It has been a while since I wrote about becoming a morning runner. What has changed since that time? And, most importantly, how did it affect my life?
These are my humble observations I made on a way. It might help you consider take up running in the morning (or running overall):
- My physical condition is better. You could see that coming, right? When I started, I struggled with running one kilometer. Now I am at two and a half, three at the good days. I know, it’s still not really big achievement, but every little bit counts. The main thing is that I can see the progress.
- 6 hours of sleep is enough. I used to be that kind of person who wouldn’t be able to function normally without at least 8 hours of poor-quality-sleep (and I barely ever slept peacefully whole night). Or, at least I thought so. Now I sleep for 6 hours, sometimes slightly less. And quality of my sleep improved significantly.
- I have more time. I get up around 2 – 3 hours before I really have to. And running surely doesn’t take me so long. I spend approx 1 hour running, showering and doing everything around and the rest of the time is just for myself. I can study (haha), read, draw, write, whatever I like (and try to not wake up my roommate).
- My figure slightly changed. The changes are yet very moderate, but heck, I can feel it. I lost a bit of body fat. I pair the running with weightlifting, but I’m pretty sure that one without another would not work so well.
- I have more energy. It’s not easy to get up in the morning and get things done. But what can be better for waking up than running into a fresh (and a bit cold) morning? It literally boosts up both body and mind. And I can feel the spikes of energy soon after coming back. Especially if I turn on some good song.
- I start my day with happy mood. I would never believe I will ever say that running equals to good mood. But it’s true. I feel proud of myself after every run. Being in nature is source of happiness by itself and energy spikes from the previous point take care of the rest. Do you know a better way to start your day?
- I learned to listen to my body more. There are good days and there are bad days. Sometimes I run quite far with ease, sometimes I barely get to the halfway without stopping. Sometimes (especially after leg day in the gym) I can hardly move. And I try to not ignore signs of tiredness my body gives me. I got to know my limits and even though I need to push them, respecting my current state made me way more balanced, stable and satisfied.
- Beauty can be found everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, traveling is amazing. But so is my home. It’s good to remember that every place, every country and every city has its beauty. And in the morning, this beauty seems to shine brighter. Therefore I bring you my dawn collection. You can find some of it on my instagram.
Note: With the days getting longer, I need to go running around 5 to capture the sunrise. Otherwise, the sun is already quite high. But it’s not always possible, so I included even the pictures of not-actually-dawn.
Here are some tips I learned (sometimes by a hard way), hopefully you’ll find them useful:
- Running with a companion is… not always necessary. Everything has pros and cons. If you find a running partner, there is someone who pushes you forward… But, there is someone who pushes you forward. And it’s definitely not always good. I remember long time ago running with my brother, who is able to run 10 km without problems. He sadly did not realize that I am not at his level yet and pushed me to the point I almost started throwing up. More than anything, it added to my reasons to hate running and I stopped for a long time after this experience. And to be fair, I was only holding him back. So it’s good to have partner with the same fitness condition (which is almost impossible), but it’s also good to run alone. You stop when YOU want to stop, you run how far YOU want to run. Do what suits you the best, switch between running alone and running with someone, find what you like.
- Get your focus out of your tiredness. It doesn’t matter if you listen to music (just be careful in the area with passing cars) or get lost in thinking about today’s dinner, art of renaissance or zombie apocalypse. If you can’t, practice mindfulness technique. It’s very useful in everyday life and you can find tons of articles about it. But never accept this attitude and these thoughts: “Oh gods, my body hurts so much, and I need to run another 500 meters, I can’t do it, my legs are so sore, I will not make it…”
- Push yourself, but not too much. As I mentioned above, listening to your body is important. Bad days are truly demotivating because it seems like you are not making any progress at all, but it’s not true. It takes time and dedication, but it’s worth it. I promise you will feel better every day, so don’t ruin your body by wanting everything at once. It should be a slow process for a reason.
- Don’t stop the changes with just the running. Wouldn’t it be a shame to erase all the effort by grabbing fast food for a lunch or spending the rest of the day in bed? I know very well it’s tempting to “reward” yourself after any extra physical activity, but you loose all you gained. If you resist, the results will come quicker and you will be happier. A lot happier.
- Find a motivation. Last but not least, find something what keeps you focused on your goals. It can be seeing sunrise, listening to birds singing, image of your dream body, looking for harmony in your life. Do it for yourself, and do it consistently.