Description: For runners, getting out, even when it is brisk, is an effective way to shake off the cobwebs. Here are some tips to make your morning run a little less daunting.
Better than any cup of coffee, a pre-dawn jog in the crisp autumn air is an invigorating way to start the day. It gets you out of bed–which, let’s face it, is the hardest part of every morning–and propels you into a more healthy routine, getting your blood pumping and your brain firing on all cylinders.
The right music, the proper gym clothing, and possibly, even a running companion can only improve your morning run routine. But we know it can sometimes be challenging to get out there and do it every day. Sometimes sleeping in or a lack of morning run motivation can be just the excuse you need to fall out of practice. Losing one day can ruin the ritual.
Habit turns into desire, which turns into passion. A practical and steadfast resolve to cultivate your morning run habit into a passion is the eventual goal if running is your preferred method of cardio or just something you like to do in the dawn hours. And the morning run health benefits go well beyond just weight loss and increased stamina.
Running for Your Life
There are several do’s and don’t when you take up running, especially in the early hours. A few of them are obvious, but some might seem counterintuitive until you do them and find out how bad of an idea they were.
- Fuel Up
There is a false school of thought that you should take water with you when running. This is not wise unless you are doing a significant distance. Hydrating pre-run is a much safer solution. It is less to carry, and your body has already absorbed the liquid to parcel it out later.
If you drink just before or during, it will sit in your stomach, making you feel heavier and sluggish. Find yourself thirsty in the morning, a single glass of water is acceptable, but no more than that.
- Get Dressed
Picking your outfit moments before you get out, there is an inefficient waste of valuable time. Instead, choose your morning run outfit the night before, and if you wish, your clothes for work as well. By having your clothes ready to go, you have one less thing to do to get out of the house.
And always pick the right ones for the season, the time of day, and the environment. If running before sunrise, something in a high visibility coloring is also wise.
- Pick a Duration
Giving yourself enough time to do it allows you to take your time and enjoy it without feeling rushed. People on a deadline often feel stressed, and stress is the first step on the road to quitting. People who take running seriously know exactly how far they want to go, where they want to go, and how long it will take at a certain speed.
It’s a well-laid plan and an effective way to stay on task. But your morning run duration shouldn’t exceed your abilities. Plan realistically, but plan for continued improvement.
- Quality Rest
The main reason people prefer to stay in bed is due to the quality of their sleep. When you get insufficient sleep or not enough sleep, your body wants to fix the problem. If you want to take an early morning run, you have to go to bed earlier to compensate.
Anything planned before the jog needs additional time, like your morning run breakfast choice, and that also has to be factored into when you get to your best sleep rhythm. Your body will settle into the routine. It just needs a little help.
- Grow Into It
Some people start off trying to get much further than they are capable of accomplishing right away. The body needs time to build up to greater distances and longer periods of stamina. Lung strength, leg strength, and pulse training all grow with time and consistency.
Start slow, in speed and distance. Work your way up. Before you know it, a mile turns into two, and then five, and suddenly, you are doing a marathon.
- Change Terrains
Ever run on sand or snow? If running on concrete is getting too comfortable, maybe changing the venue is a good idea. It gives you a different resistance and can improve your stamina, which improves your sense of purpose as to why you’re out there in the first place. And there is nothing like running on the beach in the early hours.
- Other Opportunities
So now you run to wake up and say hello to the sunrise. It is a magical time, the birds are chirping, and all is still. It is just you and the road. But what about other possible options for taking up running?
If you want to keep your body motivated, running at any available opportunity will further physical conditioning and make your runs easier. Run to work. Run to the gym. Any chance to get out there and hammer some miles is a chance worth taking.
Eating When Planning A Jog
Conventional wisdom would say that eating before running is a mistake. Now it has been found that that only applies to eating the wrong foods. To be effective, you need to adjust your diet, and some items can improve your stamina while keeping your stomach from growling mid-run. Protein shakes also work well. As you are starting to make this your new dawn ritual, experiment. You might prefer a morning run on an empty stomach.
Conclusion: The community of runners is vast and supportive. There are many more tips and tricks to make your new exercise routine, both efficient and effective. Reach out to groups and see if you can join when they take their run if you need support to keep you motivated. Or run with your kids. Promoting healthy activities early engrains lifelong habits. Have you developed a quality morning routine to get out and take a dawn run?