The relationship with your bed can often feel like the one you have with your best friends: You enjoy ending the day by spending time with them and when the time comes to leave, it can be difficult to say goodbye. Getting out of bed in the early morning is a struggle within itself. Rather than springing up out of bed ready to seize the day, you’re normally left clutching the sheets, rolling around in frustration while your alarm clock beckons you to climb out and begin your day.
We usually need to pull ourselves up-and-out of bed because we have obligations—getting the kids ready for school, preparing for our morning commute to work and more. While some are deathly afraid of the notion, there are those brave people whose morning obligation is to climb out of bed, get dressed and head out the door for a run.
If you’re disheartened by the idea of morning runs, you should know you’re not alone. Finding the motivation to exit the comfort of your bed and beginning to plant one foot in front of the other can be a mental task within itself. More often than not, the people who are morning runners have trained themselves to be this way. If you’re someone who has always had an interest in being a morning runner—getting your run in first thing in the morning rather than sneaking it in during a lunch break or after work–there are ways to boost your morning motivation.
Ease Yourself into Waking Up Early
Doctors, researchers and the Sleep Foundation state that adults require an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and for good reason. Sleep deprivation can have its fair share of negative effects on your physical, mental and emotional state, too. If you’re someone who is used to going to bed at midnight and waking up at 8 a.m., forcing yourself into waking up at 6 a.m. won’t be beneficial for your health. Rather, if you’re looking for a way to transition from a night owl into an early bird, it’s best to ease yourself into things.
There are two ways that this can be achieved, whether by (1) getting to bed earlier than normal so you’ll wake up on time, all while getting the same amount of sleep, or (2) gradually setting your alarm so it goes off 10-15 minutes earlier than normal each morning. For instance, if you’re on the midnight to 8:00 a.m. sleep schedule, consider either going to bed at 10:00 p.m. and waking up at 6:00 a.m. or setting your alarm to 7:45 a.m. rather than 8:00 a.m.
While the former of the two will allow for a longer morning workout, the latter will make for short workouts—an ab routine, basic body workout—while training yourself to wake up earlier. Additionally, consider storing a filled handheld water bottle bedside the night before, as there are countless benefits to drinking water after getting out of bed.
Lay Your Running Gear Out the Night Before
Your future self will always appreciate the fact that you prepared ahead of time. Getting out of bed is already tough enough. Why make it even more difficult by having to rummage through your drawers looking for clothes, all the while you’re rubbing your eyes and trying to mentally wake up? Laying out your gear ahead of time—shorts/pants, socks, shoes, shirt, handheld water bottle, waist pack, etc.—is a simple, surefire way to drag yourself out of bed and get you covering mileage on the roads or trails.
And while it might sound over-the-top, consider sleeping in your running clothes. While you can’t do this with your business attire, there is no harm in sleeping in running attire, meaning that you can rise out of bed, lace up your running shoes and be out the door in no time!
Drink a Cup of Coffee
Coffee is a wonderful thing. Whenever you’re tired, groggy or disinterested and have something that needs to be done, coffee can almost always bring your senses back to life. While we sometimes take it for granted, allowing it to become just another part of our daily routine, coffee has many benefits to offer. The foremost benefit that everyone knows of is the caffeine that is provided by a cup of coffee. You might not know it, but you don’t even have to drink coffee for it to perk you up, as the smell of freshly ground or brewing coffee can awaken the senses.
A 6 oz. cup of coffee, which has 71 mg of caffeine, pre-run can provide the necessary jolt to get you out the door and on the road. This will also keep you from overdoing it with the caffeine, especially if you’d like a larger cup once you’ve finished stretching. Or, if coffee is your one true love, consider tossing some cold brew coffee or iced coffee into a handheld water bottle, bringing it along with you for the run.
Treat Yourself Post-Run
There’s a lot to be said for having something to look forward to in life. Having something to reach for can give us the power we need to conquer especially difficult tasks, say getting out of bed and going for a morning run. While pre-run water from your handheld water bottle or a 6 oz. cup of coffee might do the trick for some, it might not be enough for others. For the people who still feel like they don’t have the necessary motivation, consider planning out a snack following your run.
Having something sweet or savory can go a long way during a particularly tough run, especially on those frigid mornings. While the type of treat will be different for each and every person, consider a piece of chocolate, some fresh fruit or yogurt for breakfast following your run. It might just provide you with the necessary amount of motivation to get out the door and put down some quality training miles.
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