12 Reasons I am a Morning Runner

I was thinking last week about why I endure absurdly early alarm clocks and pre-dawn miles to get my training in. Despite how hard it is to pull myself out of a warm bed sometimes, my answer to the question “Why do I do this?” actually came pretty easily. So (in no particular order), I thought I would share with you why I (because these obviously do not apply to everyone) am a morning runner.

12. I love the way I feel after I run. I feel more alive and energized after a run than when I go straight from bed to shower to work. There is no better feeling for me than to start the day with a runner’s high.

11. It’s easier to coordinate with my running partner. My favorite running buddy is a physical therapist. She has patients and reports and people who rely on her and can’t always leave work right at xx o’clock to meet me for a run. But she is damn reliable to roll out of bed and meet me at o’dark thirty to get our miles in.

Char and I prior to her (2nd) BQ and my (1st) BQ attempt

10. Races are (usually) in the morning. Running before work prepares me to run in the morning on race day. I never question what I will eat or how much time I need to wake up prior to the start because it is sort of all part of my regular routine.

corey and heather pre race

Heather and I hanging in the dark before Savannah RnR

9. When the sun comes up, it feels like a new day. There is something about doing half of the run in the dark and half when the sun rises that makes me feel like I only ran half the distance. This probably also has something to do with the fact that I am usually in a half asleep, zombie-like state for the first several miles and just don’t remember them.

8. When I run in the dark, I can’t see the hills. Sure I wear a headlamp, but that mostly only illuminates the bit of road right in front of my face. And while I generally know exactly where the hills are on my runs, when I don’t see them coming, I just keep the effort the same and don’t get all mental about ’em.

7. I don’t stalk my Garmin as much in the dark. When I have to shine my headlamp right on it to see the pace and would rather use that light to not trip on a crack in the sidewalk, I am less likely to be obsessively check my pace.

6. Less traffic. No explanation needed.

5. I don’t like to eat before I run. When I run later in the day, I am paranoid about what I eat all day and many times have GI issues on the run. I rarely eat before a morning run, unless it is 10+ miles and then I will just have a Picky Bar or a banana. Added bonus: refueling after a morning run is the best.

4. I simply do not have the motivation to do it after work. I am usually tired, hungry (see #5) and want to do nothing but chill in my Wander Unders on the couch after working all day.

3. I love experiencing the sunrise. 


2. Sometimes unexpected “obligations” (ahem…Happy Hour) come up during the day. No but really…it’s not always about my love for wine, sometimes a work dinner, an important errand or some other obligation unexpectedly arises during the day and makes a post-work run impossible. This especially applies when I am traveling for work. Sometimes there is absolutely no other time than at 5 a.m. to squeeze in the run.

1. It’s done! I feel like when I have a run waiting for me at the end of the day, it is hanging over my head like something I “have” to do. And since I love running, I don’t ever want it to feel that way. Plus, there is something so very satisfying about sitting in a meeting at work, secretly knowing I have 6, 7, 8 or 16 miles under my belt already.

Can you think of any other reasons why being a morning runner works for you? Or how about the counter argument…why are you an evening/afternoon/late morning runner?

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in friends, Goals, life, Races, running, training, work travel. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to 12 Reasons I am a Morning Runner

  1. Nice post! I am yet to explore the rest of your blog, but I could sure use a post on how to actually get out of bed at 5am!! I exercise after work as I can never haul my butt out of bed that early!

  2. amoreliving says:

    Great Post! Do you have any tips on how to start running in the morning? I have always wanted to run in the morning but I can never get myself out of the bed that early.

    • Corey says:

      The only tip I have is to try to find a friend who can go early. It’s tough to find someone willing but if you can, it is definitely the best way to get yourself out of bed…hard to leave someone waiting! Also, set out your clothes the night before so there is no thinking involved!

  3. I agree with every single one of the reasons. To add on, I love feeling like a bad ass after an awesome run at 5am. You know most people are still sleeping and you already ran a crazy run 🙂

  4. Terzah says:

    Amen! I am exactly the same way. I do find it’s all much easier if I go to bed early (like, 9, or even 8:30 at the height of marathon training).

  5. I totally agree with you!!! I recently started a new job that required me to get to work earlier than before….and I just wake up that much earlier to get my workouts in!!!! I hate it when my alarm clock goes off, but I know that I’ll be so happy in 20 minutes when I’m on the treadmill and so thankful that day that I have already gotten my run in. It’s only bad when the alarm goes off, beyond that, it’s all good!

  6. kaitwatts says:

    Agreed! Agreed! Agreed! I too am a morning runner. I just love the feeling of energy it gives me at the beginning of the day and how at the end of the day when I am tired, my workout is done.

  7. fullrunner says:

    You have some great motivation. I was never able to get myself out of bed before 6 for a morning run which doesn’t leave much time for a long run. That and I’m kind of afraid of running by myself in the dark (even with a headlamp)!

    • Corey says:

      Yes! It definitely takes some getting used to. I probably wouldn’t have started doing it by myself, but when I first started I was always with friends and then I guess I kind of got used to it. BUT I still get spooked sometimes…especially on darker streets with lots of trees!

  8. Steph says:

    Love this! If I could, I definitely would be a morning runner! The only good thing about running after work is that it gives me something to look forward to after work! Especially after a stressful day, an easy run is so satisfying 🙂

  9. Lauren says:

    All of these are reasons why (in theory) I’d LIKE to be a morning runner! I’ve tried many times to make the switch, but it never really sticks. I loved getting my run out of the way early and how it made me feel for the entire day, but I didn’t REALLY love how I felt running. I actually hate that tired, groggy sleep-running feeling. I know it can help people zone out and make the run go by faster but it just made me feel slow, sluggish, and annoyed. I love running after I’ve had meals (and coffee!) and am more aware of my surroundings. Plus I feel like I run faster in the afternoon (vain reason, I know). AND…as annoying as it can be sometimes to have the run hanging over your head all day, I do find that it can be a great way to get moving after you’ve sat around all day. So even though I’m tired in the evening, heading out for a run can help revive me and make me feel better before heading home and plopping down on that couch. 🙂

    Anyway, those are the excuses–I mean rationalizations!–I make to avoid switching to the mornings. But I do admire those of you who are able to get up early to get your runs in week after week!

    • Corey says:

      You are right about that groggy feeling in the morning. It definitely takes me longer to warm up and get going. I think eventually I just got used to knowing that I would be sluggish at first. But you are also right about using the workout as a way to pick you up in the afternoon…I suppose it is all about your attitude toward the run, right?

  10. Jodi says:

    As much as I like the idea of getting it done and over with by 7am, I just cannot force myself to get up at 6am to run before I get the kids up and going. I tried, and honestly, my runs just sucked. They were exactly like Lauren described above – slow and sluggish. I don’t mind running in the morning, but like 8am morning after a 7:30ish wake up. I do like to run on an empty stomach, but afternoon runs also provide a great pick-me-up and energy burst to get through the rest of the day. With the kids and being a SAHM, I just find time to fit it in and get it done, but never before they are up. Natalie will be starting preschool soon which means 3 hours to myself 4 days a week in the mornings, and part of me would LOVE to get up at 6am and run so I literally have those 3 hours for whatever I want – projects, cleaning, tv, books – but I know I’ll spend 2 hours of my 3 working out and then showering. It works. 🙂

    • Corey says:

      I am with you on this…if I had time at 8ish or mid morning, I probably would be all over it too! I say take advantage of that time and sleep if/when you can! Especially if you are chasing littles around all day 🙂 Sitting at a desk requires a lot less effort!

  11. I agree with every single one of your reasons!! It’s hard that Miami is actually better for evening runs due to humidity, but I don’t care mornings make me happy 🙂

  12. Meredith says:

    I started waking up at 4:30 every morning to run, and I have lost fifteen pounds within a month…I am overweight of course so I burn more but an article actually came out today stating that pre-breakfast workouts burn 20% more fat and suggest doing that on an empty stomach. I still dread mornings though but I really feel so great the whole day. Downside? Falling asleep at 8:30 every night, even Friday’s. Wow, thirties are an exciting time!! hahaha

  13. I’m not a runner, but as far as exercise is concerned, I always feel the best when I get it out of the way first thing in the morning! It’s just such a great feeling to know that it’s done and the rest of the day is mine.

  14. Yes, yes, yes. I agree with all of these! It’s just so nice to start my day with a workout, and have it done. I’m more energized for my whole day!

  15. elizabeth says:

    i love all of these!! in theory, i am a morning runner. i just have a fear of going by myself in my hood so it usually happens after work instead. i am totally fine to get up and go to the gym-but, for obvious reasons, alone and running in the dark scare the crap out of me. 🙂

  16. these are all key reasons why I prefer morning runs!! it’s been a challenge with all the craziness in our lives right now, but going first thing in the morning just feels so much better! i wish i could ever take off for a run with no fuel, but my body is ready to eat as soon as my eyes pop open. thank goodness for picky bars!! 🙂

  17. i agree with all of them! i especially love either watching the sunrise while running or getting home just as it’s coming up. it’s great to feel like you’ve accomplished something so early in the day while most are still sleeping.

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