Runners Wake Up Before the Sun
There is no better way to start off your day than by getting in your workout. I love running first thing in the morning because then I don't spend all day thinking about having to complete my workout when I get home, and the "It was a long day at work; I'm tired" excuse can't come out of my mouth. Plus, it sets up the rest of my day. I feel stronger, well-accomplished and rejuvenated.
How many people can get their butts out of bed at 5:00AM and be on the road running by 5:15AM?
I feel lucky that most of my life I have been an early bird. Sometimes it is a curse when I want to sleep in on a Saturday, but for the most part, it has its perks.
But, even though I have early bird tendencies, I still have that urge to hit the snooze button and put off my workout. Over the years, I have trained myself to not say "no" to the alarm, to get up, and just do it. I often find that working out that early in the morning is confusing for the body. Countless times I have laced up my shoes, headed out the door, and my brain doesn't realize what exactly I am doing until half way through my run. Think I am pulling your chain? Try it sometime.
Prepare the night before. I always find it helpful to set out my running clothes, watch, shoes, socks and any other gear I may want or need. By setting out all your items, it makes it harder to say "no." Sometimes, I even sleep in my running clothes, so I can pop right out of bed and hit the road running. Also, it is helpful if you plan out your route and your mileage beforehand.
Waking up before the sun and running isn't the only obstacle that runners face. Safety is a huge concern. I previously blogged about my "Early Bird Running" safety checklist and thought it important to repeat it.
Here is my "Early Bird Running" Safety Checklist:
1) Don't Be a Predictable Target: Vary your routes, switch up the time that you leave your house and mix up mileage.
2) No Social Media Posts: You may think that your friends are the only ones who can see your posts, but if you have a public account, people can tap into your profile.
3) Report Buddy: Designate someone to report to. Whether it be a family member, friend or fellow runner, let them know that you will send them a text when you leave for your run, and again when you get back.
4) Reflective Gear: Invest in running clothes that are manufactured with reflective options, invest in a reflective running vest, or buy a clip-on flashing device. Additionally, aim to wear light colored clothing.
5) Pepper Spray/Mace: It's better to be safe than sorry. Pick up this pocket-sized weapon.
6) Choose Well-Lit Areas: Try to avoid running in dark, dim areas as much as possible. Look for routes that have plenty of street lights or are well-populated early in the morning.
7) Headlamp: If you HAVE to run for a duration of time where there are no lights available, put on a headlamp or carry a flashlight. You don't want to trip over debris or step in a hole, and risk being injured. Light the path in front of you.
8) Carry Identification: In the event that something were to happen, it is always smart to have your I.D. with you.
9) Be Aware: It may sound like a no-brainer but PAY ATTENTION! If you have to run with music, be sure that the sound is on low. Constantly be scanning your surroundings, as some animals roam around before dawn. Always make sure you are running against the flow of traffic.
10) Say "Hello" to Fellow Running Roadsters or Walkers: Again, in case something were to happen, it would be helpful for someone to recount seeing you. Runners tend to be pretty good about being able to remember landmarks and when they saw another runner.
This morning I ran a 5K and I am done for the day!
Yours in early bird running and safety,