1. First of all: Don't try to become the world's best morning runner right away.
2. Brew iced coffee overnight so it's ready for your pre-run fuel.
Or your post-run treat.
For homemade cold brew, all you need is a French press, coarse coffee grounds, and a fridge. Use ¾ cup of beans and four cups of water. Add both to the carafe, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it in the fridge for 12 to 18 hours. The next morning, press the plunger and pour yourself a smooth cold coffee to down before you run or as soon as you get home. Instructions here.
3. Or invest in a very smart coffee pot.
4. Use an app like Rise to set your alarm to the most motivating song you can think of.
5. Or wake up to a playlist that will get you motivated.
6. Save time with a shorter, higher intensity workout.
7. Whatever you usually do in the morning to prep for the day, do it the night before.
8. Keep a heaping helping of overnight oats in the fridge and eat half as your pre-run snack and the rest as your post-run meal.
9. Come up with the most delicious breakfast that you only have after a morning run.
10. If you can't bear to eat a full meal in the morning, grab a dried date for quick pre-run fuel.
11. You don't need to go to sleep way earlier if you tweak your bedtime ritual. First up: No screens before bed.
12. Also (sorry) stop drinking caffeine about six hours before bed.
13. Whatever you do, don't close your curtains at night.
14. If your bedroom doesn't get enough light, consider an alarm app that simulates sunrise.
The Morning Sun app makes your phone's screen incrementally brighter in the hours or minutes (your choice) leading up to your alarm time, waking you up just like the sun would (along with a pleasant alarm tone!).
15. Use an app to find or plan the perfect, most beautiful morning route.
16. Use an app to scope out hour-by-hour weather the night before so you know the best time to get out the door.
17. And use the Runner's World "What To Wear" tool to tell you exactly how to dress for the conditions.
The second you wake up is a terrible time to try to make good decisions quickly. Take all the guess work out of what you'll wear by telling this awesome tool what the conditions will be like and letting it tell you how to dress.
18. Then lay out everything you're going to need (including accessories!).
Social image via Jeremy Brooks/Flickr via Creative Commons