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6 steps to becoming a morning runner

Here's how to start a morning running routine and smash your workout before your day even begins.

young fitness woman runner stretching legs before run

Based on the average life expectancy, an adult can expect to wake up for around 25,000 mornings. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to start introducing an early morning exercise routine.

As hard as it might sound to get started, the rewards of working out first thing in the morning can really make it worth the effort. You’ll boost your energy, set yourself up for a good day, and make sure you tick the exercise box without daily distractions hijacking your plans.

Here are a few tips to help you hit the ground running.

1. Set yourself a goal

It can be tough to drag yourself from the land of nod. Setting a goal and focusing on why you want to make the change can be an important way to stay motivated. Whether it’s health, training for an event, weight loss or simply wanting to start the day in a positive way, visualise what it is you really want to achieve.

2. Be prepared

There are a number of steps you can take the night before to ensure you are up and at ‘em bright and early. Make sure your exercise clothes and gear are laid out and ready to go, plan your running course, hydrate, avoid alcohol and eat a nutritious dinner and set your alarm.

“Don’t think about the struggle of getting through your run – think about how you’ll feel once you’ve done it.”

3. Go to sleep earlier

It makes sense that if you are going to get up earlier you need to go to bed earlier. So sacrifice that TV show, delay the important Facebook update and jump into bed an hour earlier than usual to give yourself the best chance of waking up when the alarm bells.

4. Start small and build

Set yourself some small but realistic goals to get started. For example, you might start with one early-morning run per week. Start documenting your early morning runs, put a list up on the fridge and fill it in each time you get home. When you achieve your mini-goal, celebrate it and reward your success. Then try to build on it and keep your momentum going.

5. Make it a team effort

If there’s someone waiting out the front of your house, it’s much tougher to hit the snooze button. Ask friends or family to join you on your morning runs, or look into local running groups so that you have someone to run with, someone you commit to. You can motivate each other and enjoy the rewards together.

6. Focus on the positives

There are so many good things that come from getting your workout completed early in the morning. Don’t think about the struggle of getting through your run – think about how you’ll feel once you’ve done it. Keep everything simple. Alarm goes off, clothes go on, you start running, you get back home, and all those feel-good endorphins will be charging around your body, setting you up to start another great day.

Famous early risers

You’ll be in good company with your morning routine. Here are just a small handful of successful people who rise early.

  • Disney CEO Robert Iger is part of the ‘4.30 am club’, waking early to exercise, catch up on the world and enjoy a little quiet time to himself.
  • Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said he woke up at 4 am without being able to fall back asleep. He then worked for the next three or four hours before going back to bed for a nap.
  • Actress Gwyneth Paltrow wakes at 4.30 am to practice yoga.
  • Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour rises at 5.45 am for an hour of tennis.
  • American President Barack Obama is a self-confessed night owl but wakes early anyway to squeeze in a workout before getting to the office at 8.30 am or 9 am.

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