I believe that running in the morning is a great way to get in a running workout despite living a busy schedule. The problem with waiting until the afternoon or evening to run is that you do not really know how the latter part of your day will go or what will come up. If you run first thing in the morning, then you know that your workout is done, and you can focus on what you need to do for that day without worrying about getting in your run.
But, what if you have a hard time getting up before work? Well, many of us do have a tough time waking up 30 minutes or an hour earlier for work just so you can get a run in before work. Here are some tips to help you wake up earlier so that you can get that run in first thing in the morning so that you can continue to improve your fitness and health.
* Remember Why You are Running –
5:30 or 6:00 in the morning is the time that you need to know why you are doing this. If you have goals established, and a schedule set, then you will remember why it is important to get up and go run wen when you are tired.
* Decide the Night Before –
If you wait until the alarm goes off in the morning to make a decision, then your desire to sleep may outweigh your desire to get in shape. But if you decide for sure the night before that you are going to run, then it will make it easier the next day. You should plan out the days you are going to run, how far or how long you are going to run ahead of time. There are a couple running schedules on this site that will help you with creating a running plan that meets your needs. Once you have determined you are running the next day, literally tell yourself that you are going to get up at such a time and run before work tomorrow. You can even look in the mirror and tell yourself, or maybe you can tell your spouse and a friend. There is something about verbalizing your intentions that make them more concrete.
* Get a Good Alarm –
OK, this almost goes without saying, but having a good alarm is essential for me to wake up in the morning. I actually use the alarm on my iphone, and I try to find one that is loud, and just a little annoying, but not too much.
* Lose the Snooze –
The snooze button is probably my biggest weakness. If you want to get up early, you have to learn how to wake up without using the snooze button. I know that it is hard to wake up with the first sound of the alarm. If you can just establish the habit, then it becomes easier with time. One trick is to simply decide in your mind that you will get up (and stay up) on the first alarm, and not get back into bed after the alarm goes off.
* Get Ready the Night Before –
If you can set your running clothes out the night before, so that all you have to do is roll out of bed and start putting on your running clothes, then it can help to get you moving. If you have to think about where your shoes or socks are, then it will slow you down, and may even keep you in bed.
* Start Moving –
Some of us cannot just jump out of bed. But maybe you can start by just moving parts of your body, and get the blood flowing. Move your fingers, toes a little, and then start moving your arms and legs. The trick to this technique is to just keep moving so that you get some blood flowing and do not fall asleep.
* Take It One Step at a Time –
Remember that you do not need to wake up and head straight out the door. You just need to first wake up, and then move to the next thing, and then the next thing, and so on. Just focus on the next thing you need to do, and do not worry about doing it all at once. Maybe you just focus on putting your feet down first, and then head to the sink to splash some water on your face. Then you can focus on slipping on your running clothes. By this time you are pretty much awake and heading out the door will not be much of a problem at all!
* Roll Out of Your Bed, Literally –
Okay, this may sound a little silly, but it has work for me before. Of course, I do have to ask you to use common sense and caution when using this trick to get out of bed. Basically, the idea is to literally roll out of your bed and onto the floor. The idea is that you are moving around, you are less likely to fall back to sleep, and that you are a little closer to getting dressed and out the door.
* Just “Sit” –
Here is a trick that a friend of mine told me about that actually works, but it may sound kind of weird… Most people go to the bathroom when they get up in the morning, and it is not too hard to get up to do that for some reason. Instead of getting back in the bed, just sit on the ‘chair’ for a few minutes until the sleep kind of wears off a bit. You can even put your head in your hands and relax for a minute until you feel a bit better. For guys, yes, you can do this as well. Eventually your blood will start pumping, and it will not be hard to think about slipping on your running clothes.
* Have Something to Look Forward To –
I think having something to look forward to can be a great motivator to wake up. Maybe you can have something before, during, or even after the run that could be a treat for you. Perhaps you can have a special breakfast bar or drink before or after the run. Sometimes, I look forward to having something to listen to while I am running. It may be some good music or a podcast, but having something to listen to can get you motivated to get out of bed. Also, make sure that you keep you runs interesting and not too boring; otherwise you may not want to get up to go run. Check out the post on spicing up your running routine to get some ideas about this.
* Have a friend –
Having a running buddy is a great way to get you out of bed in the morning. If you know you will be letting someone down by sleeping in, then you will likely not sleep in!
* Get a Good Nights Rest
The tricks that I mentioned can be helpful to waking up in the morning, but another key to waking up is getting a good nights rest. If you are well rested, then it will be easier to wake up in the morning. Not only that, but your body will get the needed recovery from the running you are doing. Some things you can do to be well rested include go to bed earlier, stay away from electronics and television about an hour before bedtime, and stay away from caffeine six to eight hours before bedtime.
What Do You think?
Which of these tips works the best for you? Do you have any tips to help wake up that I did not mention?
Pick on of the techniques in this post to help you wake up in order to get that early morning run in tomorrow.