Fellow runner and blogger (Runners Blueprint), David Dack contacted me about sharing a post on the benefits of morning running. Some good stuff here. Check it out!
The Morning RunThere’s a long list of good reasons for running first in the morning. You’ll kick off the day doing something healthy. You’ll have more energy throughout the day. You’ll be more consistent.
I could go on and on, but by now you should be familiar with some of the perks of catching a run when the rest of the world is still asleep.
Want to make your morning workouts work out for you?
Here are my best tips and practical steps to make the morning exercise part and parcel of your life.
Sound great? Let’s get started.
The Benefits Of Morning Workouts
Before we get into the strategies you need to make morning exercise a reality, let’s first look at some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by doing so.
- Increase productivity. Pounding the pavement first thing in the morning will help you feel uplifted and energized for the rest of the day. This, in turn, can do wonders for your productivity and the way you deal with everything else in your life.
- Be more consistent. Heading out for a run when the rest of the world is still asleep makes it more likely to stick to your routine since you got fewer things and obligations to worry about first thing in the morning — no more interference from a demanding job or making lunch for hungry kids.
- Good for weight loss. Are you looking to shed the pounds? Running in a fasted state may help. Research shows that not only working out before breakfast burns a lot of fat but it also revs up your metabolism for the rest of the day, resulting in a higher calorie burn, even at rest.
- Improve your mood. Running triggers the release of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, which can enhance your mood and help kick the day off on a positive note. Running also lowers stress like nothing else, keeping it at bay for the remainder of the day.
- Less traffic. If you live in an urban area, this will come in handy. Braving the roads before everyone commutes to work means fresher air and less pollution during your run. Just remember to stay visible to oncoming vehicles.
- Faster races. Since the majority of race events take place in the morning, pounding the pavements at that time helps you simulate real race conditions, thus, makes it more likely for you to achieve peak performance on the big day.
Get Enough Sleep. Not only will you feel energized after a good night of sleep, you’ll also find it easier to get going when the alarm goes off.
Instead of binge-watching some stupid show or scrolling through Instagram before bed, avoid all electronics an hour before bed. Using such a device before going to bed negatively affects your sleep quality.
As a rule, shoot for at least eight to nine hours of non-interrupted sleep during the nighttime. Sure, there’s no such thing as the magical number that works for everyone, but that range is the recommended baseline for optimal sleep.
Prepare in Advance. Build the habit of preparing everything you need for your morning runs the night before. This helps you avoid the struggle of finding everything when you’re half asleep.
You don’t have to think about what gear to use when you’re half asleep, having all of your essentials ready to go makes it easier to be be out of the door running without having to waste precious time nervously looking around for your gear.
Trying to get ready for your morning workout within the short window you have means that you already have lost the battle. You’re more likely to forget something you need in the fog of waking up.
What will more likely happen is, you’ll roll back over and revert to your pillow instead of workout gear.
Things to prepare include:
- Music playlist
- Water bottle
- Pre-run snack
- Running clothes
- Running shoes
- Running buds
- Running socks
In other words, everything you need for your workout. This is what’s going to help you set your environment for success. The rest is just details.
Have A Hearty breakfast. Eating breakfast is a fantastic way to give you the energy boost you need, especially if you’re depleted of energy first thing in the morning.
That’s why I highly urge you to eat something light before you head out. A small bite will ensure that you have enough fuel in the tank to keep going, especially if you’re about to run for an extended period and/or are not used to exercising on an empty stomach.
Remember to plan out your pre-workout and healthy breakfast before going to bed.
Some of my favorite options include:
- Dried fruits
- Two hard-boiled eggs
- Toast and peanut butter
- An energy bar.
Stick To Your Schedule. Commit to a specific time of the week—typically a Sunday—and jot down when and how you plan to carry out your exercise routine.
Doing this makes you more likely that you don’t let life get in the way of your runs, and eventually help ingrain the exercise habit for life.
Once you decide on a schedule, cast in in-store and stick to it. Never deviate. Treat your sessions the same way you’d a work meeting or doctor’s appointment.
Make sure your workout routine is the priority—maybe as urgent as or more so than going to work in the morning or participating in family events — the more urgent, the better.
There you have it!
The above guidelines are all you need to turn your running habit into a part of your morning routine. Now it’s up to you to put into action what you have just learned. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below. I can’t wait to hear from you.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.