Your life is hectic, and you keep juggling between work, taking care of the kids and daily errands so you cannot squeeze in time for your favorite run? I have some good news. There may be a way to fit in your daily run into your busy schedule. Why not run very early in the morning – before dawn?
Yes, it does involve getting up earlier than anticipated, but think about the positive side of this early morning pre-dawn run.
Benefits of running in the early morning:
- You’ll finish your run before others wake up
First of all, think about the satisfaction to have completed your daily run when the other people are just waking up. This will make you feel so accomplished and happy with yourself, believe me!
- Less interruptions
Also, during this time of day, the risk of being disrupted by somebody or something else is very low.
- You’ll make time for the other important stuff
Plus, the earlier you get up in the morning, the more time you will have to do all the things you need to do during the day. By running in the early hours, you will not need to squeeze in a run after that, which will give you some extra free time as well.
- Little to no traffic on the road
Under normal circumstances, there is very little or no traffic in the wee hours, and it is nice and quiet, so it is perfect for a runner who doesn’t like to be disrupted.
- It is cooler before sunrise
Running before dawn is especially favorable because the weather conditions before the sun rises are much better for running – it is cooler, and the risk of storms and rain is lower.
10 tips for a quick start
Yes, this sounds like a perfect plan, but how do you actually implement it?
Here are some tips to help you prepare and actually complete your pre-dawn run:
- It is a good idea to prepare and lay out your running gear before you go to bed. Make sure you have prepared all the clothes, shoes, a watch, music player, hydration belt, weights, gels and whatever else you carry or wear when running. Remember to wear a reflective vest and if possible have reflective elements on your clothing and running shoes. This is essential for your safety when running in the dark hours.
- Check the weather forecast before going to bed. If there is a risk of rain, storms or a temperature change, make sure that you have the appropriate clothing prepped too. This will save you a lot of time for looking for suitable clothes in the early morning.
- Check the weather on your phone in the morning, but don’t be tempted to go on and check your Facebook, mail, Twitter, news and anything else, because this will very likely slow you down and delay or morning run.
- Make sure you prepare the other things you will be using after your run for a better efficiency. For example – prepare your kids’ stuff for school before bed; fix them their lunch then too. You can do other errands which you usually leave for the morning in the evening instead, such as emptying the dishwasher, preparing dinner, doing laundry, etc.
- Make sure you have planned your running routine, your exact route, and also calculated how long it should take you to complete it. By planning this, you will be more focused on completing the run in the planned time. This will keep you moving, and will stimulate you to achieve better results than expected. Also, this will prevent you from being late for work or for the other things planned for the morning.
- If you are having problems with waking up before 5 a.m., you can try tricking yourself into thinking that you have slept more. You can do that by setting your clock 10 minutes fast. This will also provide you with an extra buffer of 10 minutes for the dressing, warming up and the run.
- Keep away from that snooze button! Make sure that your phone or alarm clock is out of reach, so that you will need to actually get up to stop the alarm.
- Ensure that you are safe. Even though normally there is no heavy traffic before 5 a.m., you should make sure that you stay safe and are visible to drivers and other people. This means wearing a reflective vest, having reflective elements on your clothing, shoes, gear and other items. Also, it is a good idea to wear a head light so that you can see the road in front of you and will keep you from tripping on obstacles or falling in holes.
- Have breakfast ready. If you usually need pre-run nutrition, make sure you have prepared your breakfast beforehand.
- If possible, find a running buddy or adopt a dog to join you at your pre-dawn runs – this will keep you motivated to continue running and will stop you from missing out on a run.
So, if you want to have an uninterrupted regular block of time to do your running, and develop a more determined mindset by early awakening and getting out running every day, you should consider the pre-dawn running regime.
Once you get into the habit, you will find that it will become easier to get up early and to go out to run. It will simply become part of your daily regimen.
The commitment, determination and fortitude from the regular pre-dawn running will help improve your running performance and your results as well.
Of course, sometimes when you have had a late night or poor sleep you may find the pre-dawn run a bit more challenging, but a short run can actually make you feel better than getting an extra 30-40 minutes of sleep after a late night.
Running in the dark requires more focus than running in the daylight, which means that your mindfulness and focus too will evolve.
About the author: Cara is coffee lover, running addict, and all about healthy food. She writes about sports gear, and other sports related topics for Comforthacks.com and Fitaholicgear.com When she is not running or writing about it, Cara enjoys enjoys spending time with her family.