Wake up and run: tips to become a morning runner

Tips to become a morning runnerI’m not a morning person. Fact. When my alarm clock goes off, it’s basically the worst part of my entire day. I love sleeping and snoozing and napping. They are all different by the way.

If I manage to pull myself out of bed, I’m not a very nice human for a few hours. This is usually OK because the only reason I’m up at 6:00 am is to run – a solitary activity that doesn’t usually involve small talk or pleasantries.

Lately, the mornings are made ever so slightly better by the fact that it is not pitch black when I get up and this has been a massively motivating factor in getting me out the door. That, and my relative lackadaisical approach to my second half marathon of the season (just a mere 12 days away… but who’s counting). Today, against all odds, I woke up at 5:30 am and ran about 12K with my husband. He promised a beautiful London route, and he definitely did not disappoint. We ran through a nearly deserted Regent’s Park and up Primrose Hill. A perfect view of city in the morning twilight with just other runners around enjoying the quiet that is London before 7 am.

From there, we jogged along Regent’s Canal all the way home. Despite the one lone crazy man mumbling something menacing as we ran by, it was an otherwise lovely run and it renewed my passion for morning fitness. It’s a passion that is so much greater than my disdain for 5:30 am wakeup calls. So, as inspiration, here are my top 5 tips to become a morning runner:

  1. Lay your stuff out the night before. You may reserve this little trick for race day, but it works wonders in the wee hours of the morning too. Check the weather. Plan appropriately. That way, you can just zombie your way through the morning routine without fumbling around in the dark looking for your headband.
  2. Go to bed early the night before. This is easy for me, because unlike mornings, I LOVE bedtime. Get some ZZZs. An early wakeup is impossible otherwise.
  3. Plan your route and distance the night before. No one wants to make decisions at 6:00 in the morning. Have a plan.
  4. Set an alarm, or multiple alarms and actually get up. No snoozing. I know it’s tempting. I’m not very good at this, but once you’re up, you’re up. And honestly, that’s the hardest part.
  5. Start slowly. Don’t make your morning run a chore. Tell yourself you’re going to enjoy it and start off slowly. Keep it slow if you need to, but 9/10, I think you’ll find a little spring in your step when you see the lovely sun peaking over the horizon.

Then, once you’re done your run – whether it’s 5K or 20K – you’ve accomplished more before 9 am than many people will all day. Feel free to walk around with a smug smile on your face for the rest of the day.

Are you a morning person? When is your preferred time to run?


  1. April Cunningham April 12, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    So happy for you for getting in a 12 km this morning! I have embraced morning runs since becoming a working mom. I like it so much better than running at 9 p.m. which is my only other option. Still tough though and I find the workouts tougher because of a lack of energy. Your new design looks great, btw!!

    • thoughtsandpavement April 12, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      I hear you April. I have been following your running updates with excitement! I can’t wait for your first marathon. Agree re: the lack of energy. It’s the worst in the firs 5K, but once I get over that hump, I start feeling a little more lively.

  2. Janet April 12, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Wonderful blog, Miranda!

    • thoughtsandpavement April 12, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Thanks Janet!! You’re such a loyal Thoughts & Pavement follower 🙂

  3. Kelly b April 12, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    I love running in the morning!! It’s nice to see the day before everyone else 🙂

    • thoughtsandpavement April 12, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Totally agree. The only people around are other runners. I love it!

    • thoughtsandpavement April 12, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      I fail a lot too, but when you do actually get up and do it, it’s SO good. 🙂

  4. petco April 12, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I basically only run before noon if I’m doing a race! And, boy, did I worry about those morning races in the beginning, as I was an afternoon or evening runner. But, you are right – once you get going, it is the best part of the day.

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