Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tips For Waking Up Early To Workout

I've always been a morning person but haven't always been a morning exerciser. Before I had London, I would go to the gym after work. I had very few evening commitments and my then-husband didn't mind eating supper a little later. While I was on my year-long maternity leave, I worked out a lot but I did it whenever I felt like it. I usually planned my workouts around nap time or I would head outside, pushing London in the running stroller, when it warmed up in the afternoon.

Now, I'm a full-time working, single mom, training for a marathon. Things are very different.

Because spending time with London always comes first I don't want to waste the few hours we have together, after daycare/work, each night focusing on my needs.  

So, I wake up early.

How early?


Yep, I'm awake just before 4:30 almost every weekday. That gives me two hours until I need to get in the shower, get ready and wake London up so we can be out the door by 8 o'clock.

IT ISN'T EASY

I'm not going to lie some days it is tough Others, I hop out of bed excited to get going. It's my new normal though. Yes, your body will take awhile to get used to it but then it just becomes part of your routine.

Here's what my typical morning looks like:

4:28 Alarm wakes up. Wake up (don't check social media. I can do that while I'm warming up on the treadmill.)
4:30 Grab pre-workout drink, tie hair back, throw on shoes and head downstairs.
4:35 Warming up on the treadmill
5:15-5:30 Finish treadmill workout (running or walking hills)
5:30-6:15 Strength training (not every day)
6:15 Eat a banana and watch the news for five minutes
6:20 Shower and start getting ready.
7:00 Wake London Up
8:00 Leave for daycare drop-off/work 
Now, I don't wake up early EVERY day (usually 3-4 times during the week) as I sometimes take evening workout classes (spin, body pump, yoga etc.) I also save my long runs for Saturday after I wake up. London loves to watch mommy run (and run with me on his own treadmill) and then he'll watch a show and eat breakfast until I'm done. I don't feel guilty about taking this time to focus on me because I know I'm being a good role model.

Want to transition to morning workouts? Here are some tips to help!


TIPS FOR GETTING UP AND WORKING OUT AT THE CRACK OF DAWN:

1. Sleep In (or Lay Out) Your Workout Clothes. I change into my workout clothes before I crawl into bed. This may sound silly but I don't want to waste time looking for my clothes in the morning. I also don't want to risk waking London up. I leave my sports bra, socks, hair band and shoes downstairs so they're ready to throw on at the last minute.
2. Prepare Your Fuel And Technology. I don't eat before my early morning runs (except my long runs on Saturdays) but I do like to eat something during my 5+ mile runs and within half an hour of finishing. The night before I fill my shaker bottle with water with amino energy so I can drink it before I start. I also have another water bottle I fill with water to sip on during the workout. Since I do most of my workouts at home (unless London is with his dad) I also lay out my Ipad and headphones. I also make sure to plug in my phone so it's charged, for the morning, as I track all my runs and catch up on social media during my warm up.


3. Make A Plan. Even if I'm not training for a specific race I always plan my runs a week in advance. Sunday I'll look at Coach Suz's plan for the week. I keep a copy of it in my phone and have a glance at it before bed. This way, I know exactly what I'm doing the next day (the less thinking at 4:30am the better!) 


4. Get Your Family On Board. If you're married/living with someone make sure they support you. I used to be the deepest sleeper and would never hear the alarm when it went off. My significant other would have to wake me up and then take care of London if he woke up before I was finished. If it's important to you, it should be important to them.

5. Don't Do It Alone. Sometimes workouts are easier when we have someone pushing us out the door. If you usually run by yourself, try to recruit a friend to meet you in the morning. Or, find a running group that meets early. You'll be less likely to skip your run if you know people are waiting for you. If, you're like me, and have to mainly workout at home have someone text, or tweet, you to keep you accountable. 

6. Create A Mantra. Getting up early is tough some days but, on those rare occasions I shut off the alarm I regret it later. Having an early morning power phrase that will get your butt out of bed is crucial for those first few transition weeks and those mornings you may want to stay in your comfortable, warm bed. For me, they are:

"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."
"If you don't run now, you won't have time to run later and you always feel better after you run."
"If you run now, you can take London to the park (or another fun activity) after work tonight."
"Run a mile and see how you feel. If you want to stop, stop."  


What time of day do you usually work out?
Morning exercisers how do you motivate yourself to get out of bed early?
Anything I missed?

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