I so love those 3, 4, 5, x steps how-to articles. They make everything sound so easy and doable. So in honor of these articles, here’s my very own 3 steps to nail a long run for all you non-morning runners out there.
TIP NUMBER 1: Wake-up and get up.
Easier said than done folks. How many times have you said that you will wake up early and run in the morning? If you are like me, who crack open one eye and then snuggle back into your pillow then the answer is…countless!
The key, I found out last week is to actually train your body to sleep early and then wake up early. Funny as it sounds, to be able to train and run in the morning, you gotta first train your body and mind to wake up and get up early. I practiced all week and successfully managed to peel myself out of bed last Sunday.
Those tips to sleep at regular times (10pm for me) and set a regular alarm (5:40am for this sleepyhead) really do work. I needed physical and mental conditioning. Try it, try it! And if you are like me and have muscle memory on how to turn-off multiple alarms, then I suggest having multiple alarms. My morning alarm looks like this.
Turning on my bedside lamp also worked. I have the alarm as audio cue to wake up and then I flip on the lamp switch for a visual cue. With multiple cues, your body and mind will recognise the signs. Pretty soon it will set in that it’s time to WAKE UP.
And when you do decide to wake up, oh yes it is a decision and in my case sometimes an internal debate that lasts longer than my actual run, open your eyes one at a time is okay. And KEEP THEM OPEN. Resist the temptation to close and for your eyeballs to rollback. To energise the body, take a couple or more deep breaths.
When you are ready, GET UP.!
TIP NUMBER 2: LACE UP.
Now that you’re awake and have successfully peeled yourself off your bed. Time to lace up. Go through your morning routine with military precision; try not to tarry coz you might change your kind and crawl back.
It would also help to prepare your gear the night before. I’ve had one morning when I couldn’t find my favorite socks and without it I was so convinced that it would be a lousy run so I just decided to sleep again. Such a loser haha
TIP NUMBER 3: GO!
Go now go, walk out the door… And it would be great if you have planned your route, distance and training paces.
Arrange to run with other people. You really don’t want to keep your friends waiting or worse not show up.
Make a date to meet a friend for breakfast. Arrange your breakfast to be at your end point. Nothing like the thought of a great cup of coffee, bacon, pancakes, silogs etc to get you out of the door and towards that yummy breakfast.
Be kind to yourself. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.