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Ignore the Snooze button

Becoming a morning runner isn’t for everyone, so how do you avoid the snooze button, asks Nandini Reddy

The early morning opportunity to run is considered to be the best time to run by most runners. But are you one of those people who just cannot seem to drag yourself out of bed even after setting 5 blaring alarms. Wondering if you would ever be able to shake the night owl reputation?

If you want to do it, then try here are a few ways in which you can beat back your natural inclination to hit the snooze button.

Take it slow

It won’t happen overnight. You cannot become a morning runner just in a day. If your final goal is to run during the pre-dawn period then first start by getting up at least an hour earlier than normal. Once you are comfortable with this you can progress towards the pre-dawn goal.

Sleep Sleep Sleep

If you want to get up in the morning then you need to get enough sleep. Trying to become a morning runner by getting only 4 hours of shut eye won’t help you one bit. If you get at least 6-7 hours of sleep then you are less likely to hit that snooze button and you won’t be groggy and will be more energetic when you get up early in the morning.

Prep the night before

This will quicken your morning process. Layout your clothes and gear. You can even set you running playlist to go. Fumbling in the dark to gather you things in the morning will end up irritating your partner and giving you a few stumbed toes. This also saves you time in the morning.

Warm Up

When you get up, your body is cold and your muscles will be stiff. So it is very important to warm-up and ensure your muscles are all ready to support your run. Running without a warm-up increases the risk of injury.

Partner Up

If you think you are likely to skip you morning runs because the temptation to hit the snooze button is too heavy then for the first few weeks till your system finds its flow – find a friend who can run with you. If not for yourself, at least you would be up out of fear of disappointing your friend.

Know the weather

It is important to stay warm during pre-dawn runs. Dawn can be chilly as it would have the lowest temperatures of the day. Try and wear clothing that will suitably protect you from the chill and morning dew.

Nutrition

Try and avoid sugary morning meals. Go for a savory  breakfast instead. Even if you need to grab a snack before your morning run, try and pre-prep a small salad of vegetables. The sugary snack will cause an imbalance in your hormones making you more lethargic.

Remember your goals and motivate yourself to ensure that you wake up and create a new habit. Wake up and feel alive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Training Comments (1) |

The relationship between sleep and running

Sleeping well and for the right amount of time can increase your running stamina, writes Nandini Reddy

We live in a hyper active culture that has us on our toes constantly. We have over committed our time an energy to a a ton of obligations. But the most important factor that needs to remain unchanged irrespective of our lifestyle is the number of hours we sleep. You have probably read that you need 8 hours of sleep but it is highly likely that you are clocking in less than 5 hours a night. As a runner, sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise.

Maybe if we understood why we need to sleep then we can be more convinced to actually give it the attention it needs.

Weight Loss

A regular sleep schedule can do wonders for your weight loss efforts. When you get less sleep your hunger hormones run haywire making you carve food at the wrong times or feeling less sated after a meal. All marathoners tend to carb load before a race but if you don’t get enough sleep then the glycogen energy reserves that you need for the race will not build up properly and you will hit the fatigue wall sooner than you expect.

Body Repairs

Distance runners need sleep to ensure that their muscles recover from their training. It was observed in a research that athletes who got enough sleep showed a marked improvement in their running performance. While you sleep, the growth hormone is released when you are in deep sleep which helps recover your body. This hormone is essential to help the body rebuild from the affects of workouts. The growth hormone also helps in converting fat to fuel and keeping your bones strong. Too little sleep means you will feel more stressed and your recovery time will also increase.

Water Re-absorption

While you sleep, the kidneys help in establishing the water balance in your body. When you run in summer and sweat a lot, there is a high risk of dehydration. Just drinking more water is not the solution to ensure your body stays hydrated. It is also important to let the kidneys do their work to balance the sodium, electrolytes and water in your body. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and muscle pain. So a good night’s sleep can do wonders to ensure that you are not dehydrated and your body electrolytes are in balance every morning.

Mental toughness

Sleep helps clear your mind and improves your concentration and helps you run with a clear mind. Sleeping better also improves your ability to analyze training plans and race day performance. A mentally tough runner can overcome every hurdle that he might encounter during tough races.

Maintaining a Schedule 

You need to set a sleep schedule. It will take you up to four weeks to get habituated to it but if you can set up a schedule then you will see that all other things will also fall into place. You will start to eat and train at a scheduled time. Sleep also helps you combat pre-race anxiety, improve your memory and decision making ability.

You might be able to get by with a few nights of bad sleep in a month but on the whole you need to have a sleep schedule that you stick to if you want to improve your running performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more