Rise & Shine

Confession: I don’t always want to wake up at 5:30 and go for a run.

I love running in the morning, and wow is it a high and a half to get in a good workout in before doing anything else. I love the rushing endorphins; I love waking up my mind with fresh air and a run-buddy date and some quality miles.

But,  I strongly dislike the sound of my alarm at that early hour.
I am not an early-rising running auto-bot, though that sure would make things easier. Hear that, mind? C’mon, get on board!


It’s easy for me to come here and write about how amazing it is to start your day with a run {or, insert endorphin-inducing activity of choice}, because chances are I’ve already done it. If I woke up and started talking to this blank white page before hitting the streets? You would be reading some very different words.

Runner’s World recently published an article on Making the Switch

“ If you don’t consider yourself a morning person, the good news is that you can turn yourself into one, says James Mojica, M.D., a sleep physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.”

They suggest considering a few things – weigh the pros & cons, get your ‘family’ (roommates, significant others, etc) on board, wear the right gear (oof – yes, this), and create a mantra (WAKE UP. GO.).

10.21.11 011DC Sunrise

Alright, let’s do it.

PROS: the rest of my day is open! Getting it done, first thing, means I have the rest of the day to do everything else I need to get done. I’m most productive in the morning.

My attitude is immensely better, all day. Whether the run goes well or not, it certainly never leaves me grumpy. I come back refreshed and awake.

At night, I can relax. In the mornings, I want to feel alive & alert. And night, I want to come home and turn my brain off – read, watch a show, catch up on blogs, meet up with friends, go to yoga, etc.

I eat what I want, all day!
To put this in context, I’ve had my fair share of running adventures (in the afternoon or at night) where whatever food choices I made up to that point certainly did not agree with the decision to move. Spicy tortilla soup for lunch? Afternoon yogurt & cereal snack? Occasional afternoon coffee? They have their own say on things.

If I run first, my body just soaks in those nutrients without worry.

Mornings are much easier to work with when aligning schedules – people may leave work at different times, and/or have different social/work/personal obligations at night. In the morning? Things are pretty open. Cut out an hour of sleep, and you’ve got….nothing? Great. Let’s meet up for a run!

CONS: I constantly work on turning things off at night, going to bed “earlier”.

I hate the sound of that alarm in the morning.

That’s all.


Pros win! Who saw that coming?

Mornings like today definitely require the extra mental-push, but the list clearly shows that I think it’s worth it. Granted, I highly (HIGHLY) recommend adding “meet run buddy!” to the “Pros” list – have someone hold you accountable; it’s like magic!

Today I was tired, unmotivated and would not have hit those streets solo. Today, we ran over 7 miles, with an average pace slightly below 8 (i.e. fast, for me). Today, I needed this reminder that the effort is always worth it!

What do you challenge yourself with, struggle with or need a little extra push to do? It’s okay if you’re morning-run Cons list is longer than mine (no judging here!), as long as your Pros list for something else is what gets you moving!



Filed under early morning, good days, motivation, running, running buddy

22 responses to “Rise & Shine

  1. You just listed every single reason why I LOVE to run in the morning!! My one piece of advice for anyone considering making the switch? Make the switch in spring or summer when it’s BRIGHT LIGHT out at 5am. SO much easier to get up and at ’em when the birds are chirping and sun is blaring in your face!

  2. haha, its so easy to feel good about a morning workout AFTER the workout. I need this taped to my bedside table, though, or I’ll never get up to run. Its so dark! And cold! And my bed is so warm. Running couldn’t possibly be better than another hour of sleep…..

  3. In theory, I agree with all your pros – possibly with the exception of feeling great all day. I tend to feel that lost hour of sleep right around 3pm…give or take.

    That said, it’s still hard to give up that hour.

  4. I def prefer a morning workout but it sure is hard, especially on the dark, cold, winter mornings!

  5. Lovely post today…I feel the same way, especially this morning. But…I met a new running buddy at 6am and ran the Mall and it was glorious! I never regret those early mornings!

  6. Sam Quatromoni

    I completely agree! I try to remind myself of how good I’ll feel afterwards and how much I will regret not running.

  7. You are speaking my language. I am not a morning person, but after working out for more than 4 years typically in the morning, I realized I am. I still like to sweat it out after a hard day, but I find I’m 100x more productive if I knock out my workout in the AM and that leaves no excuses in the evening and more time for family. The mornings are my time. Keep it up!!

    • Heather C

      “Mornings are my time” – yes, exactly! The only time of the day that doesn’t typically get devoted to anything except what You want to do.

  8. Morning runs are the best! 🙂 I totally agree about all of the pros you listed–especially getting to eat whatever I want without having to worry about an upset tummy on my run later in the day!

  9. I’m so with you! I love working out – especially running – first thing in the morning. I can go to an afternoon yoga or Pilates class, but agree that the morning endorphins can’t be beat. With that said, I rarely (read: never) wake up at 5:30. 6:15 is about as early as I can do. Unless I’m going to catch a flight somewhere! 🙂

  10. I’ve had a really hard time dragging my ass out of bed for morning workouts (or even getting up for work) in recent weeks, but I went to track this morning at a stupid early hour and my day has been infinitely better because of it. Once I get in the habit, it’s brilliant 🙂

  11. I’m a morning person, but the manfriend is NOT. I wish we had two alarms. One that would go off for me and then one just for him. Alas, there’s no room for a beside table on my side of the bed. If I need to get up for an early run/swim/workout, I usually set my Nike sport watch’s alarm and that works for me.

    I definitely want to do more morning workouts and with the holidays, it’s a necessity because we have so many evening events coming up. I know I can make it work, but those early mornings can be a bit rough. On the up side, like you said, the morning runs leave me immensely happy all day long.

  12. I’m with you! I do soo much better when I get my workout done in the morning. It’s great to feel awake and that you’ve already accomplished one thing on your to-do list. If I leave it for after work I find I will come up with a million excuses not to. Plus I worry that I would never get to spend quality time with my husband and dog if I didn’t get it done early.

    It still doesn’t mean that I don’t roll over and glare at my sleeping husband with jealousy that he has 2 more hours to sleep, but I’ve pretty much trained myself now that if I wake up and try to go back to sleep the guilt will set in and it won’t be good sleep anyway.

    With some many other training question marks, thankful that is one part of my routine I’m confident I’ve found what works best for me.

  13. Pingback: Endorphins at Work | Dietitian on the Run

  14. joslynn

    I am happy to see you are starting with BoMF! Don’t worry, you will get use to the 5AM wake up calls. Even when its -11 degrees, you know you have to meet others! That is motivation! Enjoy Hawaii!!

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