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Tips for Running in the Morning

Run Early in the Day to Stay Motivated

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Updated July 01, 2014

Whenever I run in the morning, I always feel like I gained a couple of hours during the day. Research has actually shown that runners who run in the morning are more consistent with their running than those who try to do it later on. If you want to become a morning runner, here are some tips to make running in the morning easier:

Get to bed early.

Young woman sleeping
Simon Winnall/Taxi/Getty Images
Some people think they can watch late-night TV and still get up early for a run. Do yourself a favor –- DVR your favorite late TV shows and plan to get to bed in time to guarantee yourself 7-8 hours of sleep.

Sleep in your running clothes.

Man can't sleep
Biggie Productions
This trick may seem a little bit silly, but runners who have tried it say that it works. Of course, don't sleep with your running shoes on -- those you'll have to put on once you get out of bed.

Or, lay out your clothes.

If you don't feel like sleeping in your clothes, at least lay them out, all ready to go. Having your clothes right there will make it much easier to get dressed to run. Some runners even like to put their clothes in the bathroom, which forces them to wake up a little and then get dressed. (Added bonus: If you have a snoozing spouse next to you, he or she will appreciate not being disturbed.)

Put your alarm clock out of reach.

Alarm clock
Tom Merton
When that alarm goes off early in the morning, it's tempting to keep hitting the snooze button and skip your running plans. But if your alarm clock is across the room, you're already out of bed and a lot less likely to say, "Just 10 more minutes…"

Have a training schedule.

Training schedule
Christine Luff
If you're training for a specific race and following a training schedule, it's much harder to blow off those morning runs. You'll think to yourself, "I have to be ready for that half-marathon," or, "My schedule says 5 miles today. Gotta run."

Think about your plan the night before.

Man reading and relaxing
Alistair Berg

Plan out your morning run the night before -- how far, for how long, what course you'll run. Doing so will help you get more motivated for your run and ensure that you have enough time for your run before you start the rest of your day.

Get a morning running buddy.

Couple running
If you usually run by yourself, try to recruit a running friend to meet you in the morning. Or, find a running group that meets in the morning. You'll be less likely to skip your run if you know people are waiting for you.

Eat something light.

Banana
Stuart Minzey
It's never good to run on an empty stomach, but you most likely won't have a lot of extra time to eat and then digest your food. So, try eating something small like an energy bar or a banana, so you're not running on empty.

More: Should I Eat Before I Run?

Wear reflective gear.

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
If you're running in the early morning, wear white, yellow, or orange clothes. Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Although some items (running shoes, jackets) already have reflective pieces on them, it doesn't hurt to add more.

Drink some water.

Runner Drinking Water
Photo by George Doyle
You're most likely going to wake up dehydrated, so make sure you drink about 6-8 ounces of water before you start your run.
More: Running and Hydration

Also see: What's the Best Time of Day to Run?
6 Tips for Busy Runners
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