Becoming a Morning Runner
|November 27, 2013||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Uncategorized|
I’ve had quite a few requests to post about how I’m adjusting to a new routine in terms of fitting in runs, etc. As those of you who have been reading for a while will know, I
am was most definitely an evening runner.
Sweaty post-run selfie in the dark #standard
Almost all my runs would take place after 6pm, whether it was an easy solo run or a team training session at the track. The closest I came to morning runs was at the weekend, and they were done at a pretty leisurely time of 10am or so, after a nice lie-in and a relaxed breakfast.
However, when I started my job back in June, I soon realised that my running routine would have to change. After a long work day, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was drag myself back out into the cold and dark to run! So now the majority of my runs now are done after a 5am wake-up call, which has been a major adjustment to say the least! So here are a few of my tips on making that adjustment…
1. Be realistic.
When I first started my job, I was convinced that I could get myself to run once I got home from work. However I soon realised that was not going to happen, and knew that if I wanted to continue running (which of course I did), I needed to get it in early. Some people can do those post-work evening runs, and kudos to you if you can, but unfortunately I am not one of those people! A 5am alarm time sounded scarily early to a girl who was used to “early” meaning around 8am, and although it was difficult at first, you soon get used to it.
2. Get organised.
I am undoubtedly one of the most disorganised people in the world. Seriously I think everyone who knows me would agree wholeheartedly with that statement. But I had to plan a lot to work out how to fit my running schedule into my workday. So I wrote it all out. I wrote out what time I had to be at work, then figured out how long it would take me to get to the gym to work, what time trains to get, etc. This way, I knew exactly how I could fit it all in without making myself late through trial and error.
3. Be prepared.
Getting everything ready the night before makes a big difference the next morning. I make my lunch, have my coffee ready to go, pack my gym and work clothes and set out the clothes I need to wear the next day. I try to make my mornings as smooth as possible so that my half asleep brain doesn’t have to think at all. It also means it takes me 15 minutes max to get out of the door in the mornings, which is great!
4. Don’t hit the snooze button.
Maybe this is just me, but whenever I hit “snooze” on my alarm, I promptly fall back into a deep sleep and then wake up three hours later. So I have banned myself from using the snooze function. Whatever time I set my alarm for is the time I will get up, no excuses. On that note…
5. No excuses
I am the QUEEN of making excuses to skip early morning workouts. My favourite is “I’ll just do it in the evening instead, no problem!”. And while I sometimes manage to do it, more often than not I just either end up skipping it because I’m too tired after work, or something comes up and I can’t make it to the gym. So as soon as the lazy part of my brain starts making excuses, I just tell it to zip it. I know I’ll always feel better after my run, and my days are always not as good when they don’t include a morning workout! I think I’ve become addicted to those morning endorphins
6. Become disciplined with sleep
I got into a really bad habit during the summer of staying up late on Instagram/Twitter/Skype/watching Grey’s Anatomy, etc. It’s an easy trap to fall into, with our phones buzzing with texts or social media notifications every other minute! Plus obviously the lack of sleep is not conducive to running performance or recovery. So now I have a strict bedtime on work-nights of 9:30pm, and the phone gets put on Do Not Disturb at 9pm so I’m not tempted to respond to texts or emails and then get caught up. Sure
some most of my friends think I’m crazy for this, but I know I’ll be suffering the next day if I don’t sleep enough.
It’s hard at first, but it does get easier! It’s not just the earlier rising time that is a struggle, but also running early in the morning on an empty stomach is difficult at first. My first early workout (a tempo run) was definitely a shock to the system! There’s a big difference between running hard when you’ve fuelled and when you haven’t, but again, you’ll adjust! And as my coach has assured me many a time, running hard on empty will make running hard when fuelled in races seem easier in comparison, so it’s a good thing!
I honestly never thought I’d become an early-morning workout person. I really love sleep. And lie-ins. But I guess I love running and endorphins more. And nothing beats that heady combination of an endorphin high and lots of caffeine first thing in the morning…
My co-workers think I need help. They might be right.
I guess the bottom line is that if you are motivated enough and it is important enough to you, you will find the time to make it happen instead of letting life circumstances dictate everything.
Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow my American friends! I of course will be celebrating in my own special way….by busting out my infamous Turkey Hat
Are you a morning/afternoon/evening workout person? I am definitely a morning person now! I notice a huge difference in my mood, energy levels and productivity throughout the day when I get my run in first thing.
For you morning runners, got any tips to add? I used to sleep in my running clothes so I’d be ready to go the next morning, but I don’t quite go that far any more haha
What are your Thanksgiving plans? I’m working tomorrow, but also Turkey-Hatting it and sharing a pumpkin pie with my coworkers after work
Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow friends! <3