How to prepare for a morning run

There are people crazy enough to go for a run first thing in the morning. Hearing this may send shivers down your spine or just stand in awe at the drive some people have.

In reality, it is just like any other habit – it gradually becomes easier once you have some momentum. And there are plenty of benefits of morning runs.

As you have your gears running early on, you feel like you have so much time to accomplish other things during the day whether it’s as menial as vacuuming the floor or learning how to code. Also, the endorphin rush in the morning sets you up for a more positive start to the day!

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways on how you can prepare for a morning run to make the best out of the experience.

Prepare the night before

The key here is to have as few obstacles as possible when you are contemplating getting out of bed. This includes the mental challenge of figuring out what outfit to put on. So, before you sleep the night before, check the weather for tomorrow’s morning run and prepare what you will want to wear. 

Lay or hang them somewhere you can see as soon as you wake up. This includes accessories like sunglasses. The best running sunglasses are the ones that look cool just as they are functional, so having some swag early on will definitely excite you!

This level of planning also applies to your pre-run snack. Place a glass of water on your bedside table to hydrate yourself first thing in the morning. The point is to have everything ready, so you don’t have to think about anything!

Nutrition

This topic is subjective. Some people enjoy their morning runs on an empty stomach, while many don’t. If you’re not used to having meals so early on, I recommend just having half a banana or apple and a glass of water before you hit the road. Ideally, this should be 30-60 minutes before your run. I always have energy bars in my pantry for those times I forget to stock up on fruits. 

If you’re only running for less than an hour, a pre-run snack is not necessary so don’t stress over it. Just hydrate yourself with a glass of water. 

Fix your routine gradually

Surprise surprise, you will want to go to bed earlier. If you’re just starting out, be kind to your body. If you’re used to waking up at 8 am, then wake up at 7.30 am the first week. This means that you will need to tuck in a few minutes earlier at night, and perhaps have dinner slightly earlier than usual to let the food digest properly. 

Trying too much too soon will only frustrate and demotivate you because it makes it that much harder to get past the first hurdle.

When getting to bed earlier becomes a bigger struggle than waking up at dawn, that’s when you realize that tying your laces first thing in the morning has become a powerful habit that will set you up for success!

Clear your bowels

This isn’t conventional advice, but you really don’t want to be in the climax of the runner’s high and suddenly get the urge to go for a number 2. It’s a buzzkill, and holding it in is bad in the long run. No pun intended. This is especially true when your runs get longer as you progress.

Most of the experienced runners I know will clear their bowels first thing in the morning. You can train yourself to do this over time, and you’ll find yourself just going to the toilet in the mornings even on your non-running days (which is always a good thing).