First thing in the morning is one of the most reliable times to squeeze in a workout. The family is asleep, work hasn’t had a chance to throw you any curveballs, and it’s pretty easy to stay on schedule before the day really gets rolling.
But for some of us, easier said than done, right?
Well you don’t have to be a stereotypical “morning person” to get off to a great start in the morning. Here are some quick tips for getting out the door and finishing off your next run before you would ordinarily be out of bed.
Prepare for a good night’s sleep. Notice this doesn’t just say to “get” a good night’s sleep. That’s because a good sleep doesn’t always just happen. Plan to be in bed at a reasonable hour and make some time to relax and decompress before you try and go to sleep. You may also want to avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, depending on how your body reacts to each.
Make the alarm clock the boss. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, messing with the snooze button is tempting fate. The human brain can rationalize anything in the sleepy hours of the morning and the next thing you know your running time has been eaten away five minutes at a time. Make a decision that the alarm means business and respond accordingly when it goes off.
Drink a glass of water. When the alarm does go off, make this the first thing you do. Don’t think, “I have to get up and run.” Just think, “Time for my glass of water.” Keep it by the bed and drink down a glass before your feet even hit the floor. It is amazing how that early morning hydration can wake you up like no cup of coffee in the world. The few seconds it takes to do this will give your brain time to orient itself and help give you some healthy, wakeful perspective on the day.
Set the bar low. After your early morning dose of water, don’t start thinking about the day ahead or the workout at hand. Make your mission a simple one: get your workout clothes on and get out the door. Two minutes into your warmup walk, you’ll feel like the morning person you always hoped you’d be. The next thing you’ll know, you’re up and running.
Get a buddy. Having a running partner is not only a great motivator and source of encouragement, but it’s probably the best way to reliably get yourself where you need to be at any given time. It’s easy to talk yourself into grabbing an extra hour of sleep at your own expense, but you aren’t going to do that if you know your running partner will be left on a corner someplace waiting for you.
How about you? Any morning people out there with tips on starting the day? Or anyone who isn’t a morning person but has managed to overcome their sleepy tendencies?