For many runners who lead busy lifestyles, the morning is the only time that is free to exercise. Unless you are a morning person, however, getting out of bed before the sun comes up can be extremely difficult. For those of us who would rather sleep than run, the following tips can make getting out of bed easier.
Invest in a coffee
maker with a timer function
Getting out of bed when the alarm sounds can be made easier when a good cup of coffee is brewing. Look for a coffee maker with a timer function, and set it to begin 5 – 10 minutes before your alarm goes off. The smell of a good cup of coffee in the morning is enough to lure even the most tired of people out of bed.
Go to bed in running
When you sleep in your running clothes you are making a commitment to yourself. Not only will this save time in the morning, but it also adds an extra level of accountability. No one wants to change out of their running clothes without having actually gone for a run.
Place your alarm in
If hitting the snooze button is a bad habit of yours, place your alarm in another room. This action will force you to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. Once you are up you will be more likely to get out the door.
Use a sleep tracking
Look for a wearable device (like a watch) that monitors your REM and respiration cycles to choose the best time in the morning for you to awake. Simple input approximately what time you would like to wake up, and the alarm will sound when your body is most likely to be receptive (and feel most awake) when the alarm goes off.
Set a goal for yourself at the beginning of the week (i.e. getting out of bed 3 out of 5 mornings) and define a reward for when you reach your goal, such as a special coffee or indulgent dessert.
Find a partner
Seek out an exercise partner who also wants to work out in the morning hours. Not wanting to let someone down by not showing up is a great motivator to get out of bed.
Find a coach
Look for a running coach (many coaches are available through running stores or online resources) who will keep you accountable. Most coaches require a weekly email or phone call to sum up the week’s runs, and knowing that you will have to answer the question, “why didn’t you run this week?” can be enough motivation to get up when the alarm sounds.
Remember why you’re
Whether you’re running to lose weight, run a race, or have fun, remember that there is a reason you want to get up in the morning. Running is something you get to do, not something you have to do. Changing your mindset just slightly can make getting out the door easier!