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18 Easy Ways to Become a Morning Runner Without Even Trying

Sun's out, run's out.

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1. First of all: Don't try to become the world's best morning runner right away.

Waking up an hour and a half earlier than usual to fit in a long run sounds, well, terrible. So, don't do it all at once.

Start by adding a 20-minute run to your morning schedule. After a week or two add five minutes to your run, and then add five minutes to that. After a month of waking up earlier and earlier, you'll have no problem setting your alarm for a hour earlier than you do now.

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.

When it's cold out, a hot mug of coffee before a run is a must. With the Mr. Coffee Smart Wifi-Enabled WeMo you use a mobile app to set your pot to brew from anywhere at anytime. Start brewing right from bed as soon as you wake up so your pre-run mug is ready for you ASAP. Or bring your phone on your run and set it to start brewing when you're on your way home.


4. Use an app like Rise to set your alarm to the most motivating song you can think of.

What are you going to do when you wake up to Journey, not run? Come on.

5. Or wake up to a playlist that will get you motivated.

As soon as you're up, play music that will make you feel energized and motivated. Spotify and 8tracks have tons of first-thing-in-the-morning-without-hating-life playlists to choose from.

6. Save time with a shorter, higher intensity workout.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via

A good workout does not have to be long. Bonus: High-intensity exercise is a more efficient way to burn fat.

Morning hours are precious, so just set aside 30 minutes or less for your run with a great high-intensity workout. Check out other 30ish-minute run options here.

7. Whatever you usually do in the morning to prep for the day, do it the night before.

Whether that means packing up lunch and snacks, picking out your outfit for the next day, ironing your clothes, packing your bag, etc.


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.

Just place oats in a jar or airtight container, add your favorite milk and any dried fruit, spices, or sweetener, cover, and leave it in the fridge overnight. Get a bunch of great recipes here.

9. Come up with the most delicious breakfast that you only have after a morning run.

Rewards work, folks.

10. If you can't bear to eat a full meal in the morning, grab a dried date for quick pre-run fuel.

They're bite-size but constitute just about one serving of carbohydrates. The natural sugar will give you energy quickly.

11. You don't need to go to sleep way earlier if you tweak your bedtime ritual. First up: No screens before bed.

If you're a pre-bedtime binge-watcher, it may come as a serious bummer that looking at bright screens within a couple hours of going to sleep can mess with your circadian rhythms (which are what keep your internal clock working properly and, in turn, your sleep regular).

Just get your Netflixing done earlier in the evening and make your pre-bed ritual all about audiobooks or podcasts or GASP reading a book.


13. Whatever you do, don't close your curtains at night.

Waking up in the dark feels like a disorienting slog because sunlight tells your brain it's time to wake up. Make it a little easier on yourself by allowing the daylight to rouse you.

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.

Depending on when you run, you might want to plan your route around:

- what feels safest when it's still dark out

- where you'll get the most epic views of the sun rising

- the coffee shop you want to hit as soon as you're done

- the garbage truck that's making it's rounds

You can use an app like MapMyRun to plot out your route or search for existing routes that meet your criteria.


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.

Sally Tamarkin / Via

That way you won't wake up to a drizzle and say OH WELL GUESS NO RUN FOR ME TODAY.

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!).

No more wasting time groping around half asleep for all the just right stuff you need.

Social image via Jeremy Brooks/Flickr via Creative Commons