Winter early bird? Hell, yes!

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It’s cold, it’s early, it’s awesome.

I was never a morning person. Tumbling up from bed latish and rushing into Uni just in time, was daily routine. What changed? My job did. When I started working in advertising I realized pretty quickly that I needed to balance out my life. I was in urgent need to do more than the occasionally gym visit in order to get my head cleared for creative work. In advertising you work long hours and gyms were often closed when I left the agency. Therefore the only time for sports was in the early morning.

I didn’t said it was easy when I started running early back then. But when I was in training for my first marathon a few years ago and had to do long runs during the week, I developed a few hacks… No science, but helpful 🙂

  • pick out clothes the evening before. Nothing is more annoying than picking out clothes when you are tired.
  • put your gear in order the previous evening as well. Ever searched for the second glove when you wanna leave the house…?
  • if you can postpone breakfast, do it. I prefer a bigger meal with healthy carbs for dinner when I go for an early run.

Long trainings
I can do long runs in the morning, I find them quite relaxing… Long runs are in a slower pace and with a lower pulse. What I can’t do, are intervals. I’m not a huge fan of them anyway and just trudge through because I have to. But in the morning? Kinda impossible. I try to squeeze in a few short sprints though. They wake me up. Munich has a some hills and I try to run them every time. If I can’t make it to the alps a few laps in a row. The hills in the olympic park or the Luitpold park are not to steep and a good extra training.

Safety FIRST
A lot of women run alone in parks when it’s still dark outside. I usually don’t. I made my experiences many many years ago and I was lucky, nothing happened. I guess I was too fast… Hihi, no seriously, it’s a problem. I don’t wanna scare you but I think it’s important to talk about it. What can you do to feel more safe?

  • Don’t run the same route, at the same day, at the same time. People will notice.
  • Run in areas were a lot of people are. Sometimes I run along a main street but around Luitpoldpark in Munich are 2 schools and 2 kindergartens, meaning the park is full of parents and kids from 7 on.
  • Don’t listen to music with earplugs. I know a lot of people do it, I just feel unsafe when I can’t hear whats going on around me.
  • Bring an alarm. I have a little alarm thingi which makes a hellish noice when unleashed. My dad gave it to me and I’m happy to have it. Check it out.

At the end everyone needs to decide for themselves what the right way in terms of safety is. I wanna safe than sorry.

Running Buddies
When I lived in Melbourne I never had motivation problems, running at the beach was motivation enough. After moving to Munich it was a different story so I found myself a running buddy. Vally and I worked together, lived nearby and both loved running. We met twice a week at 6:30 and I must say without her I would have skipped a lot of runs. Primarily when it was raining or snowing. Sadly she moved within Munich and changed her job as well. My advice, find a running buddy, it’s safer too.

Running crews are awesome too. I’m part of adidas Runners Munich and running in a group of kindred spirits is a great extra motivation. Nevertheless, the best thing about running crews: the members become friends. Awww… 🙂 During Winter the crew runs were paused officially, but the members still met up for runs. The new season starts on Feb 7th 7pm at Gpusi, Munich. I will offer after work trail runs and sunrise trails aswell. Check the Schedule on Facebook. I hope to see you there.

My routine to get your early bird Winter run started.

  1. Start stretching in bed for a few minutes, while the muscles are still warm.
  2. Roll your sole. I use a golfball to make sure my feet are well supplied with blood.
  3. Roll more. A lot of runners use a fasciae roll only after running. I recommend to use it before aswell, to unstiffen your legs and feet.
  4. Put shoes, insoles and socks on the heater. So good to start running with warm feet.
  5. Start slowly and start with a few running exercises like skippings, side shuffles, long jumps etc.
  6. End slowly aswell and stretch at home.
  7. If you have enough time before work, take a bath. It doesn’t need to be long but try one with juniper or arnica to loosen muscles…

Hmmm, my treat
When I get home I really look forward to a yummy breakfast and something to drink, but it must be hot. If you are interested in delicious porridge options and a recipe for a healing Golden Latte check out my blogpost Food for Winterhiking.

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