The Ten Commandments of Predawn Running

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Charlton Heston as Moses delivering the 10 Commandments

Photo Credit: By Trailer screenshot, from DVD The Ten Commandments, 50th Anniversary Collection Paramount, 2006 (The Ten Commandments trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hat tip to Steven Lowe on Copyblogger for the idea.

In the dark times when all seemed to busy to afford thou the luxury of thy running, all seemed lost.  Poor misguided souls wandered aimlessly trying to fit in their running amid all their other commitments.

Then came forth in the darkness a new idea.  No more would running be constrained to the light of day. It would now shift to expand the hours available, and a new species of Predawn Runner would emerge to gain advantage from this additional time.

These are the 10 Commandments of Predawn Running.  Bind them to your mind, let them flow through your legs…

1. Thou shalt not skimp on thy warm-up and cool-down

Thou shalt not yield to the temptation of more sleep by slackening on thy injury prevention techniques, lest thou becomest strictly a predawn core- and leg-exerciser.

2. Thou shalt not hit thy snooze button

Thou shalt avoid hitting thy snooze button regardless of the hour, employing whatever techniques thou find necessary to beat back thine mortal enemy.

3. Thou shalt not make unnecessary predawn noise before leaving thy house

Thou shalt honor thy sleeping partner by preparing thy accessories the night before.  Thou shalt walk as if on water through thy house in performance of thy pre-run routine.

4. Thou shalt not dwell on thy smartphone or laptop other than to check thy weather

Thy smartphone shall have but one use, and the number of the uses shall be one. Not two, not zero, but one.  If thy smartphone have more than one use, thou shalt distract from thy purpose and thou must recognize thy “stalling”.

5. Thou shalt not forget to wear thy reflective gear

Thou shalt not worship the false idol of ninja running and forget to wear they reflective gear, including thy headlamp to illuminate the path of predawn redemption. Thou shalt observe all safe practices for predawn running.

6. Honor thy fellow predawn runners and offer thy greeting

Thou shalt only shatter the peace of the predawn by offering thy greeting to thy fellow predawn warriors.  Thou shalt share the goodness of existence in this godly time, and thus carry forth thy light to shine upon the path of others.

7. Honor thy breakfast and keep it holy

Thy breakfast shall be not rushed, and shall be enjoyed after thy predawn run.  Thou shalt burn more fat and build greater glycogen-depletion tolerance by fasting before thy run.  And a hearty breakfast may help thou losest thy weight.

8. Thou shalt not use thy predawn running as an excuse to be tired and cranky

Thou shalt bear a pleasant demeanor regardless of the time of thy morning rising. Thou shalt carry forth the good spirits of predawn running throughout thy day and serve as a beacon of fitness and energy for thy fellow souls.

9. Remember the weekend day, to keep it for sleeping in

Even thy Lord rested on the seventh day.  Thou is no more capable than thy Lord and must allow for no less rest.

10. Thou must love thy predawn running

Thy predawn running was created to bring health, joy, and peace to thy life.  If thou finds stress in thy predawn running, then thou must explore catharsis through running a different time of day, until thou rediscovers thy joy for this sport.

Go forth now and take these commandments as thy guide, and wander no more in the wilderness.

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  • Debra Serrins

    #2 – Put the clock across the room.
    #3 – Very important!  Also, don’t wake any children who will suddenly want you to read a book, watch a movie, help them go potty, get a glass of water, or take them with you.

  • Greg Strosaker

    Debra, thanks for thy comment. I find #2 inconsistent with commandment #3 – my mentality is to turn off the alarm as fast as possible before my wife awaketh.

  • Cmdrone

    #4 is so dangerous for my longer runs during the week.

  • Greg Strosaker

    Thou must fight the evil temptation of thy technology gadgets (though I admit it can be tough to do).

  • sharon

    I struggle with #4 all the time.

    Also I have to be the linguist nerd and nitpicker who points out that the conjugation for “thou” is “-(es)t,” so it’d be “findest,” “losest,” “rediscoverest…”

  • Steve H.

    #4 the smartphone is my worst sin but i kept up earlier building in time to check it before heading out the door.

  • Greg Strosaker

    I thanketh (thankest?) thee for thy linguistic input and have modified the post accordingly. I thinketh.

  • Greg Strosaker

    Seems to be the consensus, Steve. On the upside, I have found a few times that seeing an email before heading out gives me something to chew over on the run, and I often come up with a better response than I otherwise would have.

  • J (morning runner)

    Love it!! I always check my smart phone before running just for the weather.  I have my routine down so I can be out the door in less than 10 minutes.  

  • Greg Strosaker

    Wow Joanna, you young ‘uns must be able to get going without a good warm-up. Takes me 10ish to get dressed, then 10-15 for a warmup (and then 5 more in the winter to add on necessary top layer).

  • Salty

    This year my children seem to have developed a 6th sense for when mommy’s trying to sneak in a predawn run. Last year I got up at 5:30 and hopped on the mill, but this year no dice. I can do everything in the dark and tiptoe while their white noise machine hums outside their doors and they still wake up. They almost never wake up early if I don’t. Drives me bananas!

  • Greg Strosaker

    Oh, don’t get me started Salty. My return to running a few years back was delayed months because my wife was convinced (with good reason) that I was “jinxing” our eldest son to a bad night’s sleep anytime I set the alarm to get up early. It finally took a good streak of a week or so of him not getting up to finally get over this paranoia.

  • Salty

    I figured if I just plowed through and kept waking up early no matter what for a week or two that they’d become desensitized but I got injured and didn’t need to wake up early to get my runs in. Now the weather should be decent enough to run with the kids so it’s a moot point until next winter! At that point I will be scouring the recesses of your blog and hounding you with requests for tips :)

  • Nicholas Gault

    Yes to #6!  I am not a morning person, so if even I can muster up a “howdy” or “good morning,” then I don’t think it is too much to ask to get a return greeting.  Maybe I need a blinking sign that says, “I’m not going to rob you.”  Maybe that would help.

  • Greg Strosaker

    Thanks Nicholas, I guess the only thing I’d be careful of is “greetings from behind” – I don’t see many runners when I’m out in the morning, but if I’m passing someone, I try to give as wide a clearance as possible so as not to startle them.

  • Dave

    Ok Greg, Reread number 10 and get back out there.

  • Greg Strosaker

    If you must know, I found catharsis in predawn work / postdawn running today. First time over 5 miles all year, first time running at all in 2-3 weeks. Maybe the start of something.

  • Dave

    That is what I wanted to hear. Just run for the joy of running.