A blog by runners. For runners.

6 strategies to get out of bed to run on cold, dark mornings

How to get out of bed on cold, dark mornings and go for a runWinter is (hopefully) winding down, but many of us have several weeks – or months – of cold weather left before the warmer air settles in. And with daylight savings time starting across much of the United States, some of us morning runners are going to have an even more challenging time getting out of the door on those cold, dark, early mornings.

Now we can’t physically drag you out of the comfort of your warm bed, but these tried-and-true tricks can help you get out the door when the outside temperature is below freezing:

  1. Invest in cold weather running gear. Running in cold weather isn’t as unbearable when you’re dressed properly. Cold weather running gear can cost a pretty penny, but the price tag is worth it if the clothes help you complete your runs. Knowing that you have quality apparel that will shield you from the cold may make you dread chilly early morning runs less.
  2. Wear a neck warmer and pull it up over your mouth. Wear a neck warmer up over your mouth when you step foot out the door. Doing so will keep you from inhaling the freezing air which will protect your lungs and make you feel more comfortable. Only remove the neck warmer from your mouth once you’re fully warmed up.
  3. Toss your running clothes in the dryer. Set all of your running clothes out the night before. As soon as you hop out of bed, throw all of your (dryer safe) running clothes into the dryer to get them nice and warm. Get dressed right before you head out the door. The clothes will stay warm for a few minutes which will help lessen the bite of the frigid air. Placing your running clothes on top of a radiator for a few minutes will do the trick, too.
  4. Rotate between two pairs of running shoes. It can take running shoes a couple of days to completely dry out from sweat, rain, or snow. Slipping shoes on your feet that are still cold and wet from the day before will only set you up for misery on your run. Have two pairs of running shoes and alternate wearing them each day, so you have a pair that is always fully dry.
  5. Stock up on hand warmers. If it takes you several miles to feel your fingers, buy disposable hand warmers and put them in your gloves. They will keep your hands toasty for the duration of your run.
  6. Drink hot coffee or tea immediately before your run. Heat yourself up from the inside out by sipping on a hot beverage before you step outside. You’ll thaw out more quickly on your run if you’re already warm. If you have a coffee maker with an auto brew feature, program it the night before so hot coffee is ready for you as soon as you wake up.

How do you motivate yourself to get out the door on cold mornings?

Written by Jen Matz.