Five Tips for Being an Early Runner
by Janine Arthur
Hi, My name is Janine and I’m an early morning runner. I’ve been at this for almost ten years now. It all began a couple of months after I gave birth to our third son. Up until that point, I had been pushing a double jogging stroller around, but I couldn’t fathom pushing a triple stroller and also decided that getting out of the house to exercise without the kids would be good for my overall wellbeing. Most days, my alarm clock rings at 4:15 am and that’s the beginning of my day. For some runners, this seems like insane behavior, but for many of us early birds, it’s what we need to do because there’s simply not another convenient time to get in a run during the day. If I don’t get up and run early, there are too many demands upon me later in the day to make it happen.
It can seem daunting to wake in the wee hours of the morning and get out the door before many people are even awake, but I find the rewards to be worth it. I get quiet time in the morning before my family gets up, I get to see the sunrise (I’ve never regretted a sunrise) and I start my day with a dose of endorphins. It also really helps me to have this time to focus before the busyness of the day begins. If you’ve ever thought about changing up your routine and running in the early morning, but just can’t seem to wrap your head around it, I encourage you to try it out. Maybe you’ll get addicted to the quiet streets and gorgeous sunrises (or in the wintertime, some great views of the moon).
My Five Tips for Being an Early Runner
1. Find Running Buddies
If there’s one tip that I would give above all it’s this one: Find yourself some reliable early morning running partners. Knowing that someone will be waiting for me helps me to get out of bed on those dark and/or rainy mornings. I couldn’t do it without my friends.
2. Plan Ahead
I always check the weather the night before and set out appropriate clothes for the morning. This saves time having to rummage through my drawers in the morning. I keep my gloves and hats near the front door so that I always know where they are. Well…in an ideal world, I would always know where my gloves and hats are. In reality, I have about ten pairs of those cheap stretchy gloves you can get for a buck a pair at Fred Meyer. If I lose my running gloves, I can always throw on a pair of these babies. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, including seasonal gloves with reindeer and sparkles. You really can’t beat that.
3. Get The Blood Sugar Going
I set the coffee pot up to brew the night before so that I’ll have coffee to look forward to when I get up (okay, actually my husband does it). Some runners can’t drink coffee before a run, but I really enjoy the buzz myself. Though I don’t personally do this (unless it’s a really long run), I have friends who eat a little something to get their blood sugar up.
4. Dont Rush
I give myself plenty of time so that I don’t feel too rushed before I have to get out the door. I like to have about 30-45 minutes of awake time. This gives my body time to get ready to run after being horizontal for so long. I usually use this time to read, check emails and text my friends who are still sleeping.
5. Early To Bed
If I’m not diligent in getting to bed at a decent hour, I can’t expect my body to want to wake up early or perform well. Some days my body just needs to rest. On these days, I hit the snooze button. Either I run later or do a workout at home when I can squeeze it in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janine has been an active runner and writer in the Corvallis community for over two decades. She has run the Boston Marathon, raised a family, and has been an incredible role model and friend to the HOTV Runners and Five Star Sports family.
We want to extend our deepest thank you to Janine for contributing to our Stories section. See you on those early morning runs!