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7 ways to become a morning runner this summer

7 ways to become a morning runner

Where I live, the sun starts rising before 5:30 a.m. at this time of year. Which is great for me – I’m a morning runner.

But I know a lot of people don’t share my love of early morning exercise. However, if you want to get into a morning running routine, the summer is the perfect time to do it. Not only is daylight on your side, but the morning is also the coolest – and safest – time of day to be active.

Here are some tips to start a morning running routine:

  1. Sleep with the blinds open. Doing so will let light into your room, so you’ll wake up naturally. It’s easier to get out of bed when it’s not pitch dark in your room.
  2. Gradually wake up earlier. If you rise at 7 a.m. now, don’t set your alarm for 5 a.m. and expect to feel OK. Instead, start by waking up 15 minutes to a half hour earlier. Then after a week or so of the new wake-up time, push it back another half hour, etc. Using this gradual approach will give your body plenty of time to get used to its new wake-up hour.
  3. Don’t sleep in too much on weekends. We’d feel best if we went to bed and got up at the same time each morning. But most of us like getting extra shut-eye on the weekends, which is fine. Just don’t sleep more than an hour or two later than you do on weekdays. You’ll feel much better come Monday.
  4. Have coffee and breakfast already made. Use your coffee maker’s automatic brew button and have a freshly brewed pot of coffee waiting before or after your run. Do the same with breakfast – prep as much as you can the night before.
  5. Lay out all of your clothes. Set out your running apparel, shoes, hat, watch, etc. at nighttime so you have less to do in the morning. Take it one step further and lay out your clothes for work and pack your lunch so you won’t be pressed for time and stressed during your run.
  6. Sign up for a class. Morning running isn’t for everyone – I know several (fast) runners who are unable to run at their prime first thing in the morning. However, they can usually stomach some other form of exercise early in the day. If this sounds like you, consider registering for a yoga or cycling class at a studio – or schedule a 6 a.m. session with a personal trainer. If you don’t show up, you waste money. That should be enough motivation to get out of bed!
  7. Place a second alarm outside of your child’s bedroom. I discovered this trick when my son was a baby – back when I’d give anything for him to sleep in. My first alarm was on my nightstand, and I had a second alarm right outside of his bedroom door set to go off two minutes after my first alarm. I never hit snooze because I wanted to make sure I turned off the second alarm before it even went off. Sprinting out of bed every morning got my adrenaline pumping so I had no problem heading out for a run.

Check out this piece for more on how to become a morning runner.

Written by Jen Matz.