By Jenny Albertson of All These Things By Jenny
I have been running for 20 years now, but I’ve never been much of a morning runner. I’m not really sure why. Half of the races I ran in the beginning (I started running competitively in high school) were morning races and all the races I’ve run since have been morning races. So it would make sense to practice in the morning. It could have had something to do with not getting enough sleep, or more recently, having kids and my schedule revolving around them.
But recently I decided I wanted to try morning runs more than evening runs. My evenings started to get filled up fast with other obligations, and a lot of the daytime activities would leave me tired and wanting to sit on the couch or spend time with my husband instead of run. My day time was full of stay at home mom stuff with 3 kids. So that left me with morning for time for me.
It’s still a new thing for me but I’m already noticing a lot of differences from running in the morning instead of after the kids go to bed. I still run at nights twice a week, and I take 2 rest days. The first two weeks I had a little bit of a hard time getting out of bed for a run. I made sure to go to bed at a decent time so I could get enough sleep, and it’s summer which makes it a lot easier to get out of bed thanks to warmer temps and it being light outside. (I love summer!). But I got up and going anyway.
After a couple of weeks of running in the morning, I started to notice some little changes. The most obvious was that my mood was much better the days that I ran in the mornings. I came home from my run energized and ready to be a mom to my kids. I didn’t dread the sound of their door opening in the morning and I greeted them with a happy attitude instead of a deep breath and “hold on for dear life–here we go again” attitude.
My breakfast became healthier as did all the rest of my meals (and snacks) for the day. Instead of choosing toast and a protein drink for breakfast, I had fruit and homemade muffins with juice. Instead of having a bowl of cereal, a peanut butter sandwich, or whatever is leftover from the kid’s lunches, I made myself some chicken breast and had some fruit and veggies with it. For a snack, I had fruit leather or a Carnation Instant Breakfast instead of candy. And for dinner, instead of making pasta or hamburgers with mac and cheese, I started eating more protein and roasted veggies. I’m not saying I eat perfectly, I don’t. Actually, I’m sure that most of the stuff I eat aren’t the healthiest options out there, but I’m making healthier choices. And I really like food, so I don’t worry too much about what I’m eating most of the time.
I started drinking more water. I used to have a really hard time drinking plain water but I’ve gotten better at it. And since running in the morning I’m drinking even more. The first thing I do when I walk in the door is get a big drink of cold water. Then I fill my water bottle up and carry it around with me all day so I drink it. Then I fill it right back up as soon as it’s gone.
I have also been WAY more productive during the day. On the days that I don’t run in the morning, it feels like it takes me all day long to get one or two chores marked off of my to-do list. But when I run in the morning I get most of the things done by lunch time which leaves the whole afternoon to do more fun things with my kids. Today, for example, I got up at 6:30 in the morning, went running, came home and got cleaned up. Then I made and ate/fed the kids a good breakfast, and got the kids ready for the day. Then I made banana bread and cleaned the kitchen, then I worked on some chores. By the time we were eating lunch, I had the laundry put away and I had dinner prepped and in the crockpot so that we could find something fun to do in the afternoon without having to put other things off.
It is amazing to me what a difference it makes in my day when I get up and running early instead of putting it off until the night! If this is how starting the day off by running is going to impact my day, I’m going to keep this habit around for a while.
Do you run morning or night?
What’s your favorite perk of running?
Latest posts by Jenny Albertson (see all)
- What Happened When I Started Running in the Morning - August 8, 2017