There are many good reasons to start running in the morning. You can listen to as many different opinions as you want: “running in the morning makes you run faster”, “running in the morning burns more fat”, “running in the morning is more natural”; but the only reason you should start running in the morning is because you find it fun.
Morning runners often say how much more they enjoy their training, while afternoon runners say they attempted it once or twice and found waking up early and running was not something enjoyable. Perhaps afternoon runners haven’t given their bodies enough time to adapt to morning running.
Research from 1.2 million runners using Nike+ found that people uploading a couple of runs to the website might just be trying it out. However, after they have logged 5 runs, they’re much more likely to keep running and logging workouts. Perhaps you just need to get outside in the morning for 5 days to improve your chances of continuing.
Vow to yourself to do 5 consecutive morning runs before deciding whether or not morning running is something that will work for you. You don’t need to take any crazy suggestions from other runners like sleeping on your running clothes. After 5 days, you’ll have a clear answer whether or not it will work.
Every runner has a preference on what time of the day to run. A lot of the time, runners base this preference entirely on what time of the day they can run the fastest. Instead, leave your watch at home and forget about your training schedule. Run whatever distance feels comfortable on the day and enjoy yourself. Enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of the morning and you may find that getting up early in itself becomes the reward. Run not at what time of the day you are fastest, but what time of the day makes you happiest.
It might seem obvious but if your sleeping schedule is a mess, your chances of making morning running a habit are drastically reduced. Having a normal sleeping schedule and waking up a few hours earlier is nothing hard, but trying to fix your sleeping schedule and change your training schedule at the same time can be a massive challenge. Work on your sleep schedule before trying to become a morning runner.
Also recognize the fact that morning running simply may not be for you. If you like to stay up late, morning running probably isn’t for you. Without going to bed earlier, becoming a morning runner is nearly impossible. By simply paying closer attention to what your body is saying, you can find out how much sleep your body needs. 8 hours is a rule of thumb, some need more, others need less.
It’s hard to become a morning runner using the wrong approach. There is no secret to it, but with all pieces of the puzzle, it’s relatively easy. When trying out morning running, try to find what works best for you in terms of waking up, what breakfast (if any) to eat, how long to wait before running, what distance to run etc.
It doesn’t take long to find out what works best if you listen to your body. After you find what works best for you, the most important thing you can do is become consistent. Consistency is the key to developing habits.