Morning runners (Read 1056 times)

Jeremy W

    I feel your pain. I rarely get to bed before midnight.  One trick I recommend, is finding a gym near work.  You lay out your running clothes the night before, shoes, everything.  Hang up your work clothes right near the bag.  Work shoes on top of the gym bag. Underwear and socks in the bag.  Set the coffee to start brewing at 4:00.  Alarm goes off. You don't need to think. Dress up in your sleep.  Grab the coffee, work clothes, gym bag. Out the door.  Drink the coffee on the way to the gym (you are likely beating traffic, too, because it's not piling up while you're home running).  The coffee kicks in just as you head into the gym, hang your stuff, maybe use the bathroom. Off you go.  Some days you run on the treadmill, other days the streets near the gym.  Some days you lift weights.  Then, shower and off to work.  



    This would actually work pretty well for me--I work on a Navy base so finding a gym isn't a problem.  


    Only downside is there's a general order against running outside with earphones--major downer for me!

      That's a good thing! 


      (And thank you for your service).  

      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

        My issue is that if I get to bed late (I try to be asleep by 10) it's really hard to get up.  And as I try to increase mileage, it becomes more difficult to wake up early enough to get my run in and get to work on time.  Also, when work gets stressful I tend to not sleep well and then sleep in rather than wake up for my run.  I was hoping that some other morning runners might have some suggestions on how to quickly get on the road in the morning, and also any tricks you might have developed to get the most out of your morning runs. 

         As others have said, you just have to make it happen.  You've outlined the reasons the other times don't work for you, and they are familiar reasons to me.  So, if you're going to run, you're going to have to get up early, which means you're going to have to get to bed early.  Some things that help me, either logistically or mentally:


        You could probably cut down on your alarm-to-out-the-door time; not sure how you're spending it.  As others have said, have everything laid out in advance.  I really just roll out of bed, into my waiting running clothes, and go.  I haven't found it necessary to eat before weekday runs (sometimes I do before longer weekend runs, but I don't have to start as early those days). 


        My weekday run lengths vary, as most people's do.  With a day or two of longer workouts, the extra 30 minutes I get on the shorter workout days feels like a luxury, and keeps the early mornings from being too much of a grind.


        In the evening, beware the chair (to borrow an ultrarunning phrase).  I try to take care of everything on my evening to-do list (including picking out my running clothes for the next morning), even get ready for bed, before I plant my butt in front of the tv or computer. 


        The more you make a regular commitment to early morning exercise, likely the better you'll get at riding through stress insomnia.  I'm very sympathetic to that, and used to have a big problem with it.  But now that my alarm has been going off so damn early to run for a number of years, I've found my need for sleep really overrides my hamster wheel stress brain much more easily.  It's been one of the nicer benefits to early morning running, honestly.

          Two things:


          First, shorten the time between sleeping and running. On a good day, I can be running in under ten minutes.


          Second, see if there's a fellow runner who will join you in the mornings--the accountability helps.

          It should be mathematical, but it's not.

          Jeremy W

            Alarm to out-the-door is definitely my main issue as far as time.  There is admittedly a lot of futzing around on the internet, but I also have to take care of my business or things get pretty dodgy around mile 4.  I do think I can shorten that up though.  


            Thanks for the motivation and suggestions everyone--sometimes you just need people to tell you to suck it up! 

              You could get a 4-legged hairy alarm like I have - Wilson the Wonder Kitty or The Wilsonater.


              Seriously, though - if it's important to you, you'll drag yourself out of bed.  I try to be in bed no later than 9:00.  I don't sleep well because I suffer from night sweats and am generally really tired in the a.m., but I always feel better when I run.

              Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain


              Trail Runner Nation

              Team 9 from Outer Space



                Second, see if there's a fellow runner who will join you in the mornings--the accountability helps.


                This is what I was going to suggest as well. I run twice a week with another runner at 530am. I will do on my own at 630am, but the days we meet at 530, those are good runs. When she first asked if I wanted to run early, she wasn't sure I would and I wasn't sure if I wanted to, but I was willing to try it. I'm glad I did. Smile

                "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)


                Three half marathons later, I got a number. Half Fanatic #9292. :)


                  I was on a roll for a while (months) ... most days there was initial passing mental hesitance but quick movements & getting onto the treadmill ASAP and there was no turning back.  As I hit an overall 'burnout' with my running - in general ... my brain starting taking over in the a.m. - having the floor for longer & longer each time with a million deterring thoughts and little by little my solid 7 miler before the crack of dawn became a source of pressure and anxiety that I still can't explain!  Bottom line: less thinking and more doing is the answer.  I know this.  


                  I agree:


                  early to bed is key for me


                  prep is huge: clothes out, lunch made for work, coffee set-up ... no fiddle f-ing around or decisions when u get up: just a good run


                  NO THINKING is big: if u have done the above two things ... u are rested & ready for the day/work whatever so no pondering: GO


                  The minute your brain gets involved ... the bullshit starts ... ignore mind chatter - hurry up & get outside or on treadmill ... after 5 minutes the brain will shut the F up and realize it has been beaten by the spirit!  Ha ha ha


                  Now I gotta just follow my own advice (supported by yours!)


                  Keep at it


                    Alarm to out-the-door is definitely my main issue as far as time.  There is admittedly a lot of futzing around on the internet, but I also have to take care of my business or things get pretty dodgy around mile 4.  I do think I can shorten that up though.  


                     Would it be possible to do a running route that put you near a restroom after a couple of miles?

                    Jeremy W

                       Would it be possible to do a running route that put you near a restroom after a couple of miles?



                      Yeah, I could probably just make a smaller loop around my neighborhood so that I pass by my house. 

                        Ive never been able to get out early in the morning. Now that I have two kids under 3--theres absoluyely no chance in reliably getting up before them and getting any miles in. I have to get up by 5:15 as it is.


                        When I do get in the groove, all my running is at night - late. I go out around 8:30pm. Sometimes I hit the nearby trail, or I'll do the neighborhood run. I also joined the gym by work, and just use it for the showers. I eun in the neighborhood and park by the gym and use their showers. I need to do that more.

                          I've sacrificing sleep for 4 years now...since I took up this crazy running thing.  Gotta do what you gotta do if you want to get better.  It's tough with a job working from 7-5, two little kids with one in kindergarten, but I have to get my runs in and early morning is the only possible time.  The first 5 minutes always sucks, but then I'm awake, somewhat loose, and it's just me, darkness, and my thoughts.  My best thinking is done before 5 am when I'm out running.

                            So are you guys running with headlamps in the dark or are there streetlights where you run?


                            I've been limiting myself to starting my morning runs about 30 minutes before sunrise as there are no streetlights within about 4 miles from my house.  I've run with a headlamp in the dark in the evenings before, and it wasn't ideal, but it did work.


                            Just curious on whether most of you are running under streetlights or running with a headlamp or both?


                            Thanks, Nathan

                            Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

                            Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

                              Both.  I live in a big city, but it's also a heavily-potholed poorly-funded city that barely lights some stretches.  Also, regardless of whether there are streetlights or not, I think the headlamp is essential for making me visible to traffic (and I wear a reflective vest as well). 


                              One fun side effect of a headlamp:  critter eyes.  Staring at me from under every bush and parked car.  Although I see actual animals often as well, the LED headlamp light is reflected back by critter eyes from points well beyond where it casts visible light, making it obvious that there are even more animals out there than I realized. 

                              Half Fanatic 12680

                                I haven't tried a headlamp, but I do have these nifty gloves (Saucony Ulti-Mitt II) that have a clip-on light I can use to light the path in front of me.They might be uncomfortable when the weather gets warmer, but I don't run much before 5:30 am and the days are shorter in the summer. There are streetlights in my neighborhood, but there are many long, dark gaps in between so the the light helps.

                                2017 goals: Don't embarrass myself at IM 70.3 World Championship (September, Chattanooga)