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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rise and Shine.... and Run - Tips On Becoming A Morning Runner

I always thought you could split runners into two  main categories.

 A.  People who can run in the morning

B.  ....and everyone else.

  I always envied the people in Category A who got their workout in before the rest of us even consider getting out of bed.  I could never make it to the 5 am spin class, or the run before dawn.  I tried over and over to become the girl hitting the pavement instead of the girl hitting the snooze button.   

Every night I told myself I would wake up and get my run in before work, but every morning I turned off the alarm and went back to bed.  The very rare occasions where I did wake up for my run, my body was on a whole different level.  2 miles was a struggle, my legs felt like bricks, and I couldn't figure out when and if to eat breakfast.  According to some research.. it takes 21 days to make or break a habit.  So I am dedicating the next three weeks into forming a new habit.  

A 6:00 am workout routine. 

I finally decided to make more of an effort to become a morning runner. 
Why not just accept defeat and run in the afternoon?
Well read on.  

First off, 
I never run through the summer because of the heat and humidity.  
My "running season" extends from October to May,
 and my "horse show season" takes June July August and September.
  If I can commit to waking up and running in the morning before it gets too miserable out, then I can continue running throughout the summer and avoid the starting over period in October.  Every time I stop running and try to start up again it gets 10 times harder.

Maybe I will even re-introduce the sweat bands for those humid sweaty mornings...

Secondly, I have been having a hard time fitting running into my afternoon schedule.  By the time I work a full day, ride my horse, ride my trainers horses, and get home I am exhausted and starving.  If I make dinner its game over for my running schedule that night..... and if I wait until 9pm to eat dinner, someone in the house may lose their head due to hanger.. I also like to have a social life so if I can meet up with friends instead of running after work.. I am happy.

Lastly, I bring my highly energetic 2 year old dog to work every day with me.  If I can get a workout in with Olive before work, I am guaranteed a perfect office dog who snoozes under my desk for most of the day.  

Without a good morning workout, Olive has the ability to drive me absolutely crazy and guarantee I get as little work done as possible.  A tired dogs makes for a happy Katie.

With all that being said... How am I making the effort and changes to become a morning runner?  

Here are my tips.  
And PLEASE let me know if you have any others.

It is a lot easier to blow off a morning run if you are going out alone.  Get a group of runners together that you commit to meet a few mornings a week at the same time.  You are less likely to skip that run if it means bailing on your friends too.  If you don't have any running buds close by, form a virtual running club.  Find a friend who will commit to running the same mornings as you, and call each other to make sure you are both getting out for that run regardless of your locations.  I have incorporated both of these "techniques" into my morning schedule routine. 

I made a facebook group called the "Morning Marathoners" where we organize and communicate our runs for the week We rotate between the three towns we live in, and knowing two other people are waiting for me every morning really helps to get my butt out of bed and into my Newtons.   A change of running scenery is always helpful too.  

I meet Stacie and Tracy  (the three of us are in the middle)  
on Tuesday and Thursdays before work to squeeze in a run.

 My friend Liz who lives all the way in D.C., saw my group and wanted in, even though she now lives in a different state.  I promise to call her every morning run I go on, and we share pictures/Garmin shots to prove we are both out there getting our runs in.  I am much more likely to get up and run knowing someone is waiting for a phone call and a little motivation down in DC.

Prep the night before so you don't over think it in the morning.  The night before, I pack my lunch, lay out my work clothes, running clothes, riding clothes, and what ever else I might need for the day.  

(I strive to be as organized as this person). 

By prepping everything the night before, I can sleep in a little later and just throw on my running clothes and go before I give my brain enough time to come up with enough reasons why I can't.  Some runner suggest sleeping in your running clothes if you have to.  I am not super into this idea but if it works for you- power to you.  

My final tool to becoming a morning runner: Start low and slow and save breakfast for after your run.  My body doesn't function as well in the wee hours of the morning, and saving breakfast for after my run is a nice little post race treat. I don't want to feel weighed down by breakfast, and the quicker I get out the door and run the quicker I can get back and eat..... and isn't that the reason we all run anyway?  
For the guilt free meal after ;) 

Can't wait to share my successes and failures with this new running schedule.

Rise and Shine and Share your morning secrets with me! 

Happy Running Rising!



  1. Meeting friends is key for me. The other thing that will be nice is if you get Olive into a routine of running in the morning, she'll probably start waking you up to go and force you out of bed.

    If you're waiting to eat until after you run, I'd bring a couple of gels or shot blocks with you just in case you get super hungry. It might help you have a better run.

  2. Great Advice! As long as she doesn't wake me up too early on the weekends!

    I have been bringing a banana lately (should add that in there) and that seems to be enough of something to hold me over until the end of the run.

    I am also trying to commit to waking up early on my "non run days" and get in a glute/ab workout, or catch up on some reality tv :)

  3. I was SO not a morning person either (I have 5 kids so sleep is PRECIOUS to me!) =) But I LOOOVE morning runs so much that I have no problem doing them (though the first minute after the alarm goes off is a struggle between the Anna who wants more sleep and the 'up-and-at-em' Anna =) 99% of the time, 'up-and-at-em' Anna wins =)

  4. Five kids and you can find time/wake up for a run?! wow! No excuses for me then! Thanks for stopping by and the inspiration :)


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