1. Sleep1 of 7
It may seem obvious, but it's tough to get up at 5 a.m. to run if you are going to bed after midnight. Before you start an early morning routine, focus on getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. The early wakeups will feel easier if you are well rested and energized for the day.
2. Just Do It2 of 7
A quick way to get into the routine of 5 a.m. wakeups is to "rip off the Band-Aid" and just do it. Don't wait until the start of the week or beginning of the month. Do it tomorrow. Go to bed even just 30 to 45 minutes earlier tonight and set the alarm for o-dark-thirty tomorrow. The first early morning will be tough. But if you aim to go to bed just a bit earlier each night (for a few days), the wakeups will start to feel easier.
3. Make a Routine3 of 7
It's easier to be consistent with running in the morning if you are waking up and going to bed around the same time each morning and night. Your body will become accustomed to this routine, and you might even find yourself waking up without an alarm. Remember, it takes about 21 days to make a habit.
4. Minimize Wasted Time in the AM4 of 7
Avoid time-wasting traps in the mornings. The best way to do this is to plan ahead by doing things such as having the coffee maker set, laying out (or even sleeping in!) your running clothes, having your Garmin or iPod (or whatever other accessories you run with) charged and ready to go. It will make the time from wakeup to out the door as short as possible (which gives you more time to run).
5. Avoid the Snooze5 of 7
Once you hit the snooze button once, it's easier to hit it again. And again. And 15 to 20 minutes of snoozing means 15 to 20 minutes less of running, which you may then rationalize as not even being worth getting up for--so you skip the run altogether. Or you could accidentally shut off your alarm and miss the run. Hitting snooze can also hurt your sleep quality, according to CNN. Focus on getting up the first time your alarm goes off. You can also give a new alarm clock a shot.
6. Meet a Friend6 of 7
It's a lot easier to stay committed to the pre-dawn wakeup if you know someone is waiting for you. And, not only is the running buddy motivation to get out of bed, he or she will also make the run more enjoyable as you log the miles together.