A woman running through a forest in the morning mist

Morning Running

The Question

This question was from Kristen. Kristen's a night owl:


“Morning's the only time I actually get the opportunity to run. I don't hate it as such, but I always feel so tired. Sometimes I just skip the run altogether - either because of tiredness and/or motivation. Anything I can do to make it easier?”

Our Coach's Answer

Phil - running coach
Phil - Marathon coach and parkrun fan

“Mornings can be tough. In an ideal world you'd get all the sleep you need and run when you're nice and alert.

But the world isn't ideal, and it's better to run in the morning when you're tired than not at all, so let's think about what you can do to make it less tortuous.

Warm up

It takes longer to get going in the morning, and your warm up should reflect this. Consider a brisk walk for the first five minutes of your outing and a few gentles arm and leg swings. If it's cold outside then you can do a few gentle exercises indoors first.

Skip breakfast

Well, not entirely. But there's no real need to eat before a morning run. In fact, you won't have any time to digest much, so you're probably better off on an empty stomach. If you're lacking energy then a glass of orange juice can help, but you should have plenty of glycogen stores to get you through your morning session.

Be consistent

Try to get up at the same time every day regardless of whether you're running or not. In time your body clock will adjust and you should find the whole thing much easier.

Go to bed earlier

It's important to get as much sleep as possible so that you can get the most from your training. You may find it hard at first, but if you're consistent with your wake-up times, then getting off to sleep should start to be a little bit easier.

Feel smug

When you're struggling to pull the duvet off remember how smug you'll feel having nailed a five-miler before most people's alarm clocks go off.

Get ready

Get your running kit ready the night before so you waste as little time as possible in the morning. Laying your gear out beside your bed can provide an extra bit of motivation when you wake up bleary eyed.

Buddy up

Do you know anybody you can pair up with for a morning run? Knowing a friend is relying on you means you are far less likely to bail; and having somebody to chat to (or moan at) during your morning routine can make it that much more enjoyable.

Stick with it and you'll start to crave those morning runs.”

Our Member's Answer

Member robbo is no stranger to an early rise.

robbo - early riser

“I have pretty much the same problem - can only run before work on weekdays. My tip: plan your run the night before. And I don't just mean getting your clothes ready - although you should do that too. I mean plan your route and how fast you're going to run and what time you plan to get home. Write it all down and put it in your calendar. I have found that if everything is planned and "official" then I will rarely miss a session.”

Good advice, robbo.

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