With the busy lifestyles we are leading in modern times, finding time to stay fit and keep running is becoming a difficult task. This is why more runners are embracing the idea of becoming pre-dawn or early morning runners.
Think about it – by setting your alarm for one or two hours earlier than usual you can manage to squeeze in that daily run before you go ahead and complete your other morning chores and get ready for work or school.
Besides, becoming an early morning runner has its own benefits too. Here is what you will gain if you run in the wee hours.
Benefits of running in the morning
- The satisfaction of completing your daily running goal before other people have woken up is a great feeling to start the day with. You will feel accomplished and ready to go ahead with your normal daily life just in time.
- There are fewer peoples and much less traffic in such early hours, so the chance of being disrupted by a call, text or by heavy traffic is minimal. Also, the lesser traffic means more safety and cleaner air.
- Mornings are fresher and cooler, plus the risk of heavy rains and storms in these hours is minimal.
- You will feel energized and be much more efficient when proceeding with your chores and at work later on in the day.
If you are not a morning person, you may feel that getting up and running so early is an impossible mission, but believe me there are certain ways to make it work and to get accustomed to this new regimen.
Here are some ideas for making it easier for newbies in pre-dawn and early morning running:
- Take the time to prepare all your running clothes, gear and shoes before you go to bed. Lay them out where you can easily find them, along with your mp3 player, your phone, sports gels and anything else you carry with you when running. If it is still dark outside, make sure you wear light colored clothes, a reflective vest or that you have reflective elements on your running gear. You can also prepare a head light or an arm band light to guide you through the dark and make you visible to others. Make sure you check the weather forecast to prepare the right kinds of apparel on the night before. This will save you a lot of time in the morning.
- Prepare your or your children’s lunch on the previous night. Also, if you are used to fueling up before a run – prepare yourself a snack or breakfast on the night before.
- Place your phone or alarm clock somewhere where you will need to get up to turn it off. Don’t just hit the snooze button because you will likely doze off.
- In the morning, you can check the weather forecast again, but do not go ahead and start checking your Facebook or e-mail, because chances are you will get distracted and spend more time on the Internet than planned. Leave this for later.
- Make sure that you have planned your running route and that you have calculated the time it will take, so that you are able to complete it in time before you proceed with your other normal daily chores. This will help you stay motivated to run without stopping and to complete your run in time.
- If possible go to bed earlier than usual, so that you get sufficient rest.
- Run with a group, a running buddy or with your dog. This will make the run more enjoyable, safer and will also keep you motivated to get up so early and go out running.
- Plan your running route ahead and calculate how much time you will need to complete it. This will allow you to make it back home in time for your chores and work, and will also help you stay motivated and keep running in order to meet and possibly surpass your running goals.
- Stay safe, especially if it is still dark. Make sure you can be seen by incoming drivers and people with the help of a headlight, reflective clothing and footwear, and by running in a direction against the incoming traffic.