How to become a morning exerciser

These last few weeks after we had a wee break in mid May… I’ve been finding it really easy to get up in the morning to exercise. (Touch wood!) It could be my body clock, it could be Spring / Summer versus Winter (I always find it harder to get up to exercise when it’s cold and dark)… it could be that everything else in my life seems to be going well, so I’m sleeping better… it could be habit… it could be a lot of things.

Whatever the reason it’s good. Each morning I’m waking up around 5 or 6am… and I’m then able to get into a routine of getting up and ready to train and be finished my run or strength training by 730am, and in work for before 9am. It’s good.

There’s a saying that you’re either a Lark or an Owl and I’m most definitely a Lark… I much prefer training first thing in the morning, waking me up and setting me up for the day. The days I exercise in the mornings, I usually feel great after and go on to have a good day. It’s well worth getting up for.

I have a bit of a routine to get me up and out of the door… and here it is:

1. Wake up to my Garmin Vivoactive vibration alarm on my wrist, turn it off.
2. Get up, and go to the bathroom, wash my face.
3. Go to the spare room and put on my workout / running clothes which I laid out the night before.
4. Go downstairs, sit, drink water, and take my vitamins / creatine.
5. Avoid checking my emails / Facebook on my phone (until after working out).
6. Bathroom…
7a. Taking my phone (music), water and a banana into the garagym to workout…
…or…
7b. Go out for a run.
8. Back, blog, breakfast, shower, get ready.
9. Prep food for the day and walk to work.
10. All of this is one with a weekly plan of what training I’ll do, so I have a plan to go by and follow.

Now here’s my tips for how you can become an early morning runner / exerciser:

  1. Get to bed early. … work out how much sleep you need, and work your go to bed time, back from your get up time. Ie – i want to get 8 hours sleep ideally…and want to be up by 6am and out the door by 630am. So if I get ready for bed by 930pm…and in bed by 10pm, that should be 8 hours sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep so that you’re able to train, work and function properly.
  2. After you wake… count slowly backwards from 5… so that by the time you get to 1… you’re up… 5 eyes open, 4 sit up, 3 push covers off, 2 swing legs around onto the floor, 1 stand up.
  3. Lay out your clothes, trainers and gadgets in a separate room the night before. … I wear different gear and gadgets for running and strength training. So I lay my training gear out depending on what I’m doing the next morning. I put it in the spare room so that I don’t wake up my other half scrabbling around in the dark.
  4. Get an alarm clock that works in waking you up or put your alarm clock out of reach. … set your music system to turn on and wake you up from another room… or get a daylight alarm clock to wake you up gently. My vibration alarm works well for me.
  5. Have a Training Schedule. … know what you’re going to do training wise, and be committed to it. Post it online if it helps you be accountable. Have a number of things you’ll aim to do each week… ie 3 runs, 2 strength sessions. Maybe train for an event, or have a reason to get up to train / exercise. Listen to your body though, and if you need sleep instead of training, make sure you get it. It’s all about balance.
  6. Think about your plan the night before. … have a set strength plan, workout to do or a class that you need to be there for… if you’re running, decide on a route, and if you’re like me… if you’re lying at night not being able to get to sleep, visualise running or going along the route you’re planning to do as you try to get to sleep.
  7. Get a morning running or training buddy. … this one really works for me… If I’m meeting Twinnie, I always turn up on time… (except that one time I lay in and woke up 2 minutes before I was meant to meet her – ouch!) … it’s not so easy to roll over and go back to sleep. Or go to a boot camp or get a personal trainer to train you at 630am…that’ll get you up and out!
  8. Eat something light…. for strength sessions, I take a banana and water in with me… sometimes I just need that little bit of energy to set me up to work hard. I tend to run on empty, but do what works for you.
  9. Drink some water… when i go downstairs, I put my gadgets on, then grab my vitamins and bottle of water and sit for a bit to allow my body to wake up. I’m usually about twenty minutes to half an hour from when I get up to when I’m out the door.
  10. (If it’s dark or winter) wear something reflective (or if it is Spring / Summer) keep the curtains / blinds slightly open so you get some daylight in your room early on to help wake you up.

And if you want to read a good book on how you can get an effective routine into your morning to benefit you and help you become a morning person, read Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I read it a couple of years ago, and whilst I don’t do everything he suggests, I’ve created my own habits and rules to help get me up and out to train.

You can too. What are you waiting for?

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