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How I Convince Myself to Get Up for a 5AM Run

Jan 26, 2017 | Lifestyle, Running | 14 comments

How to convince yourself to get up at 5am to run

This morning I did not want to get up. I could have given you 1000 reasons why going back to sleep for another 1.5hrs would have been best for everyone, but somehow I dragged myself out of my horizontal cocoon, put on some rather mismatching kit, and completed my 8+ mile workout before 6.30am.

I’ve received quite a few comments on Instagram about how I can face getting up at 5am for my marathon training runs, sometimes I don’t know how/why I do it either! But I thought I’d share the weird and wonderful thoughts that go through my mind when the alarm goes at that ungodly hour…

You can also read my blog on how to make getting up for the morning miles easier 

I check the time. When I have an early alarm I often wake up multiple times during the night, worried I’ll miss my alarm. If its just before my alarm (and Tom is still sleeping) then I’ll get up quickly and quietly to avoid waking him. If Tom is on earlies or on a night stop, then I’ll often scroll aimlessly through social media for a while.

I often have an internal battle, trying to convince myself that maybe I could do my run later and either go back to sleep, or just sit and make a cup of tea instead of running…

But then I think :

  • How much do I want this? I want to PR in the marathon this year, I want to run a BQ – if I don’t complete my workout then I have nobody to blame but myself if I don’t achieve my goals. I want to earn this marathon personal best, I need to know I’ve done everything I can to get myself fit, strong and in the best possible shape on that starting line. Sometimes I even repeat those Pinterest quotes to motivate myself… yes I’m that nerdy.
  • I KNOW I’ll feel awesome after my run. I can feel smug as I drink my coffee on the tube and I’ve got a delicious breakfast to look forward to. It’s a great way of waking up, and will make the fact that I’ll be sitting for the rest of the day on the train, tube, and in lectures, not so bad. You are BADASS for running before 8am…FACT. Even better if it’s before 7am…
  • I just have to run 2 miles, if I still feel crappy, exhausted, horrible after that then I can come home. I find that it takes my body a mile to realise what I’m doing, then another mile to find my groove, and if I haven’t by then, well full permission to come home and go back to bed/sit on the sofa.
  • If I run now, I can watch Grey’s Anatomy later and put my pjs on the moment I get home (let’s face it, this is a winner for me – promise I used to be a party girl). I am not a night time runner, I like to go to bed early, relax on the sofa and blog in the evenings.
  • I bet NYCRunning Mama would be getting up, getting her run done (and she has kids and a full time job). I am in awe of Michele, and Susie Chan for their amazing running schedules, long commutes and the fact that they have families too! I realised that I’m not alone in needing to run/workout early before a long commute – here are some of the tips that other runners shared on how they fit it all in.
  • What will I tell my coach? I update her after most of my runs, in particular after my speed, tempo and long runs. If I don’t do the run then I’ll have to do it later or tell her why I haven’t run. This is one of the reasons why I love having a coach, it’s someone to be accountable to, keeping me honest and on track.
  • What will I post on social media if I don’t run? I need something to put on Instagram!! (This is a bit of a joke, but also, not really).

What makes you get out of bed/head out for a run, even when you don’t really want to? Are you a morning or evening runner? 


  1. mirandawrites05

    My problem is, when my alarm goes off at 5.30, I can’t rememeber that I’m supposed to go for a run so I just snooze till 5.50am when is my normal getting up time!

  2. Ashley

    Love this post! 🙂 I may do a similar post on evening workouts as pregnancy has caused me to become an evening workout warrior. 🙂

  3. Emily Walton

    Hey Charlie! Great post I do training a few times a week before my 9am uni lectures and getting up isn’t always easy. For me a good breakfast (often second breakfast after too!) and coffee. Just wondering what make and model your head torch is and whether you would recommend in for running in poorly lit areas in the dark? Thanks, keep up the good work

    • charlotte

      Hey Emily, it’s an Energizer head torch – stolen from Tom’s flight bag. Not a particularly great one. I’m actually looking in to some better ones so will let you know! xx

      • Emily Walton

        Ah ok thanks, I’ll let you know if I find a good one in the mean time 🙂

  4. Derrick Wess

    For the past couple of years I’ve been an evening runner but recently went to a really early spin class in Charing Cross and it really set me up for the rest of the day with all that adrenaline and endorphins that I could ask for. Once I’m over this cold, I think that I’ll start early morning runs! Getting up early isn’t a problem, it’s getting to bed early that’s the problem!

  5. Nicole

    yes yes yes. and weirdly, the social media thing is real. you start to like to think of yourself as a person (and a persona) who gets up and gets it done, and you want to keep it up both for you, and for the insta 🙂

  6. Lee Dalton

    I get up at 5am every weekday to do exercise before driving an hour to work.
    My motovation is twofold :-
    1) I seem to perform better in the morning, mainly because I don’t feel guilty about choosing exercise over spending time with other people. It also sets me up to arrive at work buzzing with energy !
    2) if I exercise early in the morning I can spend the evenings with my wife.

    • charlotte

      What a good husband! Yes I agree I perform better first thing, I’m more likely to cut an evening run short (or skip it all together!)

      • Lee Dalton

        Haha ! Yeah, the perfect model 🙂
        I’m also a creature of habit, so it’s easier for me to get up at the same time every weekday, and just find something to fill my time with.
        So I gym 3 mornings, cycle one morning, and run and swim the 5th morning.

        I do give myself weekends off though 😀

  7. Shelby

    Thank you for the inspiration! I will try to implement morning running, because like you, I like to veg in the evenings! Better to get it done and feel productive!

    I am new to your blog and Instagram (found you through Challenge Sophie) but I am eager to follow along with your adventures! Thanks for the inspiration to work toward our goals!

    • charlotte

      Aww thanks for coming over to check out my blog! Yes evenings are for relaxing, I’m always relieved when I work out first thing and don’t have to at night!

  8. Cindy Corliss

    I don’t know how you do it. I can barely get myself out of bed before 10!

  9. Giles

    Great insight, and sentiments shared by many, I’m sure!

    I’m currently working through a ‘What’s best for me?’ conundrum regarding my training. I’ve recently started fitting my workouts in first thing (note 1: I am definitely not a morning exercise person!). Thing is, I know my body performs best during the 3-5pm window – but getting the exercise done before the day has properly begun is just such an attractive option!

    Being up early is fine when it comes to work, perhaps even preferable (note 2: I often get interrupted when trying to put in a few extra hours in the evening). So maybe I should just go with what I know and not feel guilty for taking an hour or two out in the afternoon for taking care of myself…?

    That said, I do agree that the ‘smug factor’ is a definite plus point when you pass people in the street who are only just getting out and about as you are finishing up!

    Have a great day, everyone 🙂


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