TotR | How I became a morning runner

Remember when I said that ‘no way in hell’ could I ever work out before work in the morning? I was pretty set on the fact that I am an afternoon/evening runner and that there was no way I could switch to a morning workout.

Well, turns out, that was then and this is now: I work out 2, sometimes 3 times per week before I start work at 7:00 am in the morning and I also often run in the early mornings on the weekends now. On weekdays when I run, my alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. and I am at the gym by 4.45 a.m. to get a 60-75 minute workout in.

I had to work myself backwards to such an early wake-up time because I first underestimated the extra time I’d need in the morning, but now I really don’t mind it all that much.

I honestly don’t even know myself anymore. But, I have to say: I love it.

Ok, ok, truth be told… I am not really a fan of the getting up early at-the-crack-of-dawn-part, but once I am up and at the gym, I never regret it. What definitely helps is not doing this every day of the week (kudos to all of you who do this every day! It’s impressive!)

But, I also don’t dread the early morning wake up calls like I thought I would and I definitely feel pretty accomplished when I am on my way to work (the anticipation of a big hot cup of fresh coffee helps, too. Always!).

The decision to ‘try’ the early morning workout really came down to two factors:

a) if I wanted to get workouts in during the workweek, I could either go to the gym before or after work, and

b) I refuse to run outdoors by myself because there are no real good running paths around my neighborhood where I would feel safe in the dark ( and I am also lacking the proper gear).

Going to the gym after work would mean that I basically don’t have any time with J in the evenings. I work until 6 p.m. and wouldn’t be home from the gym until 8:30 p.m. On top of that, having the gym lined up after 10+ hours of work basically just begs for you to find excuses to just go home instead. So, I had to bite the bullet and give this early morning workout a go.

You’d be surprised to see how many people work out so early in the morning and it’s a real motivation factor to know that so many others get up early for this.

Here are a few tips that have helped me make (my) morning workouts easier:

1. Pack your gym bag and get everything ready the night before, so you can sleep as long as possible.

2. Put out your running clothes the night before (or even sleep in them).

3. Go to bed early. (I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep before a workout, so that means if my alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. I am in bed by 9 p.m.

4. Do the early workout on set days during the week (it helps me to know that I don’t have to get up that early every single morning).

5. Have something you look forward to afterward (like I mentioned: coffee!).

6. Remember how you feel when your workout is done for the day when you’re heading to work and remind yourself that you did this so you don’t have to tag on a workout after your workday!

7. Make workout friends at the gym. It’s harder not to go when people expect you to be there. (In my case, there is this older gentleman, for example, who always walks on the treadmill next to mine – and he’s there every day! He greets me every morning at 5 a.m. with a smile and he always inquires in case I didn’t show up.)

8. Have a workout plan. It’s much easier for me to go the gym when I know what’s on my training schedule than just deciding in the morning what type of workout I am going to do.

Do you run/work out in the morning? Does it come naturally to you?

I am linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia  for Tuesdays on the Run again.

  1. 4:15 am? Girl, that’s just crazy! I was a morning-workout-person for the longest time. However, these days I feel I don’t get a good workout in if I start early. But you have a valid point on not having much time for your spouse in the evening, if working out after work…….

    1. Do you always work out after work?

      1. Actually I do. I’ve tried to change it up again a couple of times. however, I lack power and strength in the morning and it’s not a good workout at all.
        If I could join a class that would maybe be a different situation. my “Boot Camp” offers its first calls at 5:30 am but unfortunately is too far to make it work. I start work at 7:00 am.
        So therefore I would have to workout by myself, which I’m usually good at. Anyhow, I think it must have something to do with getting older – lol / Bummer!

  2. I wish I was a morning workout person! I’ve tried and barely succeeded haha.

    1. I have to admit, it took me a few tries to make it work ;)

  3. These are great suggestions. I’m trying to motivate myself to do morning workouts and I feel that a few days a week is doable instead of everyday. You are helping me take the first step!

  4. Good for you for committing to early workouts and sticking with them long enough to fall in love! When I worked a full-time job I mostly worked out at 5am. There were some stretches of time when I hit the gym after work but you’re right, it eats up SO much of the evening. I love the sense of accomplishment I get from having my workout done first thing.

    1. I totally love the sense of accomplishment… it’s a great motivator to get up and just do it!

  5. I admire your dedication. I have never been a runner, mainly because of injuries. I would love to be one though!

    1. Thank you… I hope you have another passion that you can pursue, if running is not for you.

  6. Ive always enjoyed working out in the morning! Evening workouts just don’t happen for me, although I used to sometimes go to yoga or a strength training class, but now I work later. I wake up at 4:30 every day during the week and usually wake up naturally by 5 on the weekends. Its pretty crazy but Im just used to it now! Glad you’ve come over to the dark side:)

    1. Wow, I wouldn’t say that I wake up naturally at such an early hour… LOL… but it’s definitely nice to have that extra time in the morning!

  7. My MRTT group has a huge 5:30 am crew I don’t know how they do it and function the rest of the day. I wish I had it in me!

    1. I definitely know where you’re coming from… I couldn’t do it for the longest time!

  8. I try. Sometimes I make it, and sometimes I don’t. It’s much easier for me to go early in the summer, when it gets light out so early. But I’m never sad I went.

    1. Yes! I am never sad when I went either.

  9. I’m always impressed when I hear stories like this, because I think it’s just a subtle shift in mindset that can make all the difference. Truthfully, we can all reprogram our brains to think differently; it just takes some tinkering! Very impressed you get so much accomplished so early in the morning and kudos to you for becoming an early morning runner!!

    1. It’s exactly that: a subtle shift in mindset!

  10. Whew, look at you! That’s awesome that you’re getting to gym a few days a week in the morning. I can see how it would be nice to kind of get it over with, but wow, that’s early. I mean, I wake up one day a week at 5.30 and a few other days at 5.45 to get to work on time but even THAT is tough! haha


    1. I know… I felt the same way for the longest time… getting up at 5:30 is tough enough ;)

  11. I am in awe of your dedication! But given your work schedule, I understand that it makes sense to work out in the morning 2-3 times a week so you can get enough time with J! I used to work out in the morning when I lived in a condo as there was a gym on the first floor. I would pretty much only do strength training workouts, though, as I just despise running on the dreadmill and it tends to cause injuries for me since it impacts my stride. But I loved being able to fit workouts in early in the day so I would have my evenings free for time with phil and other social plans. These days I have lost the motivation to workout before work. I have the hardest time getting up since moving in with phil. Part of that is that I go to bed later so that I can get more time with him in the evenings. I work out way less than I used to as a result, but before this string of RA flares, I was still working out on a consistent basis and felt good about how I looked/felt. Now that I am pregnant and have had issues with my RA, my workouts look soooo different as I am mostly just going for walks. But hopefully I can start to introduce some strength training back to my routine as I really miss it! But it will have to happen after work as I am just lacking the discipline to get up early to work out!! So again, kudos to you for your hard work and dedication!!!

    1. I can definitely understand that when life circumstances change, schedules change… I am sure this will always be the case .

  12. Yes! I love working out in the morning. My motivation wanes later in the day, so I only do one evening workout per week (my strength class; the only time that works with my schedule is the evening class on Tuesdays). I love getting my workout over with early in the day!

  13. Puh… ich dachte, wir sind schon Frühaufsteher! Tobi‘s Wecker geht um 5:15 & ich stehe auf wenn er fertig ist im Bad. Aber 4:15 und dann auch noch direkt ins Gym… echt bewundernswert! Aber ich finde es auch besser, morgens Sport zu machen. Trotzdem……… das ist SEHR früh!

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