17 Game-Changing Tips For Anyone Who Runs In The Morning

"Никогда не делает ошибок только тот, кто не пробует ничего нового." Альберт Эйнштейн ©
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Bleary eyes, full water bottle, can’t lose.

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Hello, fellow and future morning runners. Allow me to interrupt our collective favorite hobby of complaining about the weather for a few hot secs.

Walt Disney Animation Studios/BuzzFeed


You might think you’re already locked and loaded re: morning runs, but if you’re already in a routine, why not make it even *better*?

Comedy Central

Like, what if the actual running felt as good as humble bragging about running?? I’m talking that kind of better.

Here are a few quick tips and hacks for anyone who likes to run in the morning, whether you’re that runner who’s up at the Oh-Dear-God-No O’Clock every day rain or shine, or you’re thinking about giving some morning runs a shot.


You’ve heard the old “lay out your running clothes the night before” bit, but take it a step further — pick out your route and your playlist, too.

Map My Run / Via mapmyrun.com, Spotify

As you might have noticed, our brains are sometimes hardwired to give us every and any excuse not to run. Having these things squares away at least two of them — there won’t be any waffling about where you’re going, and you’ll have a playlist to look forward to as extra motivation.

If you’re looking for a good resource for running routes, you can either build your own or look at other peoples’ pre-run routes on Map My Run. Looking for a few ideas for running playlists? Spotify updates Pumped Pop and a slew of other workout playlists weekly. You can also check out this list of incredibly specific workout playlists for more inspo.

(This is also the part where someone would usually say to sleep in your running clothes the night before, but never once in all my years of existing have I been able to summon the mental fortitude to sleep in spandex, so I’ll let you do with that “tip” what you will.)


If the weather seems iffy, lay out more than one version of your outfit.

Emma Lord

Sure, your weather app says it’s going to rain, but can we ever truly know Poseidon’s will until it is done? Just for the sake of sparing yourself the energy of reworking your outfit in the morning, have a spare on hand just in case it ends up being drastically different than what you thought. You can just pick out one extra outfit at the beginning of the week and have it tucked away for those “juuuust in case” days.


Have a special alarm for the mornings you know you’re going to run.

Emma Lord

Mine, for instance, says “GO GET ‘EM, PUNK!!!!” (I do not know who “em” is, but they are sure gotten!!) You can also level up and choose one of your favorite running songs as the sound for your alarm, so you can put yourself in a running headspace the moment you wake up. Yes, the neighbors in your thinly-walled building might be slightly alarmed to hear the words “sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me” blasting from your apartment before the crack of dawn, but such is the morning runner life.


Also, for the love of all 12,000 pairs of old sneakers you keep refusing to throw away, get a sunrise alarm clock for winter.

Urban Outfitters

As we are all aware, in the winter, that majestic Teletubby baby we call the sun rises later and later in the morning. Waking up to pitch darkness makes it all too tempting to stay curled up in bed, but with a sunrise alarm clock that gradually brightens the room in the minutes before you wake up, you can essentially lie to your eyeballs that the sun is up, too.

Get a sunrise alarm clock from Urban Outfitters for $38.95.


Pick your fuel depending on what time you get up versus what time you run.


Feel free to bribe yourself with a lil’ caffeine.


Try to keep a reasonable-ish wake-up time on the weekends.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

As glorious as it can be to wake up at 10 a.m. on a Saturday and become one with your sheets, even a few days of sleeping in can knock your circadian rhythm out of whack. You’ll be more inclined to fall asleep later, and your attempt to “catch up” on sleep over the weekend will backfire when you wake up early on Monday feeling like the human equivalent of burnt toast.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends not varying your normal wakeup time on the weekends by more than an hour or so, and taking short naps during the day as a more effective way to fill your “sleep debt.”


Make sure you’re wearing clothes that prioritize your comfort and safety.


Have some “treats” that mix up your routine for when you’re feeling unmotivated.

Emma Lord, Spotify

For me, that means wearing one of my favorite hats (it says “best dad ever” and as a childless woman in my twenties I DELIGHT in the confusion of actual dads running by me), or having a particular playlist set aside (mine are Spotify’s Disney and ABBA playlists, but you’re welcome to create one that is significantly less dweeby). Sometimes just having something you set aside as a fancy-pants thing can make the run take on an entirely different vibe.


On days you’re *still* feeling unmotivated to run, but not necessarily too tired, try going for a walk in your running clothes instead.

Emma Lord

Either you’ll go for a lovely walk that will still ~rejuvenate~ you, or once you get out the door and have gotten over the mental hurdle of getting “ready” to run, you might just end up deciding to run after all. Either way, you’re still getting some extra oomph out of your morning that might energize you a little more for the day.


Find yourself a fellow morning runner!


If you’re nervous about running on your own in the morning, or just want an accountabilibuddy, put it out in the universe (read: Instagram/Facebook/etc) that you’re looking for someone to run with — odds are you have at least *one* friend in a reasonable radius of you that is interested in meeting up once or twice a week. Then you’ll both be more likely to stick to a running schedule, and avoid the mental burnout of running too much on your own.


Or go even further and find yourself a whole running group.


Shake up the kinds of running workouts you’re doing.

Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

Maybe you’re training for a race, and maybe you’re like me and you’re allergic to them, but you don’t have to be training for anything in particular to benefit from switching up your workout. For a lot of runners, it’s less about speed or and endurance and more about not getting bored out of your skull running the same routes over and over again. To shake things up, try timed running workouts that change up your pacing every few minutes, or driving a few miles from your house to put yourself on a fresh route.

Heck, if you really want to go ham, try an immersive running app like Zombies, Run!, which sets different paces and goals for your runs while also making you the hero of your own bizarre post-zombie apocalypse story. (Note: the RPE above stands for “rate of perceived exertion”!)


Have a “flex day” so you can easily miss a run and still stay on track.

Emma Lord

Say you have a goal to run in the mornings three days a week. At the beginning of every week, you can pick the three days you’re aiming to get it done — maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — and then have a “flex day” that you can use if you end up missing one of those runs. Then if you have one too many Bud Lights with the crew on Tuesday night (don’t @ me) and miss Wednesday morning, you can always make it up on Saturday if you’re still feeling it.


Be mindful of what works best for you timing-wise.


Make sure to talk to every single person you know about being a morning runner, and how it’s added five years to your life and cleared your skin and somehow also rewritten the entire last season of Game of Thrones.


Just kidding, we’re already insufferable enough.


For real, though, is last but not least — don’t beat yourself up for skipping out on runs.

See y’all out there at the buttcrack of dawn, morning peeps.

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Or at least in each other’s shameless, sneaker-ridden 7 a.m. Instagram stories.

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