My Morning Routine

⇾ Matt Taylor, Runner/CEO

My Morning Routine

⇾ Matt Taylor, Runner/CEO

Consistency is key for the Tracksmith founder

Tracksmith CEO and Founder Matt Taylor

If you didn’t know better, you might think that Tracksmith has been around for decades. From the classically styled athletic apparel to its reverence for the sport of running, it has all the markers of a heritage brand. But it was actually founded in 2014 by Matt Taylor, with a collection of premium apparel and accessories. While the style is old school, the materials boast the latest technical and performance specs. It's this duality that has made the brand such a hit with hardcore runners. Guys like Taylor himself, who starts everyday with a nice long run, whether he's heading into the office at the brand's headquarters (located about a quarter mile from the Boston Marathon finish line) or working from home and making deals. Instead of trying to keep up with him, we waited until his post-run coffee break to ask how he starts his day. Here's what he had to say.

The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Matt Taylor illustration

My Routine

Like many runners, I’m a natural morning person.

It's my favorite time to train. My wife and I take turns in running and getting the kids going, but we're both up just before six and I'm out the door just afterwards.

I’ve always prioritized good sleep.

Eight hours is the ideal, but 7.5 is probably the norm. Sleep is incredibly important since it has such a huge impact on your mental and physical performance. As a founder and a dad, sometimes something has to give. But I do try to protect my sleep.

I keep an emergency alarm, just in case.

Usually, I wake up before my wife's alarm, but I do have a small analog travel clock on my nightstand ... for back-up. But I never snooze. What's the point?

I keep it pretty analog.

I never bring my phone into the bedroom. Currently, my nightstand has that travel alarm clock, a picture my son drew and whatever book I'm reading—which at the moment is The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer.

Exercise truly is my preparation for the day.

Running is the single best way to clear my head and get focused. It's also pretty much the only time I get that is 100% my own.

When I say I run first thing in the morning, I mean it.

I always check the weather and lay out my clothes before going to bed, so when I wake up I don't need to think about anything. I grab the pile of clothes, take them downstairs, get changed in the kitchen, do a few easy stretches, put my shoes on and I'm out the door.

Since I’m in my 40s, I should probably have a better warm-up routine.

But youthful habits die hard, right? I use the first few miles to find a rhythm and then carry on with whatever the workout is that day. When I get back home, I do 10 minutes of either yoga or strength training. When that's done, I help my daughter finish getting ready for school and we head out at 7:15.

Advertisement

For me, there’s nothing quite like a well-timed run.

There's something really powerful about running first thing, especially when timed to sunrise, or at least the early light. Maybe it's the syncing of the circadian rhythm, but I never feel bad when I finish my morning run. I often feel terrible and tired when I head out the door, but am always happy and energized when I return.

As soon as I’m back, I usually read my email.

But I don't typically respond until after the kids are off to school. I wish I was better about only reading and responding to email at certain points during the day, but I struggle with that and am typically on email until the evening.

I’m a big coffee drinker.

I love that first cup after getting the kids out the door and sitting down at my desk to start the work day. Ryan and Des Linden (of marathoning fame) have a coffee company called Linden x Two. If time permits, I do enjoy grinding their beans. I mix working from home and working from our office, so if I go to the Trackhouse, I might have another coffee in the afternoon, but we brew Linden x Two in our lounge there as well.

Breakfast is oatmeal, every day, all year.

I add a scoop of peanut butter, a bit of honey and some banana. If you haven't noticed, I like consistency. On the weekend if we're out and about, I love a great egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel, and I often make pancakes or waffles for the kids.

I wish it was more elaborate with my fitness.

But at the moment, it's pretty much just running. When I am training for a race, I might have specific workouts to do, but generally I try to stick to steady state mileage. One thing I've really missed during the pandemic has been taking running meetings with my team. Pre-pandemic I'd probably run at least once a week with someone at the office, but now those are something of a treat.

I check my calendar and start my to-do list before the day gets going.

I use both pretty regularly. My calendar is definitely a mess of meetings, but I try to block out time on it for focused work as much as possible. I am also a fan of notebooks, pencils and crossing things off on a list too.

Advertisement

My grooming routine is extremely basic.

In my effort to get my workout in and be present for the kids, my time to get ready in the morning is where I've made some compromises. But I try to focus on quality and natural ingredients. For instance, I like to use my brother's handmade lip balm from his bees.

Matt Taylor's favorite grooming products

Clockwise, from top left

Hoppin' Fresh deodorant,
$18 by Ursa Major

Densifique bodifying shampoo,
$36 by Kerastase

Daily Moisturizing lotion,
$10 by Aveeno

Sumotech flexible cream,
$31 by Bumble & Bumble

Sonic toothbrush,
$89.99 / $69.99 by Burst

Natural anti-plaque and whitening toothpaste,
$8.79 by Tom's of Maine

Alcohol-free mouthwash,
$25 by Aesop

Costa Rica Cafe con Amor coffee,
$19 by Linden x Two

Ironman digital watch,
$45 by Timex

Matt Taylor's favorite grooming products

Hoppin' Fresh deodorant,
$18 by Ursa Major

Densifique
bodifying shampoo,
$36 by Kerastase

Daily
Moisturizing
lotion, $10
by Aveeno

Sumotech flexible cream,
$31 by Bumble & Bumble

Sonic toothbrush,
$89.99 / $69.99 by Burst

Natural anti-plaque
and whitening
toothpaste, $8.79
by Tom's of Maine

Alcohol-free
mouthwash, $25
by Aesop

Costa Rica
Cafe con Amor coffee,
$19 by Linden x Two

Ironman
digital watch,
$45 by Timex

Clockwise, from top left

Hoppin' Fresh deodorant,
$18 by Ursa Major

Densifique bodifying shampoo,
$36 by Kerastase

Daily Moisturizing lotion,
$10 by Aveeno

Sumotech flexible cream,
$31 by Bumble & Bumble

Sonic toothbrush,
$89.99 / $69.99 by Burst

Natural anti-plaque and whitening toothpaste,
$8.79 by Tom's of Maine

Alcohol-free mouthwash,
$25 by Aesop

Costa Rica Cafe con Amor coffee,
$19 by Linden x Two

Ironman digital watch,
$45 by Timex

When it comes to clothes, I like a uniform.

I pick out my running clothes the night before, but wait until after my run to pick out my outfit for the day. I'm a seasonal uniform dresser, so coming off winter that means a lot of Outlier pants, Tracksmith sweatshirts or a button-down under our New England Overshirt, and a baseball cap.

It’s nice to not have to commute as much into the city.

Like a lot of parents, I try to use that extra time to be with my family. Now when I do go into the office, I'll time it around calls I can do from the car outside of rush hour. Our team is now almost entirely remote—a lot of our employees are based elsewhere in the U.S. or even overseas. We don't micromanage where people work from, but a lot of our Boston-based team will come in and out of the office a few days a week based on things like fittings or events. I don't think we'll ever go back to being 100% in the office. For a young and growing brand, it's been a huge advantage to be able to recruit without having to be so obsessed with geography.

Never leave
home without ...

My water bottle. And if I’m traveling, it’s my running shoes. I’m currently testing a big rotation of shoes to find a new favorite—there are a lot of incredible developments in running footwear right now.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

The Smart Way
to Start Your Day

The Daily Valet. is your cheat sheet to what you need to know right now. Never feel caught off guard again.

More Morning Routines

Advertisement