Morning Run - 5 Tips for Getting Out the Door

Running early can leave you feeling refreshed all day Running early can leave you feeling refreshed all day

A morning run is a great way to start your day, but most of us find it more than just a small challenge. Coach Mark Eichenlaub offers some tips to help get you going!

The 99%

Some runners rise early each morning to get in their daily run before they head off to work or start their daily responsibilities.  The other 99 % of us find it difficult, if not impossible, to get out the door some mornings.  A number of challenges stand in front of us each morning including fatigue, procrastination, a warm bed, email, breakfast questions, and more. Identify what is preventing many of us from running in the morning is a first step in overcoming these barriers.  

Run Early, Feel Great

When these hurdles are cleared you usually feel better all day, knowing your run is done (and you can do a second run later in the day if choose). Here are 5 tips for automating your morning to include that early day run and overcome some of the most commonly used excuses.  Following this regimen is much easier than attempting to rely solely on willpower in the morning.

  1. Set the coffee maker the night before - This seems to be common sense but having coffee ready as soon as you awake removes one thing that you’d otherwise have to spend precious early morning minutes doing.  The sound and smell alone can sometimes be enough to get you moving in the morning.  The caffeine jolt, coupled with the warmth of the coffee, will get you ready to move.  If you don’t drink coffee, tea can also be brewed through your coffee pot using the timer.
  2. Plan your breakfast the night before - Whether you eat your breakfast or drink a shake of some kind, having it ready for you in the morning will alleviate the need to think about what you will eat and gather up all the materials to prepare it.  Not only will you most likely choose something healthier to eat if you plan it out in advance, you can prepare something that simply needs to be heated up or mixed right after your run.  This will prevent you from using the “I won’t have time to make breakfast if I run” excuse.
  3. Have your running clothes set out next to your bed the night before - By having your clothes lying next to the bed you will see them as soon as you wake up and make the connection to head to the treadmill, gym, or outside.  This also eliminates the time and energy spent walking to a closet and choosing your running clothes. That could be enough for some people to say “I’ll just go tomorrow instead since I have nothing ready to wear.”  (A note on top of your pile of clothes reminding you about your next 5k, marathon, or other race will also provide motivation.)
  4. Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier than you actually need to get up - Setting your alarm to go off 20 minutes or so before you actually need to wake up gives you a chance to still hit snooze once or twice and make it up for your run.
  5. Abstain from email, text messaging, or internet surfing until after your run - This might be the hardest, yet most important tip to adhere to. These are absolute time-killers in the morning and can potentially halt any momentum towards getting out the door.  Put your laptop, desktop, iPad, cell phone, etc., out of sight until after the run. You will be in a better mood to deal with what is on there after your run anyway.

Bonus Tip

Don’t sit down until after you run.  If you absolutely must check email, text, or something online do not sit down to do this.  If you remain standing you are far less likely to stay there and get lost in what you are reading.

Get Up, Get Out

Using these tips will help you out the door tomorrow morning and help you have a better day and a better year of running.

This article originally appeared on©. Reprinted with permission.

Mark Eichenlaub

Mark Eichenlaub is a USATF certified coach and currently coaches a cross-country and track team in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  Mark writes about injury prevention, motivation and training at