Get Up, Get Outside: Sticking To That Morning Run

One of my challenges(resolutions) this year is to participate in as many races (trail, snowshoe, adventure and mountain biking) as I can. I’ve tried to do this in years past and had a lot of fun doing it but it’s not quite as fun when your placing is getting higher and higher as the year goes on. They should be getting lower as you train become a better racer. My biggest problem is sticking to my training. There are too many interesting things to do every day like sleep, that a lot of the time I shrug off training like it’s taking out the garbage.

That will end this year.

So far I’ve run 3 of my 5 times a week. I know it’s not much but it’s a start. Baby steps here, folks. The difference is that I’m really excited to get up in the morning to go for a run. It is the reason I want to get out of bed. How did I do that? What changed?

I did.

It’s all in your head, whether you make the decision to run or not. If I want to run, I run. If I don’t want to run, I don’t. I’ve given myself strong reasons to run and, yes, I have to give myself a little pep talk before I get out in the rain and wind to pound the pavement but so far that hasn’t been a problem. Hit every point on the list below and you can run whenever you want.

Make it a priority

This was a big one for me. What is most the most important thing in the world to me? More important than my job, my home, my car or my bike? My health. Health and fitness go hand in hand, if you are not very fit, you are not as healthy as you could be. I was treating it as an afterthought, something that could be done at the end of the day if I could squeeze it in if I had the energy. Not any more. My fitness is the #1 priority to me now. Now I get up at 6, go for a run and I’m happy for the rest of the day because I know I’m getting healthier, I’m getting fitter and everything else falls into place.

Set a schedule

Get a calendar. Write down the days you are going to run. And run those days. It is that simple(just don’t tell your brain that). Don’t run too much. Don’t run too little. Never, EVER question the calendar you’ve made. If it says run, you run. Schedule around that calendar. If you’re sick as a dog and can’t walk up the stairs, maybe make an exception. Aside from that stick to the calendar. It’ll be come a habit you’ll never have to think about again.

Have a routine

If you don’t have a routine, every morning is going to be different. It will be hard. You’ll have to get up and think about what you’re doing. If at least the first half of your morning activities are just plain habit, you won’t have to do any thinking until you’re awake. Better yet, make that habit the whole part of your morning and you won’t have to wake up and start thinking until it’s over.

Don’t look outside

You look outside, you won’t want to go out there. Don’t look until you’re already out there and don’t turn back. It doesn’t matter if the weather it’s sunny, raining, or windy, you should still run. My grade 10 gym teacher always said it builds character to run in the rain. After almost 10 years of running since that, I finally know what he means.

Get some good gear

If you complain about running every time you try, step back and take a reality check. There could be one of three problems.

One: you actually really don’t like running and you should take up a different hobby or sport.

Two: You should try a different running time. My favorite is in the morning. My fitness is the most important thing to me so it happens first.

And Three: Your gear sucks and it makes you really uncomfortable when it’s cold, wet or windy. Solution? Get better gear. There are so many better options out there than cotton t’s and sweat pants. I tend to run in OR Softshell pants, Icebreaker Tops and a light rain jacket. If it’s warm, I’ll be in my favorite shorts and a polypropelene shirt. I highly recommend the Icebreaker clothing. Try and make it smell, go ahead, I dare you. Can’t stand the wool feel? Put it over polyproplene.

Swing those arms

The first thing I tend to do when I get tired is move my arms less. This is the last thing you should do. Your arms keep the momentum going, keep your body moving. When all else false, keep those arms moving.

Rock out with your arms out

In other words, get some good music and rock to it while you run. I find there is nothing more motivating than listening that your favorite song while you’re ripping up the trails.

Don’t die

If you get hit by a car, your running career is over. Heck, you might be over. Where something bright and reflective so people can see you. Most people are just as asleep in the morning as you are except they’re trying to operate a motor vehicle. Pay attention to the vehicles and assume they don’t see you. Better to chill and screw up your pace than to try and slow the car down with your head.

Be the biggest loser

My friend, David recommends watching the show The Biggest Loser for some motivation towards your fitness goals. I say BE the biggest loser. Make a contest with your friends. Everyone put 50 bucks in, do a weigh-in, and 4-6 months down the road see who has lost the highest percentage of weight. Works wonders to have some competition.

Comment Rules: Have you tried running in the morning? Do you still run in the morning? When is your favorite time to run?