Many runners prefer training in the morning rather than at night. It may require preparation the night before and waking up earlier than normal, but it’s worth trying out.
Running in the morning vs. running at night
The best time to run varies from person to person. Running in the morning allows you to have most of your day still in front of you. Some runners can get up and move easily, but others require time to adapt.
“Running in the morning will wake up your senses, set you in the mood and make you productive all day,” said Eden Uy, an ASICS FrontRunner member.
The benefits of running in the morning
Running in the morning can be ideal for those who have a busy schedule. Many runners find joy from waking up early to accomplish something on their own time.
“Morning jogging stimulates all systems to function: the circulatory system, the nervous system,” said Lukasz Klos, a physiotherapist and ASICS FrontRunner member. “It gives energy for the whole day [and] our brain works more efficiently and does not need time to be fully activated. [It requires a] good warm-up because in the morning our muscles and joints are stiffer and it is easier to get injured.”
- Boosts your metabolism. Running in the morning is a great way to jumpstart your metabolism.
- May improve your quality of sleep. Running can help improve your sleep patterns. After starting a morning run routine, you might notice that you’re sleepier by nighttime.
- Sets a productive tone for the day. Waking up and immediately accomplishing something can be a great way to set the day’s mood. “It's the best way to get my day started. I feel mentally and physically ready to do anything once my morning run is complete,” adds ASICS FrontRunner member, Peter Stables.
How to start running in the morning
Many elite athletes choose to run in the morning because it aligns with their schedule and feels like a special experience for them. If you want to incorporate running into your morning routine, consider following these nine steps.
1. Develop healthy sleep habits.
Developing healthy sleep habits is important in order to become a morning runner. Waking up rested is one of the best ways to ensure a great morning run and a productive day ahead.
2. Choose a time and stay consistent.
Setting your alarm for the same time each morning will keep you on a schedule. The first day may be difficult, but it’s likely to get easier with time.
What time should I run in the morning?
The best time to run in the morning is somewhere between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. At these times, you’re less likely to be running in pitch darkness. At least one portion of your run will be in the daylight. You may even catch the sunrise if the timing is right.
3. Prepare your clothes the night before.
Picking out your clothes and gear the night before allows you to have a smoother and more efficient morning. When you arrange your outfit in advance, you’ll have extra time to sleep in and less things to do upon waking up.
4. Pre-plan your running route.
Having a preplanned running route is helpful not only for safety reasons, but also to avoid getting lost or incorrectly estimating the length of your route.
How long should I run in the morning?
For comfort and efficiency, your morning run can be at any time, pace, or distance. The appropriate distance and pace of runs varies from person to person.
H3: 5. Eat a light, nutritious breakfast.
An unbalanced diet can impact your running performance. Being either too full or too hungry can have negative effects. It’s important to have a light, yet satisfying breakfast.
What should I eat before a morning run?
Before a morning run, it’s best to avoid eating anything that’s going to completely fill your stomach. This may lead you to feel heavy, weighed down and cramped while running. Here are some lighter pre-run breakfast options.
- Oatmeal with fruit
- Pancakes with toppings such as fruits and nuts
- Multigrain bread topped with eggs
6. Make sure you’re hydrated.
Your body loses electrolytes while sweating. If you lose too many, you may begin to experience discomfort, which can affect your performance as a result. Properly hydrating before and after each run will help ensure your body has the electrolytes it needs to function at its best.
7. Leave time for warm-ups.
Warming up before your morning run can be an effective way to reduce the risk of soreness and discomfort.
How to warm-up for an early morning run
Avoid static stretches during warm-ups. Rather, focus on dynamic stretches before a morning run.
- Arm circles
- Dead bug exercise
8. Find a running buddy.
Running with a partner can make you feel more accountable and help you get motivated in the morning. There are many ways to find people to run with like joining a running club or participating in running events, such as the ASICS World Ekiden or the ASICS #RunToFeel Challenge.
9. Give yourself incentives.
Whether it be with your favorite food or an episode of your favorite television program, rewarding yourself after you finish a morning run is great for your brain. Incorporating this habit can offer you an additional sense of accomplishment after your activity.
What to do after a morning run
Morning runners may benefit from following a consistent workout schedule. This includes having an effective post-run routine. Here are some tips to help promote recovery after a morning run:
- Perform static stretches. Static stretches are a great way to cool down and avoid soreness following your morning run.
- Roll your muscles with a foam roller. Rolling your muscles with a foam roller is a great way to relax and stretch your body. This will lessen the risk of experiencing sore or drained muscles.
- Eat and rehydrate. Always eat light portions before a run. Afterwards, rehydrate and refuel. Otherwise your body will be forced to run on empty.
If you’re wondering how or why to run in the morning, consider the amount of time you’ll save for other activities throughout the day. If you’re trying to fit some exercise into a hectic schedule, a morning run can be a great option.
Please note: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.