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Getting in your runs in the early morning to beat the heat sure is a brilliant plan. How about starting the day right by doing your favorite activity? Wouldn’t it be nice to exercise before work so you don’t have to worry about getting off late and losing motivation?

All of the above sound just lovely, but they require you to “rise and shine!” If you tend to press the snooze button one too many times, here are some tips to help you wake up and kick ass.

Go to bed earlier

If you go to bed an hour earlier, you will be able to wake up an hour earlier. Duh…However, with life’s many responsibilities, this is easier said than done. For some of you, even if you do turn in early, your mind is so wound up from screen stimulants and job stress that you can’t fall asleep.

Just like running, good sleeping habits take practice to improve gradually. Be patient. Begin by doing these two things:

  1. Don’t bring your phone or other screen devices into your bedroom.
  2. Read a book instead (check out our book picks).


Lay out your running clothes

Decide exactly what you will wear the night before and lay them all out at a convenient spot – top, shorts, underwear, hat, socks, shoes, sunglasses, running belt, etc. If your running clothes are comfy enough, I recommend wearing them to sleep.

The goal is to reduce the friction between getting you out of bed and out the door. Trust me, simply having one less thing to worry about in the early morning greatly increases the chances of success.


Put your alarm clock way over there

Get an alarm clock (since your phone will be outside the bedroom) and place it somewhere you must leave the bed to turn it off, a trick for your snooze-button-happy-fingers.

Tip: Place the alarm clock next to the running kits you laid out the night before. You’re already out of bed, and seeing the clothes right there should motivate you to get dressed and get moving.


Simplify breakfast

Many of you need a light breakfast or a cup of coffee pre-run. As mentioned, the goal is to reduce friction, so simplify your breakfast routine.

There are many tasty instant coffee options (forgive me, you coffee aficionados), or get a coffee maker with timer functions. Nothing better than waking up to coffee’s glorious aroma.

Depending on the length of your run, energy barsfruits, and oatmeal are all super easy and will provide the necessary nutrients and fuel for a kick-ass run. If you woke up late and short on time, you can always slam down an energy gel or sports drink to get a quick boost of carbohydrates (though not the healthiest way to start the day).

Tip: Cut up your fruits the night before or make overnight oats so they’re ready for consumption in the morning.


Run with a friend

Invite a friend to run with you in the morning. When you commit to doing something with another person, it provides added motivation. If it’s with someone that’s a good hang, then even better! Accountability and good company – the best of two worlds.


Start small

Take it easy if you’re an inexperienced runner and not typically an early riser. You’re creating a brand new routine after all, so don’t stress yourself with a super hard workout at 5:30 am. You might dread it so much that you decide to continue to hide under your blanket.

Kick things off with easy runs and smaller goals. Ease yourself into these budding habits and gradually increase your efforts as your body and mind fall in love with running in the morning.