Here are some tips for waking up early when you are training for a marathon or half marathon!
I know it can be difficult to consistently get up on time morning after morning in order to train for your big goal! But it can be so worth it to get your runs done in the morning! You will love yourself for it if it’s something that you have been wanting to do!
1. Have a set bedtime.
Yes, it’s really okay to have a bedtime. It’s not juvenile or selfish for you to shut down everything by a certain time.
You will be more productive, happier and better able to fulfill your responsibilities if you are getting enough sleep.
Find things that make it helpful to actually get into bed by your bedtime such as a bedtime routine, an alarm that goes off 30 minutes before you need to be sleeping, turning off all devices and limiting blue light emission.
Side note: I recently just purchased a pair of these $16 blue light blocking glasses and have been loving them! I definitely see a noticeable difference in how tired my eyes feel when I wear them versus when I don't. If you work a lot on a screen these can really help your eyes and help you gain better sleep patterns! They go together!
Also,these blue light blocking screen protectorsare also good if you happen to look at your phone during the middle of the night. You will have the blue light blocked from your eyes making it much easier for you to fall back asleep!
Bottom line: Make sleep a priority and stick to your guns.
2. Layout your clothes the day or night before.
This is very cliche when it comes to tips for waking up early only because it works!
Put out all the things that you will need to get yourself out the door in the morning. Consider the weather (or better yet check the weather first!) and plan accordingly.
Set out any running gear that you need as well. You can stick it all right by the side of your bed so that you literally just sit up, put your clothes on and go.
Maybe you need a bit more time to wake up though before jumping up and running? Once you have your running clothes on you will probably feel the urge to just go out and do your run anyways so take it a step at a time.
3. Fill your water bottle and have it ready.
Actually have two ready, one for right upon awakening and one for after your run. (I love these Contigo water bottles that hold 32 ounces without feeling bulky!)
You can also prep any energy supplements, or even post run breakfast the night before.
Doing all the little things the night before makes the morning run so much more smoothly and much more calmly! If you’re waking up early the last thing that you want is to feel frustrated and as if nothing went the right way.
4. Have a specific plan!
Know exactly when you will run, where you are running, the mileage you will be putting in, etc.
If you wake up without a plan you risk being unsuccessful in actually getting the job done. If you know precisely what you will be doing it will be easier to just get up and go do it.
5. Put your alarm on the other side of the room or in another room.
This will force yourself to get out of bed and turn it off. Once you do that, the hardest part is done. You are out of bed. Congratulations.
6. Come up with a routine for yourself.
Routines are blessings especially in the early morning when your brain is still a little bit on the foggy side.
Having a set way of doing things will again allow you to get the things that you want to get done, done and will be helpful in getting you out the door even if it still takes the first mile to completely wake yourself up!
7. Watch your caffeine intake throughout the day.
If you’re trying to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier then be aware of your caffeine intake after a certain time during the day.
Having caffeine late in the afternoon and night can definitely make a difference in the quality of sleep you get and whether or not you are able to fall and stay asleep.
Caffeine affects everyone differently so if you suspect it to be a culprit of poor sleep then change up what you do and stick with it for several days to see if it makes a positive impact.
8. Limit your food intake before bed.
2-3 hours before you go to sleep, try to avoid all food and calories. The purpose is so that your body can actually rest and recover for the next day instead of using energy to digest food throughout the night.
You will get better quality sleep, feel more refreshed when you wake up and it will help you wake up feeling refreshed!
9. Take Vitamin C and eat healthy in order to stick to your early morning routine.
If you are adjusting to an earlier morning routine, up your Vitamin C intake and really focus on eating healthy whole foods.
When I first started working out in the early mornings I found myself with a cold and sore throat 1-2 weeks in. My body hadn’t adjusted and I wasn’t protecting my immune system adequately.
If you aren’t focusing on getting enough sleep, healthy eating and building your immunity as you take on an early morning schedule you may find yourself in a vicious cycle of waking up early, starting to feel under the weather, sleeping in to help yourself get better, start waking up early again only to find yourself with another cold!
So have a plan going in to protect yourself and keep yourself healthy!
10. Give yourself time to adjust slowly.
Wake up 15-30 minutes earlier during the first week. Then take off an extra 15-30 minutes the following week. Continue making small time adjustments to your wake up time until you are waking up at your desired time.
Doing this will help your body to adjust to waking up early more smoothly and without so much impact as suddenly waking up an hour earlier will do. This will help you to still feel great and get enough sleep without drastically changing your schedule all at once!
11. Make sure that you are very clear with yourself as to WHY you are doing this.
If you are not excited about waking up or you don’t really know why you want to be waking up early then it will be so easy for you to just roll over and go back to sleep when your alarm goes off.
However, if you know that you want to wake up early so that you can: have precious alone time, or because you know you don’t have time after work to run, or it’s too hot in the evenings to run, or you have no energy in the afternoon or evening for your workout, etc. then you will be much more likely to get out of bed and get the job done.
Just “wanting” to do it is not going to be enough when your early morning alarm goes off.
12. Tell yourself affirmations that speak to you or that you want to believe about yourself.
For example, “I love waking up early”, “I won’t feel tired at all once I get out of bed”, “This is my favorite part of the day”, “I’m so thankful that I can wake up early and go out for a run”, etc. Use your mental power to your advantage!
KEY TIP: Realize that you just have to make yourself do it. You just have to Sit. Up. Force yourself. Once you realize this and have that expectation that it’s never or it won’t always be easy then you have won half the battle.
Motivation and all the tips for waking up early in the world simply will not cut it unless you really want it to happen.
Do something your future self will thank you for and just get out of bed when that alarm goes off.
(Sounds so easy, right?!) :)