The Truth About Early Morning Runners

We all know ‘em. We all think they are crazy. But, we all sort of envy them too. The runners who, somehow, manage to get their runs in at all sorts of insane hours of the morning. Naturally, there are varying degrees of these runners, but there are universal truths about them as well.


  1. No one wants to see an alarm clock go off at 4:05 to get up, get ready, and travel to their 5am run. No one.
  2. All of us have, at a minimum, a few seconds of attempted self-persuasion to stay in bed.
  3. Most of us become sleepy, in-bed meteorologists.
  4. Once we are vertical (i.e. get out of bed), the run typically is “on.”
  5. Two types of early runners exist:
    1. Those who have to wake up with coffee.
    2. Those who roll out of bed and get in their cars.
  6. The only acceptable 4:30am texts are those from your fellow runners (hopefully, just about running late and not ditching the run).
  7. If no texts come across, you head out hoping that everyone (or at least one) shows up.
  8. On arrival, everyone groans, complains, picks a route, and starts running.

With early morning runs being the exception and not the norm, why would people subject themselves to this drama? There actually are many pros to getting runs in early, and here are a few:

  1. It’s done by 6:30. OK, OK…if it’s a longer run, then it’s done by 6:45 or 7. The whole day is available for everything else that needs to get done.
  2. Better looking skin. Running in the dark keeps from harmful UV exposure to a minimum.
  3. Cooler temps in summer. In the South, summer running is brutal, and runs get compromised (or never start) when the temps start to rise. Getting the run in before the heat, while the humidity can be higher before sunrise, better ensures that the run will get done.
  4. The roads are open. With pedestrian friendly routes at a minimum, competing for space with multi-ton vehicles and increasingly distracted drivers poses dangers and logistical problems for runners and cyclists alike. 5 am offers available road space. Heck, you could even zig-zag if you wanted to!
  5. The sunrise. When it’s all said and done, the beauty provided by mother nature is your reward for being up and running in the early morning.


Some people have no way of getting out for an early morning run, and there’s no judgement for that either. Most early runners would rather sleep too. But if you’ve given any thought to early morning running as a way to become more consistent, try it out and find a group that you can run with for safety and comradery.  The early morning runs might just get you to the finish of your first half marathon or to a new PR!

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