I have always been a morning runner.
There have been different reasons for this over the course of my life. Originally—back when running a mile felt like absolute torture—I hated running. My morning runs happened only because it was the thing to do. A means to losing those freshman 15. I wanted my runs to be in the morning and out of the way so I that could enjoy the rest of my day in peace. Harumph.
And then—gradually, not overnight—I fell in love with running. A morning run became my sense of peace. An accomplishment. My alone time. The perfect way to start my day.
Now—as a busy Dietetic Intern—I literally have to run in the morning, if I want to run at all. It doesn’t matter if the temperature is frigid. Or if it’s too dark to even be considered the morning. It doesn’t matter. My schedule demands a morning run. And since I’ve fallen so in love with running—it’s still my sense of sanity and peace!—I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to get me out of bed and on the road. In the early morning.
First things first. Breakfast.
There’s no such thing as a good run without the proper fuel to keep you going.
For some people, this means a quick snack and a “regular” breakfast upon return. For others—that’s me!—only a big ol’ breakfast will do. Do what works for you! Just remember that our brains and muscles need the energy for every day living and for your running regimen. Fuel up!
Secondly, let someone know when and where you’re going.
This is especially true if you’re a female runner (not that it’s not also important for the guy runners out there to practice safety too ). Just give a heads up to someone that you plan on heading out.
Third, bring a flashlight.
I don’t like carrying extra stuff on my runs. But when I’m running in the early morning, a light source is a *must.* Keep it small, and you won’t even realize that you’re carrying it.
Fourth thing, don’t run at the same time every morning on the same route.
This is just a safety precaution. Don’t be paranoid but don’t be ignorant either. Change up your routes or times to play it safe, never letting yourself become predictable.
Fifth point, carry a set of house keys.
This will ensure that you can get in your house safely. You never know when a family member will accidentally lock you out. On a cold winters’ day. After an 11 mile run. I’m not mentioning any names.
Here’s an extra safety bonus: keys can be used as a weapon as necessary. Just sayin’. ;)
LAST point. Bring kleenex!
I know some runners who have learned to blow their nose without kleenex, but I believe that is meant solely for the hardcore runner who doesn’t want to mess with carrying kleenex. I’ll opt for toting along a couple tissues.
And there you have it. Running in the morning (or late at night) is totally doable with a few easy steps. If you’re lucky enough to have a running partner who can join you on such a time, that’s great too. Just be safe, stay cautious, and enjoy those gorgeous, early morning sunrises too! Morning runs have soooo much to offer.
Question: If you’re a morning/evening runner, what would you add to this list?