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The Path I Took To Become A Morning Runner

For as long as I can remember, I have preferred evening running, the setting sun serving as my cue to lace up my shoes and hit the road. Recently, I started training with a friend who favors running in the morning. Therefore, in order to appease my friend, I have slowly transitioned into a “morning runner.” While I have not completely traded in my sunsets for the sunrise, I have come to appreciate, and somewhat enjoy, running in the morning. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered along the way:

Fueling First

For me, the hardest part of running in the morning is figuring out how to properly fuel beforehand. I’ve found that I don’t need to eat anything for shorter runs (anything less than 10 miles). But for longer runs, if I fail to fuel pre-run, I struggle through the last few miles. This means waking up a bit earlier than my scheduled run to eat something small; bananas, dates, and oatmeal work best for me. Nutrition post-run is also an important consideration. After completing a strenuous morning workout, it’s tempting to let myself indulge a bit throughout the day. Instead of snacking on sweets and treats to reward myself, I keep myself nourished with healthy foods post-run.

Toilet Time

Another huge adjustment for me was figuring out my pre-run bathroom routine. I have learned (the hard way!), that I need to allot a little extra time before my morning runs to take care of business. This ensures that I’m not desperately searching for portapotties halfway through my run.

Sleepy Runner

Without the caffeine from my morning cup of coffee coursing through my veins, it often takes me a few miles to feel fully awake. This makes completing certain speed workouts especially challenging in the morning. To accommodate this, I give myself ample time to warm up before speed-specific and tempo workouts.

Related: The 5 Stages Of Waking Up For Early Morning Runs

Chilly Weather

I have also discovered that morning running often means cooler temperatures. While this is ideal for summer months, the idea of getting out of my warm bed to run outside in the winter cold seems especially dreadful. To help with this, I lay out all of my running clothes the night before. If I have to think through what I’m wearing, it’s easier to psych myself out of a chilly morning run.

Accountability Partner

In the beginning, all of my morning runs were completed with friends. Knowing that I had an obligation to meet other runners kept me accountable. Now that morning running is less daunting to me, I am more inclined to run in the morning on my own.

Worth It

The absolute best part of morning running is that it ensures that the rest of my day is incredible! It affords me time to collect my thoughts and goals for the day. Most notably, there are very few things that compare to the feeling of productivity that ensues after a hard run!


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Hoppe Feet

Hoppe Feet

Stephanie Hoppe of Hoppe Feet is originally from Richmond, VA and recalls a deep passion for running ever since she was a little girl. From "getting to run the mile!" in elementary school to her first half marathon as a college freshman, she has always loved to run. She was co-president of the College of William and Mary's Running Club, a member of Fleet Feet Chicago's racing team, a coach for Girls on the Run and currently works part-time at a local running store. Running is much more than a hobby: it's a way of life for Steph. She is always seeking a new challenge and has completed countless half marathons, four marathons, an ultramarathon and several triathlons, including a half and full Ironman. The only thing she loves more than running is taking her love for running on the road. She and her husband Matt, who's also an avid runner, plan vacations around destination races. They've gone from Quebec to Iceland and Las Vegas to Mississippi. Steph would love to one day complete a marathon on every continent! Follow Stephanie at @hoppe_feet on Twitter and check out her blog at!!