When getting up before dawn to go for a run, how you prep can be key, both mentally and physically. The key to both, for me, is prepping the night before. Because I’m usually not very awake in the morning, it’s important that I lay out my clothes the night before. There’s nothing more frustrating than stumbling through a dark house looking for a HR strap or missing sock. Because mornings are usually a bad time to make decisions, it’s best to have things laid out so that I don’t have to think.
For a day like Saturday where the air temp will be around 15 degrees when I start running, I need to plan out not just what I will bring to the trail to run in, but what I will have available to me for support in between my loops. This could involve changes of clothes, or additional nutrition and water. Because even at 15 degrees, I’m going to sweat like crazy. For this reason, it’s also important to have dry shirts and jackets to change into for after the run. Otherwise, I’ll end up being incredibly chilled when I finish.
The other aspect of prepping is mental. As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, I need to have a plan for the morning, and then I simply execute it. I don’t give myself time in the morning to re-think what I’m doing, or decide what clothes to wear. I get up, use the bathroom, get dressed and go. Mentally, I’ve prepared the night before to get up and run. I don’t think about it, I just go. When facing a 20+ mile slog on a cold day, it’s best not to think about what you’re about to do. That’s when it becomes way to easy to find something wrong and use it as an excuse to crawl back into bed.
The clothes are laid out, the food is ready. All that’s left is to get up and run.