There are many incredible benefits of running in the morning. Some might be obvious – getting your workout out of the way, starting the day with healthy habits, etc., but many might surprise you. There are so many reasons to get started with early morning running!
Is running in the morning beneficial?
Running in the morning comes with so many benefits. If you have the ability to fit in a run before starting your day, it is well worth the early morning wake up call.
The early morning running benefits are often outweighed by the drudgery of waking up before the sun. Many runners are hesitant to give morning running a try because it will mean either sacrificing a great deal of sleep or hitting the hay much earlier than they would like.
However, once morning running becomes a routine, waking up early begins to feel easier and more natural. The benefits of running in the morning begin to become more prominent, and most runners find themselves feeling extra motivated and excited about the sport.
10 Benefits of Running in the Morning
For most runners, even just one or two of these benefits would be enough to motivate them to try running in the morning. If you’re looking for a reason to give it a try, or just wondering whether or not it would be worth the effort, here is your answer.
Give it a try and stick with it for a week or two to see if you experience any of the early morning running benefits. Once the initial resistance from waking up early wears off, you’ll likely find yourself surprised by how much you love it.
Increases self confidence
Running in the morning is a great way to help improve your confidence. Accomplishing a task first thing in the morning triggers the feeling of satisfaction and self-worth. Starting your day out feeling proud and accomplished sets the tone for the rest of the day.
It makes sense that running in the morning might make you more tired – since you’ll be waking up earlier, after all. However, most runners can attest to the fact that starting the day with a run boosts their energy and wakes them up for the day ahead.
Encourages healthy habits
Healthy habits tend to feel easier to maintain if you are starting from a healthy place. Kick starting your day by exercising will likely leave you feeling more motivated to have a healthy breakfast, practice self-care and continue on making healthier choices. If the day begins in a healthy way, you’ll feel less resistance for the choices that follow.
Perfect trial for race day
Many runners struggle on race day because the race starts at a time that is much earlier than they are used to running. If you have created an early morning habit, you’ll be able to practice the exact same routine that you’ll use on race day. Your body will know exactly what to expect, which will minimize surprises and obstacles on the big day.
Helps decrease stress
Running is a natural, healthy way to relieve stress. The physical activity, sweat and endorphins help toxins leave the body, provide time to clear the mind, and leave you feeling better than before you started. One of the greatest benefits of running in the morning is starting your day out stress-free.
Waking up and getting moving first thing in the morning might feel difficult at first, but with consistency, most runners notice that they are significantly more productive on the days when they run versus when they don’t. Starting your day off by accomplishing a task will motivate you to continue being productive.
Early morning running makes it easy to stay consistent with your training. Events, work and family responsibilities rarely occur before the rest of the house wakes up. If you complete your training runs early in the morning, you’ll be able to maintain a training schedule regardless of travel, work, family and other life events.
Sets up a good mood
Perhaps the most powerful benefit of running in the morning is the incredible effect it can have on your mood. Running leaves most with a surge of endorphins – those natural, feel-good chemicals that are released with physical activity.
Improves mental health
Endorphins do more than just give you a temporary boost of happiness. The endorphins combined with increased self-confidence, heightened productivity, healthy habits, stress reduction and a greater sense of self-worth help most runners start their day in a positive mental state.
Supports healthy weight, blood pressure, metabolism and bone density
Some benefits of running in the morning are actually still present regardless of the time of day you choose to run. Running has been shown to support a healthy weight and metabolism, blood pressure, bone density, cholesterol levels and so much more. Creating a morning running habit will help stay consistent with supporting your optimal health.
Common Questions About the Benefits of Running in the Morning
Most runners want to make sure they maximize their opportunity to reap the benefits of running in the morning. Here are a few common questions about early morning running to help clarify any uncertainty and set you up for maximum success.
Is it good to run on an empty stomach in the morning?
In most cases, runners will want to consume at least something small before heading out for an early morning run. The amount and type of fuel you’ll need to consume will vary based on the run length and workout intensity. Running on an empty stomach should usually be avoided, and only attempted if you are running an easy 30 minutes or less.
How long should you run in the morning?
The length of an early morning run will vary greatly based on the person, training schedule and purpose of the run. Running for as little as 15-20 minutes consistently in the morning is often enough to provide many of these early morning running benefits. However, most morning runners complete their full training run in the morning – often lasting an hour or even more.
How can I run in the morning if I’m not a morning person?
Perhaps the biggest question for runners is how in the world they are supposed to start running in the morning if they are not a morning person. Waking up before the sun is difficult for just about everyone, regardless of how much sleep you got the night before.
The easiest way to create a morning running habit is to do just that – make it a habit. Commit to sticking within it for at least 1-2 weeks before making a decision about whether or not you’ll continue. Stay consistent, and you just might be surprised to discover that the benefits of early morning running make waking up worth it.
If you’re planning to complete your early morning run outdoors, it is important that you take adequate steps to ensure you stay safe – especially if it’s dark. Running in a familiar, populated area is key. Staying close to home, ensuring that you can be seen (with lights and reflective clothing), and carrying safety gear are crucial, no matter how confident you might feel.
The benefits of early morning running are what continue to motivate millions of runners to set their alarm, wake up before the sun and start running in even the most adverse conditions. Stay consistent and committed and you just might be surprised how much you enjoy it.