Most importantly, exercising in the morning can help rewire your body to reach peak performance in the morning instead of p.m., found a study.
Read on to find out proven tips to create a habit of running in the morning. It is not just about becoming but staying a morning runner.
Table of Contents
- 1 Here is How to Become a Morning Runner
- 1.1 1- Know WHY and Commit to It
- 1.2 2- Learn Good Sleep Habits
- 1.3 3- Prepare Everything The Night Before
- 1.4 4- Warm-Up in Your House Before Your Running
- 1.5 5- Gradually Change Your Schedule
- 1.6 6- Don’t Run in The Beginning
- 1.7 7- Clean Your Diet
- 1.8 8- Don’t Forget To Hydrate Yourself
- 1.9 9- No More Snoozing
- 1.10 10- Regularly Plan And Change Your Running Route
- 1.11 11- Give Yourself Enough Time To Wake Up
- 1.12 12- Find Running Buddy
- 1.13 13- Should You Eat Before Your Morning Runs?
- 1.14 14- Reward Yourself
- 1.15 15- Give Yourself a Rest Day
- 1.16 16- Keep Yourself Safe
- 1.17 17- Take Time to Enjoy Your Morning Runs
- 1.18 18- Track Your Runs
- 1.19 19- Make your Morning Runs Enjoyable
- 1.20 Will Your Morning Runs leave You Tired for The Rest of The Day?
- 1.21 Final Thoughts
Why Should You Run In The Morning?
Running in the morning helps you start your day with exercise, wake you up, and make you feel accomplished. In addition, if you run in the morning, you will be more careful with your food choices during the day.
According to Harvard experts, exercising the first thing in the morning, especially before breakfast, will help you burn more stored body fat.
Most importantly, early-bird exercisers take advantage of the “feel good” brain chemicals, dopamine, and serotonin released throughout physical activity. And that will set you up for success throughout your whole day and may increase your concentration and creativity, according to a Harvard expert.
So now that you see the benefits of running, you might wonder how to become a morning runner. With the following tips, you will increase your chances of becoming a morning runner and stick to it.
Can You Become a Morning Runner
Some individuals were born natural morning runners, but others created the habit of running for the rest of life. Whether you are a morning person or not, you can become a morning runner. Habits account for around 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day, according to researchers at Duke University.
And understanding how to build new habits is essential for making progress in your health, happiness, and life in general.
Here is How to Become a Morning Runner
Below are 19 proven tips to help you create habits of running in the morning
1- Know WHY and Commit to It
Ensure you clearly know your WHY and are committed to changing everything you are used to for becoming a morning runner.
What motivates you to run in the morning? It will be different for all of us. For me, it is productivity, staying healthy, taking care of my body.
Keeping a clear motivation in your mind of why you want to run in the morning will keep you going even if you don’t want to get out of your bed.
2- Learn Good Sleep Habits
Developing a morning running habit begins with a good and restful night’s sleep. It may not be easy if you’re used to late-night TV or use TV to lull you to sleep.
To develop morning run habits, you will need to ensure you establish healthy sleep patterns.
Actually, you can train yourself to sleep an hour earlier, according to the American Sleep Association. For example, you can train yourself by:
- Avoiding alcohol or caffeine three hours before your bedtime.
- Avoiding midday naps.
- Creating a nightly routine to help you relax, such as a warm bath, meditation, or listening to calming music.
- Preparing to go to sleep at the same time every night.
- Setting up a quiet and comfortable bedroom.
- Stopping watching TV, reading, or electronic devices an hour before bedtime.
3- Prepare Everything The Night Before
Prepare everything the night before by laying out everything you need, including your running gear, clothes for afterward, and also make your breakfast and lunch, and stick them in the fridge.
One trick I would use to get quickly out the door is to sleep in running shorts and a shirt with shoes and socks beside the bed making a very visceral reminder to your body that ‘we are going to run tomorrow morning.
Also, try to do everything you can the night before, and then once you build your morning routine, stick with it religiously. The more you rely on your muscle memory in the mornings, the better you will become a morning runner.
- Lay clothes out in the order you will wear them.
- Stack food in the fridge you need in the same place every time.
- Place your keys and shoes in the same place the night before every time.
4- Warm-Up in Your House Before Your Running
Congratulations! you succeed in getting out of your comfy bed, and you just woke up. Next, begin walking around your house. You will get the blood flowing and wake yourself up to be ready to run by moving around.
At the same time, when you are walking from room to room, grab some water, go up and down the stairs, and drink coffee. You can also start by doing some push-ups or pull-ups to get your blood flowing.
Most importantly, don’t just sit there, and relax while drinking your coffee, scrolling on social media.
5- Gradually Change Your Schedule
As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. It might take time for your body to adapt, so be very patient with yourself.
For example, if you usually wake up at 6 am, try waking up around 5:15 am. There is no need to make an aggressive jump like 4:30 am. By slowly changing your schedule, you will be able to change your body’s internal clock over time. After weeks or months, you will begin to feel tired earlier in the evening and fall asleep earlier. Falling asleep earlier means you can wake up earlier.
That first mile will be the hardest, but after your head clears, you will feel amazing during your morning runs.
Remember that to become a morning runner, you will need to change your entire schedule. It might take you a few months to switch gradually.
The good news is that if you gradually change your schedule by making incremental changes, you will be more likely to stick with your new habit in the long run.
The first morning you start running, it will feel awful but don’t give up; it will get much better after a few runs. And if you are shifting your wake-up times gradually, it will send a sign to your body to naturally become sleepy earlier. This technique works well for me.
6- Don’t Run in The Beginning
It might seem counterintuitive, but it is essential. Don’t expect to run much at the beginning. It is not easy to move your body from your warm bed and force it to wake up and do something requiring a lot of physical effort. So for your first week, just walk first and don’t run in the morning.
Easing yourself into morning runs will make a huge difference in allowing you to wake up earlier. Then, after your body adjusted to waking up early, you can begin to run.
The key is just breaking it down into baby steps. For example, you might sometimes feel a little groggy on your first mile; just learn to accept that if you are running at 5:30 in the morning, it is okay if the first mile or two are slow.
Some people build in 30 minutes between waking up and getting out for their morning runs. They take time for coffee, 6 oz (178 ml) of water, and just generally getting themselves together.
Although some days, you might groan when your alarm goes off, I promise you you will learn to love that time when it is dark and quiet, and the smells of rosemary and sage are welcoming you, and when the sun is just coming up as you finish your run – You will love it. You will love knowing that you have already conquered the most challenging part of your day before it even started.
7- Clean Your Diet
Some people might prefer to run on an empty stomach, while others like to grab a quick breakfast and coffee before their morning runs. I usually run on an empty stomach, and I love it.
If you prefer to eat something before heading out for your morning runs, make sure to take a minute to grab some quick energy foods, such as a green smoothie, fruits, or vegetables. By consuming the right foods, you will not risk overeating and feeling unwell.
Try to eat something easily digestible and drink fluids. Running before breakfast may increase your workout and your mood, according to a 2015 study published in Cell Metabolism.
8- Don’t Forget To Hydrate Yourself
Before you head out for your morning runs, drink a glass of water to freshen up your entire body.
Fatigue sometimes might be a classic symptom of dehydration. Even mild dehydration can affect mood in healthy young females, according to a study.
In other words, when you are feeling sleepy or your mood is disrupted can be a sign that your body needs water.
9- No More Snoozing
Try to avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button whenever you may want just five more minutes to sleep. Give yourself about 10 minutes to get out of bed when your alarm snoozes, and don’t go back to sleep again.
The faster you wake up all your systems, the quicker you will be in beast mode. Plus, don’t spend too much time on your computer or phone. Five minutes to check your emails or social media feed can quickly turn into 15 and cut into your run.
If you want to wake up for your morning run, set your alarm for the precise time you need to wake, not too late, not too early. Then, when it goes off, get up.
Make your morning run something you do right when you get up, and there is no option not to do it.
After your alarm has gone off, the time you sleep in between each snooze will not be fully restful. And, if you hit snooze, you are more likely to oversleep, which means you will have less time for your run or miss your morning run altogether.
If you are struggling to get up, put your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of your bed to turn it off. The more steps you put between you and the bed, the less likely you will fall back asleep.
10- Regularly Plan And Change Your Running Route
Break up your runs into shorts runs; it will allow your body to ease into the idea of the morning running slowly. Find and try new routes in your area to break up the monotony of running the same route.
You can make your morning fun and enjoyable by regularly planning and changing your running route the night before.
You can use Google Maps to plan and discover new parks, landmarks to visit, or even hills to conquer. The more you keep your running fresh, the more enjoyable and memorable your morning habit will be.
11- Give Yourself Enough Time To Wake Up
Some people can wake up and out the door in 5 minutes, and some people need 30 minutes between waking up and getting out.
Figure out how much time you need to wake and be out. If you need some time to wake up, accept that you may need to give yourself enough time to wake up if you want to enjoyably, successfully, and consistently run in the morning.
In the beginning, it might feel awful to leave your bed early in the morning, but your future self will thank you for the effort.
If you are not the kind of person who can be out the door in 5 minutes, just take the time to get ready. Some people need to eat some food, sit around, and usually drink some coffee before doing anything useful.
12- Find Running Buddy
You can also find a friend or a family member to run together in the morning, so both of you know you can’t let the other down by not turning up.
Find a family member, spouse, friend, coworker, or even use a fitness tracker to help you stay accountable to your goals.
You don’t have to do it alone. You can buddy up with a family member or a friend to keep you motivated and accountable. By planning to meet up with one of your running buddies or even a group, you will be much less likely to miss your morning runs.
13- Should You Eat Before Your Morning Runs?
We are all different, and it is all up to you. Some people run in the morning with an empty stomach, while others eat sizeable breakfasts before their morning run.
For example, I run with an empty stomach. You can try running both after eating and on an empty stomach, playing around, and figuring out what works for you.
14- Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself will motivate you to have something to look forward to after your run. A healthy and delicious breakfast, a massage, new sports gear are all excellent rewards.
After all, you will need some good food to replenish you after that run, so take a few extra minutes and cook yourself some eggs, make a smoothie, or whatever you like after a run.
Rewarding yourself can be an excellent positive reinforcement to keep you getting up in the morning and go for your runs.
15- Give Yourself a Rest Day
Giving yourself a rest day doesn’t mean that you need to sleep in; you should still stay consistent with the time you wake. However, on your rest day, allow yourself to do something different and enjoyable.
16- Keep Yourself Safe
If you are in a major metropolitan area, try to run in the safe parts of your city or the residential areas because there might be plenty of cars out on the roads early in the morning.
Be extra cautious of your surroundings. For example, if running with music, make sure you can still hear the traffic around you. Also, try wearing reflective running gear, especially in the early morning since it might still be dark.
17- Take Time to Enjoy Your Morning Runs
Find things that you enjoy about running in the morning; for instance, I like being in a dark and rainy morning day. I also like how quiet everything is, how fresh the air is, the rhythm of the rain hitting the ground.
Take time to appreciate all the fantastic benefits of running in the morning. Then, try to find things you enjoy about running in the morning and focus on them. And it will help to get outside even on the days you really don’t want to.
And, whenever you find yourself struggling to leave your warm bed in the morning, remember all the benefits of running in the morning.
For me: I love how fresh and clean the air feels. I love watching the sunrise and the other runners. I love how I get to start my day off on a good note.
18- Track Your Runs
Keep yourself motivated by tracking your progress and your efforts. Get yourself a wall calendar and mark off the days that you wake up to run.
Also, get yourself a fitness tracker to tracker your distance and pace. The more you can track your progress and effort, the more you will want to keep up.
19- Make your Morning Runs Enjoyable
By making your morning runs enjoyable, you will start to look forward to running.
A group of researchers looked at motivation in the morning and found that working out is easier to stick with if your body and mind perceive it as an enjoyable, positive thing to do instead of total drag.
Making your morning runs enjoyable by listening to your favorite music or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
Will Your Morning Runs leave You Tired for The Rest of The Day?
Absolutely not. After your morning runs, you will have more energy for most of the day, and it will jolt you awake.
You will feel great first thing in the morning, though you will wear out by the end of the day.
And besides, you will get your daily recommended amount of activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running for 75 minutes combined with muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week, targeting all primary muscles, including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
You don’t become a morning runner overnight because getting your body and mind adjusted to a new routine will take time, practice, and patience.
And don’t think about running in the morning as something you have to do all at once. Instead, gradually learn how to become a morning runner and enjoy your journey to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Running is one of the most affordable physical activities, and you also can become a morning runner by doing the following:
- Invest in a good and decent pair of running shoes because they will protect you from many injuries. I running with Nike ZoomX Invincible Run, and I love them.
- Take baby steps to help your body gradually adapt to your schedule and avoid injuries slowly.
- Cleaning your diet and eating well will improve your running performance.
- Try to learn the proper running form and get your posture right to help you avoid injuries and increase your performance.
- It is throughout your sleep that the actual progress of your fitness journey happens. Your body restores the torn-out muscles during sleep; therefore, ensure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Running is a high-intensity workout; try to complement your runs with low-intensity exercises, such as yoga or strength building.
- Finally, experiment, test and try to figure out what works best for you.
And, eventually, your body will adjust, and you will become a morning runner.