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?