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For our first post, I thought I’d share some of the benefits of running in the morning and developing a morning jog routine – so it doesn’t just happen one day and then forget about that eventful jog you did once. Events are good, habits are excellent!
The Reasons To Do It First Thing In The Morning Offset The Reasons Not To
I’d find it hard not to wonder why it wouldn’t be better to jog after work instead of the morning. So why should you do this in the morning and not at another time in the day, say when you’re fully awake and it’s sunny and warm outside?
Getting out of bed is a bummer, I know. It’s so comfy and warm in the cocoon. My girlfriend likes to sleep in, so it makes the whole idea of getting out of bed to go sweat in the chilly outdoors even tougher.
More often than not however, it’s really hard to be truly satisfied with how much you sleep, whether you sleep seven hours or …twelve hours. So, why not try something new?
- It’s a great time of the day to run: getting out at 6 am is probably the calmest time of the day, which means you can enjoy some quality, hassle-free time first thing in the morning. Another cool thing is that you get your workout out of the way and you won’t have to worry about it as you juggle between work and kids.
- There are amazing mind and body benefits: running at a slow pace as you start your jog smoothly awakens your body. The big change though is that I’ve noticed how relaxed I’ve felt during my usually stressful day. I’ve got to thank those lovely endorphins my body generates as a reaction to my morning jog. I also enjoy the morning jog as a way to relax and meditate in peace and quiet, before my noisy and often, hectic day begins.
How To Build An Outstanding Morning Routine?
- Carve out the time: make sure you plan enough time to jog, cool down, have breakfast, shower, dress…before going to work. This sounds fairly obvious I know but I’ve neglected this at first and it’s always sucks to show up late at work with a sweaty shirt. Waking 15 minutes earlier makes a difference!
- Know your route: some people recommend planning your route. I don’t like planning that much but I suggest you have at least an idea of a track that will get you excited, say a park or around a lac. There’s nothing more frustrating to run close to noisy traffic right out of bed.
- Prepare music: prepare power music that will give you a boost or prepare something more relaxing if you like to wake up progressively. I also like to throw in interesting podcasts or some old school audio like Earl Nightingale’s strangest secret to my ipod for when I’m in a reflective mood.
- Rest appropriately: if you commit to a routine, seven to eight hours sleep is the optimal sleep time to aim for. Which will mean you’ll have to go to sleep earlier. Progressively go to bed earlier and wake earlier, ten minutes the first days, and so on.
- Set your alarm and…make sure it’s far from you bed: If your alarm is out of reach, you won’t feel tempted to snooze the alarm. Ideally, you’d have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off. If you’re out of bed, it’s easier to get ready. Also, turn on lots of lights.
- Clothing ready: have your running clothes ready. Having your clothes right there will make it much easier to get dressed to run. I occasionally sleep in my running clothes, so that way I don’t have much a choice when I wake up.
- Food or not: that’s the big question and I have to say, it depends on how long you plan on running. If you’re running more than half an hour, I suggest having a small snack, like a banana and an energy bar. Otherwise, have two glasses of water and go running.
- Have a training schedule: If you’re training for a specific race and following a training schedule, it’s much harder to blow off those morning runs.
A Few Good Habits After Your Jog
- Cool down: toward the end of your run, stop earlier and walk a little to cool down.
- Stretch: I suggest stretching after your jog, not before.
Here are a few ideas to stay motivated. Find a running buddy, or join a road’s runner club. You could also develop your own mantra and remind yourself daily why you have a morning jogging routine.
If you’re single, and love running, there are dating websites/apps for you. I know, unbelievable, you can now optimize how you meet your soul mate while indulging in your favorite sweating activity. Hell, this life is good!
Have a great time out there!