This year of my own accord I somewhat admirably got into the habit (a bit) of getting up crazy early to run and it’s kind of stuck (at least sometimes). Now you don’t know me but if you did that last sentence would straight up blow your freakin’ mind. This past spring I had to take a hard look and decide was I going to run a half marathon at Bluenose or not? I decided that I was and though I’m not as busy as some that meant if I was going to get it done a good portion of it was going to have to be in the early morning. I am not a morning person, let me tell you, but I was still able to get it done. Sometimes I even still wake up really friggin’ early and head out the door for a run if I really need one and the day is otherwise too full or the weather too bad. With new years resolutions just around the corner I thought I might help ya’ll out and tell you how I did it.
Get a buddy
This isn’t an option for everyone but you might be surprised by some of your options. When I was doing my undergrad my friend and I speed walked ever weekday for the last two years. I rarely if ever slept in because she was counting on me. Same as training with my mom and stepdad this spring. If you don’t have a running buddy and you think you might like one post online on facebook or somewhere else, you’d be surprised at the number of responses you’ll get. Plus that’s a great way to make a new friend!
Set up the night before
Do as much as possible the night before. Some on my hit list are filling the coffee maker, cut my knee tape, decide on an outfit and filling water bottles. You could pack your gym bag and put it in the car, pack your lunch, shower or prep a nice breakfast. Pro tip check the hourly weather forecast before you go to bed, put that into your online running outfit picker and set out that outfit for the morning. The more you do now the more likely you’ll slay it in the morning.
Let others know your plan
Complain if you have to the night before to anyone that will listen that you have a very early run in the morning. Then when the alarm goes off you’ll remember that you told your loved ones just how motivated and dedicated you are the night before and realize if you skip that and sleep in they might doubt your dedication. This may help you get up.
Get a stupid crazy alarm clock
I can’t remember how I came to know about clocky the alarm clock on wheels but I bought one for myself and my sister from the museum of modern art years ago. It’s well made and my early morning wake-up call that just can’t be ignored. It’s super loud and if you hit snooze the second time it goes off, it takes off and runs random patterns around your room. Seriously it just drives right off the night stand! That’s umm motivating to get you out of the bed. Even though I can sleep through two alarms on my phone for upwards of two hours and trust me I do, this one motivates me right up the first time. If not you start your day cursing while you dig under your bed for this beeping thing that’s literally running away from you. Save yourself the trouble and just get up the first time.
Set up a fitness closet outside the master
Do you want to be like a Kardashian, specifically Khloe while then you need a fitness closet! Seriously though sometimes any excuse to skip a morning workout will do such as “I have nothing to wear!” If you forget to grab your clothes and put them in the bathroom or the weather has changed your perfect outfit might be mere inches from your sleeping spouse. Set up a fitness dresser or closet in a spare room and keep all your workout clothes there. That way you can always have the perfect outfit and the perfect place to pick it out very early in the morning. #noexcuses!
Decided what you’ll wear
Some of getting up and working out early is preparing but another part is picturing yourself doing it. Decide what you’ll wear here’s a handy tool if you’ll be outside, what you’ll eat, what time you’ll be out the door, what eyeshadow look you’ll do and what time you absolutely have to be home/leaving by. Picturing all of those things helps you actually picture yourself working out in the morning.
Take the time to caffeinate etc.
I like the idea of sleeping in my running clothes and then springing up and directly out the door within 5 minutes like I used to do for 8:30 classes back in the day. This option does lead to more sleep but now I’m old and complicated. I have a caffeine dependency, a makeup addiction and a daily one time opportunity to get my business done, plus I have to tape my knee. As much as up and out the door appeals to me the reality is it’ll take me about half an hour to tape, caffeinated and do my bathroom stuff. I’ve worked on streamlining the process and this is the best I can do. Takeaway message be realistic about what time you set the alarm for so you don’t end up bailing because “there isn’t enough time to workout now.”
Schedule it and the rest of the day (at least in your mind)
One thing that helps me is to think about my next day the day before. I’ll think about what we have to do at work, or at least should do, what time we’ll be home, do I have to tutor or write that night? What am I making for supper? What chores should I do? What is the hour by hour 24 hour weather forecast? Then I’ll think about my training plan and that 8k run (ps I almost never actually do the chores #optional). It’s basically a process that gets me to accept my fate and make me realize that the only way I’ll get my run is at 6 am. Sometimes it’s motivating to feel trapped.
Pay for it if you have to that works really well too if you still can’t make the morning workout thing stick. Hire a personal trainer, take a class or do a bootcamp if you’re paying for it you’re WAY more likely to get up and out the door.
Accept your day might not have an ideal start
I’m a bit of a coffee snot and everyone knows that your makeup will look best for the day if you don’t run in it first thing. Plus sunrises disgust me, sunsets are my jam. When I get up for an early run I sometimes see the sunrise (gross), drink instant office coffee and depending on the time of the sunrise put my makeup for the day on before I go running. If the sunrise is a bit later in the day we have to get to work ASAP after I get home from my run and so the day’s makeup has to go on before. In case you missed that I almost never shower after yuck, I know but I’m alright with it. You might just have to accept that on days you get up early to workout your day isn’t going to be off to the best start. That’s okay just accept it and move on with your life.
Visualize yourself waking up early energized and excited
I read this on another running blog (I’ve looked I can’t remember which one) when I was accepting morning runs were going to have to be part of my life this past spring. It said something like “as you drift off imagine yourself getting up early, full of energy and excited to get up and go running.” I immediately thought bullshit! But I also thought that takes literally no work and can’t hurt so I’ll give it a try it’s definitely not going to work though. Turns out it was like foam rolling and epsom salt baths it’s totally a thing. Imagining yourself getting up ready to workout is a thing and it does work, try it!
What are your favorite early morning running tips and tricks because even though I do it I could still use a few more. Like at least 12 more. If you told me by the end of 2018 I’d be choosing to do early morning runs I would have laughed in your face but it turns out even for me IT IS possible. Will your 2019 fitness plans have you getting up early?