By Kelan Stanfill
When I see people running in the heat of the summer, my first reaction is almost always, “What’s wrong with you people!?? Don’t you know it’s 92 degrees outside!! You’re going to die!” Okay, okay my reaction might be a little extreme, but I am not one for the heat. My pace slows by a minute or two, I start to resemble a lobster and I psyche myself out that every side stitch might be a kidney stone repeat. For those of you that can pound out some miles in the sun, kudos to you. For those of you who are struggling to complete your runs during the evening hours, I recommend making the switch to (very) early morning runs. If you’re like me, by the time the temperature cools off you’ve come up with a whole list of reasons that justify a missed run (long day at work, summertime fun, last minute dinner plans with friends, etc). With early morning runs, there’s little distraction beyond getting out of bed. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard, but after a few weeks I guarantee that you’ll be craving the morning endorphins.
Here are some of my tips for transitioning to early morning runs:
1) Mentally prepare for your early morning run before you go to bed. Set your training schedule next to your bed. Take a few minutes to visualize your goals. If you go to bed determined to work out in the morning, you’ll feel more motivated when your alarm goes off.
2) Set an alarm or multiple alarms if you need it.For those of you with fancy phones, I recommend setting your alarm with somesort of motivational message. My friend is a fan of: “if Forrest Gump could runfor 3 years, you can get your rear out of bed to run for 30 minutes.” Or “Will youreally want to run after work? Get it done now.”
3) Keep all of your running accessories in one basket. My shoes, running hat, watch, sunglasses, ipod and body glide are all in the same plastic crate, meaning I don’t waste time searching for my gear.
4) Pack your lunch while you’re preparing or cleaning up after dinner. More time in the morning means more running and/or sleeping time. And if you have your lunch ready, you won’t have to buy one (ie more $$ for running gear:).
5) Get your significant other and/or family on board. Share your goals with your family members. Ask your significant other to boot you out of bed in the morning. Or alternate morning/evening workouts with your spouse.
In addition to beating the heat, morning runs are great for increased energy, higher post-run calorie burn and my favorite, a dose of mental clarity. Plus, nothing beats watching the sunrise over the Wasatch Front.
What are your tips for conquering early morning runs?