What to do Before a Run? Guide to Running in the Morning
Many people struggle to know what to do before a run in the morning. Especially if you are not used to running soon after waking up. Luckily there is a checklist of things you can do before running in the morning. That includes getting your gear ready the night before, preparing your food, and even setting your alarm. In this article, we look at what you should do before a run to help make the transition to putting on your shoes and getting out the door faster and easier.
What to do Before a Run in the Morning
Building a morning habit even if you are not a morning person will help get you out of bed energized. However, to help get you out running, what should you do before your run in the morning?
To make getting up easier it is important to prepare some stuff the night before. Starting with clothing.
Having your clothing put aside next to your bed will help you limit the amount of time it takes to find the right clothes before your run. It also means as soon as you wake you can get changed and prepare yourself mentally for your workout.
Another important part of running in the morning is preparing your breakfast the night before. Preparing your breakfast the day before a run can help you get out the door quicker. It means you can eat directly after waking up and cut down the time needed to make the food, eat it and then allow it to digest. Generally doing so can often save you 20 – 30 minutes in the morning.
By the time you have woken gotten changed and then eaten breakfast, you will often need to wait 45-60 minutes for your foot to digest. This is a great time to do some light foam rolling that can warm up your muscles before heading out the door. Doing so can speed up the time needed for the body to warm up. Meaning you become more efficient in using your time for the important part of the workout.
Other things like programming your workout into your watch and planning the course you will run are all things you should do the night before.
Ultimately the goal is to make running in the morning as easy as possible and prevent yourself from being overstressed and limiting the time you can train in the morning.
Exercises to do Before Running in the Morning
Generally, stretching cold muscles is not recommended before running in the morning, so what other exercises should you do before running in the morning?
One of the most recommended exercises before running is foam rolling. Foam rolling is a great way to get the blood flowing to the muscles and help create mobility before your workout. Alternatively, if you are struggling with niggles or injuries, foam rolling can help create suppleness around the injury. Allowing you to continue to train with less pain.
Other exercises like dynamic stretches are good to do before running. These include exercises like:
– Side Lunge
– Leg Swings
– Straight-Leg Lateral Swing
– Bent-Knee Lateral Swing
– Bent-Knee Forward Swing
All the exercises above help to prepare the muscles for running, by activating the hamstring, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
What to do Before a Running Race
Since most running races are held in the mornings it is also important to know what to do before a running race.
Similar to working out in the morning, it is important to prepare your breakfast, clothing, and nutrition the night before. So you can focus on preparing yourself mentally for the race.
Make sure you start the morning by eating a meal rich in carbohydrates but limited in fiber. This will help prevent any stomach issues during your race. You should be having this meal at least 1 hour before your event at the latest. Ideally, 2-3 hours is the ideal time, with 60 minutes before eating something light. This can include an energy bar or energy gel to help top up your glycogen reserves.
Once you have eaten breakfast and changed into your running clothes it is important to start your warm-up at least 30 minutes before your race. The length and intensity of the warm-up will depend on the length of the event. Events like the marathon require a less intense warm-up than a 5km event. but it is still recommended that you add some intensity (such as stride outs) into the warm-up to help warm up the muscles and raise your heart rate before the start.
How to get Energy Before a Run in the Morning?
Many people struggle to run in the morning because of a lack of energy. This is largely related to their nutrition the night before and also lack of sleep. To get more energy before your workout in the morning it is important to have at least 8 hours of sleep and have a meal 2-3 hours before sleeping. That way when you wake up your glycogen levels are full, and the body is rested.
However, for some people sleep and nutrition is just not enough. For these types of people, it is important to give themselves more time before their morning run. This will allow time for their body clock to adjust and the body to prepare to exercise. Sometimes, pre-workout exercises such as foam rolling and or a warm shower can help wake up the body quicker. Allowing even the most tired person to be able to head out the door.
Alternatively, if you struggle in the mornings (while not recommended) stimulants like caffeine, b12 and Taurine can help wake the body up before your run.