how to become a morning runner

I’m a morning person.  I love getting up early before everyone else in the house (even MacKenna) so I can have some time for myself.  If I can sit on the couch and watch the news while drinking a cup of coffee while the sun rises outside, I am one happy girl.

However, even as a morning person, I still find it difficult to get up and workout during the week.  During the school year, I wake up at 4 AM every single day.  During volleyball season, it’s usually even earlier, thanks to that being the only time I can workout.  No matter how much of a morning person you are, 4 AM is rough.  I struggle daily to pull my tired rear out of bed.  I seriously come up with every excuse I can think of to go back to sleep, but I know that if I don’t get up, I will be in a terrible mood the rest of the day.  So, I’ve come up with a few little tricks to actually pull myself out of bed.

Morning Runner

Set your clock so it is 10 to 15 minutes fast.  I will admit this is a really stupid one, but it works for me.  My clock on my nightstand is 15 minutes faster than the actual time.  So, while my clock says that it is 4 AM when I am waking up, it’s actually 3:45.  It makes me feel like I got to sleep a little bit longer than I actually did.  And really, seeing a 4 first instead of a 3 seems so much easier to wake up to.

Give yourself 5 minutes to wakeup.  I just started doing this about a year ago, but it has really helped me get up early.  When my alarm goes off, I give myself 5 minutes to check my email and play on my phone while still in bed.  Some days (like yesterday) are harder than others and I can barely keep my eyes open.  Other times, I don’t need the 5 minutes to wake up.  Of course, you have to include this 5 minutes into the time it takes you to get to the gym, but it does help me wake up a little bit.

Don’t hit snooze.  I’m worse at this now than I used to be, but I very rarely even give myself the option to hit snooze.  It’s just part of the routine now:  the alarm goes off, I turn it off, play on my phone for 5 minutes, and get up.  Snoozing isn’t an option – it just makes it harder to get up the more times you press it.  I also know that the more times my alarm goes off, the more chances I have to wake up MacKenna with it.

Other things that can help you but that I don’t practice:

  • Place your alarm clock across the room from you.  That way you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.
  • Find someone to keep you accountable.  It would be so much easier if I had someone I was planning on meeting at the gym.  I actually think of the “regulars” at that time as my friends and think that they’d be disappointed if they didn’t see me there at that time.  I don’t actually talk to any of them, but it makes me think that someone is expecting me to be there.
  • Have some sort of mantra.  I have heard of people literally yelling what a great day it’s going to be.  I, of course, want to avoid waking up my non-morning-person hubby and light-sleeping daughter.

If you’re struggling with waking up in the morning, try doing one of these this week to see if it works for you.  Find one that will help you and motivate you to actually get out of bed.  I’m not claiming it’s going to get any easier, but at least you’ll feel better after you get your workout on!

  • You are amazing to get up every morning at 4 am! I need to follow these tips!
    Meranda@fairytalesandfitness recently posted..Parades, Publisher, and Photoshop

    • Kristen

      I don’t know about amazing, maybe crazy! ;)

  • Sarah

    I also set my clock 15 minutes fast. It really does help! I set it for the time I want to start running.
    And I keep it across the room too. Once I’m up, I am up. But I don’t get up quite as early as you do. Yikes

    • Kristen

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! My parents always did that so I grew up doing it. My husband thinks I’m crazy!

  • What time do you go to sleep to make getting up that early possible? I enjoy quiet morning time as well, but for me that’s 7am. :) I did get up around 5am a couple time during my last half marathon training and enjoyed being done so early, but I never made that a routine.
    Nora recently posted..A Weight Off My Shoulders

    • Kristen

      I wish I could say I went to bed at a reasonable hour, but sleep is the first thing that goes for me. On a good night, I’m in bed by 10, but even then, I’m watching the news or on my phone or talking with the hubby. It’s usually around 11 before I’m actually sleeping. Definitely not as good as I would like!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been trying to become a morning runner for a while now. Years ago pre live in boyfriend I used to wake up early and go to the gym/for a run every morning, but somehow I lost the habit. I’m great at heading out at night, but the morning is so much more peaceful. I’ve had my clock set ahead for a while, but it just keeps me on time for work lol. I will keep trying!

    • Kristen

      Yes, keep trying! I promise it’s not as terrible as it seems!

  • I am totally a morning person. I find I spend way too much time in bed after the alarm goes off, though. Like 15-20 minutes…. oops. I definitely feel so much better when I start the day with a workout and it sets the tone for the rest of my day. If you’re a runner….think about how hot it will get outside (especially if you live in FL, like me!) as the day goes on. That gets me out the door when it’s still dark out!
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted..We’ll Be Waiting Our Whole Lives

    • Kristen

      YES! So true! I especially love running in the morning in the hot + humid summers!

  • ErikaMC

    I get up at 4:00 to work out too. I am a morning person and love having the mornings to myself. The 4:00 wake up time did take some getting use to and it also took me about 2 weeks to feel like I had the energy to get a hard workout it.

    • Kristen

      Yeah, 2 weeks seems about right. It is taking me awhile to get used to getting up early again after 3 weeks off!

  • Okay living in Minnesota I feel like I get a little more slack on the morning workouts… right? Summertime I’m up and out of bed but I have a really hard time in the freezing winter! Great tips though, I like the idea of giving yourself 5 minutes to wake up in bed!
    Sarah recently posted..Mexican Sunshine For Days

  • Haha I literally just wrote about this the other day! I love getting u early, but getting up early to exercise? Not so much lol I like the let yourself wake-up idea though. Maybe knowing I don’t haveta jump outta bed right away might help.
    Kelsey @ Blonder Side recently posted..A Winter Wonderland This is Not + Recipe

    • Kristen

      It’s nice to know that I have 5 minutes before I really actually have to get out of bed. It helps a little bit, but there are some days where it’s pretty hard!

  • Amy

    I also wake up at 4am to run, and my big trick is to sleep in my running clothes. It is a huge mental boost and it feels like it makes my mornings so much easier mentally. Of course I’m the weirdo judging running clothes for their sleep comfort, but that’s ok with me!

    • Kristen

      I sort of do that too – I usually sleep in a t-shirt, so all I have to do is pull on some shorts and shoes and I’m ready to go. It definitely is a time saver in the morning!