Monday, 23 April 2012

Early Morning Running

One of the biggest challenges I find with picking up the running miles throughout the week, is trying to find the time. I need to leave for work at 8am and don't get home till 7pm so trying to fit in running as well as everything else (family, food, films, friends etc - alliteration was a happy accident there) is a big challenge.

One way in which I plan to get round this is setting the alarm clock an hour early and going for Early Morning Runs. I am going to outline 5 of my top tips for running early in the morning, please feel free to let me know if there is anything else I should be thinking about, or any tips my fellow early morning runners have that make the process a bit easier.

1. Forward Planning

Think about what you will need to do to save yourself time in the morning. What can you get ready the night before that will mean you can stay in bed another 2-3 minutes.  I like to lay out my kit so that I don't have to spend any time looking for running socks in the dark (it's bad enough finding them when it is light). Also, check the weather report for the next day so you know what you should be wearing (don't use the weather as an excuse though - nobody likes a skiver!)

The time this will save you will really help, also the process of laying out your kit will me that you are less likely to think "ah fuck it" (which is a danger) and go back to sleep. The plan is you will go to bed thinking about your run, and you will wake up motivated and raring to go!

2. Have breakfast

Having breakfast is a vital part of the day anyway, but especially if you are getting up early to do a run. You want to have something that is going to fuel your early morning escapade, but also something that wont take too long to make....but also something that is not going to sit too heavy as you cant afford to sit around till it digests...

This morning I made myself a slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter and sliced banana. Nice source of slow release Carbs with the wholemeal bread, protein in the peanut butter and the banana is great energy just before a run. I wash this down with some water and I am ready to go.

Another plan, is to have some energy bars ready that you can quickly eat, then have a decent breakfast when you get back to give your body the vital nutrients.

3.Know your route

 You only have a certain amount of time for your run, so don't use the EMR (early morning run) to try outthe new weird and wonderful off-road route that you have been planning. Stick to what you know. You should know how long the route will take and when you will be back. You also don't want to be knackered for the rest of the day, so remember you have a full day in front of you, don't absolutely kill yourself.

4. Find a running buddy

 I find that if you have made the commitment to meet up with something to go for a run, then you are more likely to get up and go. There is no greater motivation for me than feeling obliged, I hate letting people down. This is also good for having someone to chat to and it feels like you are sharing the burden, and that you are not the only person in the world crazy enough to be up and running.

 If you have no willing friends, or just no friends, don't fret, just comfort yourself in the knowledge that you are doing the right thing for your body, and you will probably live longer than those unwilling, lazy, unmotivated, pathetic excuses for human beings...(I'm joking of course, as much as there is a certain amount of well earned smugness that comes from running early in the morning, don't tell people that you are therefore better than them, even though you are, it won't end well).

5. Hydrate

It is incredibly important to be drinking water throughout the day, especially if you live an active lifestyle. You should make sure that you have a drink of water before heading out and also when you come back. Make sure that you pay particular attention to drinking water throughout the day of your early morning run too, no use putting all that effort in then crashing at 2pm because you are dehydrated.

Your turn: What is your early morning run routine? What do you have for breakfast? How else can I squeeze runs in to my busy week?

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