Sunny Side Up

The benefits of running first thing in the morning for me are two fold.  I get it done before I’m awake enough to realize I should still be sleeping and secondly, it’s off my to do list and don’t have to find a way to fit it into my day.   Working sixteen years for a hedge fund primed my body clock to wake at 4:30am naturally (or unnaturally, if you ask Brad) so an early workout is better for me than one during the day or evening. 

 

During the late fall and winter, running early in the morning poses it’s own set of challenges.  The sun might not be up yet and baby, it’s cold outside.  With a bit of planning, both challenges become obsolete and running early in the morning will seem almost normal. 

 

Brrrr

I run a bit on the hot side so no matter the season, I run in shorts.  Most of the people in my running group think I’m crazy so I’ll use their layering techniques as a better example for you.  Long pants, short sleeve top with long sleeve over it, jacket optional.  Running hat and gloves.  That should cover it.  The rule of thumb while dressing for the cold is that you want to wear enough to protect you, but not enough that you feel cozy before the run starts.  If you’re cozy before the run starts, you’ll be shedding layers quicker than a stripper in Vegas. 

 

Shine On

If you’re running in the dark you want to be visible to traffic.  Invest in a reflective vest or snap a few blinking lights on to the front and back of your shorts.  They come in handy while camping as well – I snap one onto the back of my toddler so I can see him running around the campsite at night. 

 

Lights Up

Uneven pavement that you are so used to in daytime running can be dangerous before the sun is up.  Bring a small flashlight or purchase a runners headlamp.  The headlamp is great because you can run hands free and it really lights up the ground. You can find these at REI, Road Runner Sports (www.roadrunnersports.com) or any running store.  My good friend Barbara used to run carrying a Maglite.  It weighed about 4 pounds so she had a weapon for self defense as well.

 

Buddy System

When running in the wee hours of the morning (or evening for that matter) please be wise and hook up with a friend.  There’s safety in numbers and besides, by having a friend you can run with increases the odds that you’ll get up and out for that early morning run. 

 

When in Doubt, Don’t

If your buddy can’t join you for a run one day or you’re feeling uneasy about a run in the early morning hours, be smart and trust that instinct.  There are a few times where something didn’t feel right and I skipped an early run.  There’s always tomorrow!

 

Hopefully these tips help.  Get up and at’em!

 

Run strong and remember to have fun!

 

Keli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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