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?
I run in the morning too! I love starting my day with a run, even if it’s not a particularly great one. I have to run just after I wake up during the work week, so I don’t have time to eat breakfast before. I wish I did though, because I think my runs would be better. My Sat morning runs are usually much better, I think because I have more time to wake up.
I love your tips!
I am an evening runner. I am also a paranoid evening runner, if my husband isn’t with me lol. So I have a very small bottle of mace I carry in my pocket. I haven’t graduated to wearing running shorts yet, so I wear capri’s with pockets 🙂 So I feel a little better with my mace. 🙂
Nothing wrong with that!
I’ve heard hornet spray works well, if mace isn’t available too.
I am definitely a morning runner as well! I’ve never really thought about it, but I am pretty predictable – same route, same time. I guess I should be a little safer!
… BUT I did just discover the merit to bringing kleenex =) I just stick some in my sports bra and it helps SO much when my nose starts to run. Passing drivers probably think I stuff when I whip out a wad from under my shirt. Haha.
I’m an evening runner, just because I don’t like running in the morning when it’s not light. I am the most paranoid person ever. I’d probably hear a squirrel and think that a mad cow was after me… 🙂
I’m a morning runner too, but maybe not everyday. I was wondering how long do you wait before breakfast and the run? I usually eat after the run but sometimes get hungry during the run.
I also carry music when I run… not music per se, but podcast… to catch up with news 🙂
I run directly after eating (about 15-30 minutes, just enough time to get my running gear on and ready.)
I know some people can handle only a small amount of food in their system before a run though. You could always try something small (say a toast with a bit of peanut butter or 1/2 a banana) before you run and see how your body tolerates it. 😀
I have always had to have kleenex on me when I run/exercise outside. I am miserable without it!
I think you have great tips, best of all the house keys. I have been locked out too many times, or I would bring my garage door clicker to be let in that way. Well, one morning the power went out and I couldn’t get in with the garage door! That was a frustrating morning to say the least!
Ah! That sounds awful. And that is totally something that would happen to me…haha. 😀
I’ve definitely got locked out of my house before. It was bad. Luckily I was able to break into the garage and use a watering can as a toilet because I couldn’t hold it any longer!
Living in TX and trying to run in the summer, it’s a necessity to run early in the mornings 🙂 I think all of your tips are great! One thing I would add is a runner’s pepper spray (the one I use is called The Jogger and you can search for it on Amazon for a good price).
Awesome tip! Thanks for sharing. 😀
As you know from recent posts on my blog I have “always” wanted to be an Early A.M. Runner as I call it, however in 20+ years of on and off again running never could become one………..until NOW that is, as I have offically been running in the early (6am or so) morning for over a month now, WOO HOO! And, I LOVE IT, just as you! It too used to be a “choir” for me but now it is another “love in my life” and even though I don’t like getting up that early I do and kinda have to you know……..like I have no choice I just do it now, funny how that happens huh.
I typically only bring my house key, iPod and watch with me on my runs……..as I run on a very busy street with tons of other runs/walkers and drivers going by so “safety” isn’t as huge of a concern for me but I would take everything you recommended if I ran in an area like yours……which would be AMAZING! =)
P.S. I heard on the news last night that Wasp/Hornet Spray is the best to have as once sprayed the “bad guy” must go to the hospital to have their eyes cleaned out….unlike Pepper Spray!
Awesome tip, Laura! I’ve heard before that hornet spray is a great substitute for mace, but I didn’t actually know why. Thanks for sharing!
Great write up on safety. I leave my keys at home far to often. I’ve been locked out by roommates on several occasions. I also recommend a RoadID band. I don’t currently have one, but plan on ordering one soon.
Great tip! The RoadID is definitely worth having, and I plan on picking one up soon as well. 😀