Monday, April 20, 2015

Strategies to Run in the Morning

Morning Runner am I!
I got this question twice in less than a week, so I decided to post about strategies to running in the morning. It can be done and here are my tips.

Prepare the Night before - My running clothes are ready to go, there's nothing missing. If I'm going for a long run, my coffee is ready by the time I hit the kitchen and my banana is ready to get in my belly. The less I have to do, the better, it's early people!

Prepare the Week before - Every Sunday I decide which days I am going to run and for how long. I write them down in my weekly planner, which is stuck to my refrigerator and that gives me encouragement to get up early and do the workouts. I get a great sense of accomplishment by doing all my workouts. The harder the workouts, the happier I get.

Prepare the Month before - I keep all my fitness mileage at dailymile.com which is a great way to help me get my mileage in early in the morning. I keep a good account of my mileage each month and each month I decide what the next month will look like. I focus more on that off season because during marathon season my mileage is pretty much decided. During off season I have more flexibility on how much I want to run and when. Preparing the month before is quite the encouragement to be sure the miles pile up.

Prepare the Year before - Believe it or not, the major marathons I sign up for dictate my weekly runs. My family makes a big sacrifice for me to run and I want to be faithful to my training. I enjoy every run and I know that they all help me accomplish the greater goal of crossing the finish line.

Other tricks that work for me:
1. Go to sleep early. I try and if I get to bed (technology-free) at a decent time, it makes waking up easier.
2. Put the alarm clock away from the bed. I have to take 7 steps to get to my alarm clock. By the time I get to it I pass by my running shoes and my brain gets to clue of what's about to happen.
3. Get accountability. I signed up to 2 early morning classes and people got the idea that I'm a reliable participant. I can't let them down by not showing up.
4. Running Buddy Pressure. But good pressure. I've ran with a group of friends early in the morning and that gets me out of bed. I also get out of bed to train because I know on Saturdays I'll run with my friends and I want to be sure to keep up with my friends.
5. Get your family's support. I can't do it without Zeke. This morning he handled the morning routine while I got a much needed 9-mile run. I usually talk to him about my plans and he always supports me to get out there and run. When I was single I honestly got up early out of guilt because my roommate was counting on me to ride together to the gym. Whatever works right?

Last but not least, your "why" will be the main reason you will get out there, no matter how early or how late. Find your "why" and see your motivation get stronger.

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