Saturday morning I went out for a run before hitting the gym. As I don’t have another race until the Poland Spring Marathon Kick-off at the end of October and the weather was cool and the sky cloudy, I decided to just head out and decide along the way where to go and how long to run. Turns out, that’s a great way to run. (At least for me!) I ran through Battery Park, then up the esplanade through Battery Park City along the Hudson River, up the West Side Highway and back down. It was a great, comfortable run that ended up being about an hour long. I need to do more runs like this!
So, I like to run, and go to the gym, first thing in the morning. I’m a big fan of working out bright (or dark) and early for a few reasons, some of which are -
- I get it over and done with so I can move on with my day
- It gives me energy for the day (as long as I get enough sleep the night before)
- I don’t have to worry about fitting it in after work
- I much rather run when it’s cooler out in the morning than the heat of the day (more important during the summer, than now)
The truth is though, I haven’t always been good at waking up early to workout and some days I really just want to hit snooze and go back to sleep. It seems that this has been happening more lately, but I’m working on getting back into the groove which is part of the reason why I thought it’s a good time to write about making the commitment to wake up and workout. It seems that 9 times out of 10, when I tell someone that Woody and I wake up at 4:50am to get to the gym, they are astonished, think we’re crazy, and say they could never do it themselves. While I know there are night people and morning people, I do think that a lot of people who say they just can’t get up early, really could if they gave it a try. It’s not easy at first, but it is doable. It’s like working out in general – if you want to do it, you have to make it a priority and make some adjustments in your life to make it happen.
Here are some of my tips for making time to workout in the morning -
- Start gradually. Set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier every Monday until you’re setting it for the time you need to get up for a good workout. And get up at that time at least 3 (but 4 is better) days each week. For the first few weeks, just spend that extra time stretching and getting used to waking up a little earlier.
- Go to bed earlier. You still need the same amount, if not more, sleep. Sleep is so important to a healthy life and something we often overlook and give up to fit other things in. [This is what I’ve been having trouble with lately which has been hurting my early morning wake-ups]
- If you need to, set two alarms. Or put your alarm a few feet from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off.
- Put your gear out the night before so you don’t have to think about it, or spend the time on it, in the morning.
- Have a buddy. While I started my early morning routine on my own, I find that it’s really helpful that Woody’s on the same schedule. It’s definitely harder to get out of bed when he’s still sound asleep. It just looks so good.
- Don’t think about it, just do it. I find that if I hesitate when my alarm goes off, I’ll want to go back to sleep. But if I just turn off the alarm and get up right away, I’ll get to it. Remind yourself of why you need to get up. Do you have a race coming up that you’re training for? Are you meeting a friend or trainer? Are you hoping to lose a few pounds? Are you trying to lower your blood pressure? Think of your goal, not the pillow!
- If you really want to work out the next day, don’t drink (or limit drinks) at night. It’s so much harder to wake up after a night which includes a few cocktails or glasses of wine.
So, there you have it. On the weekend, we get up a little after 7 because our gym opens at 8am. We find this time works well whether we go to the gym or out for a run, just so we get up and going and don’t waste the weekend.
Obviously it really helps that we live close to our gym, that we have another gym in our building we can use in a pinch and there are plenty of safe places to run. But even if you don’t have all this close to you, there are great websites that offer workouts for streaming and you don’t need much to start a routine in your home. Just a little space (which is what we’re short on here)!
See how pretty this is? Don’t you want to see the sunrise?
- When do you workout?
- Did I miss any good tips?
I’m sure I did.
- What goal are you working towards right now?
Getting through the year without any injuries! (knock on wood!)
- What are you looking forward to this week?
Going to Portland, ME on Saturday for a long weekend!
Today’s workout -
- 40min elliptical
- 3x10 weighted side bends
- 3x10 pully side twists
- 3x10 row
- 3x10 back extensions
- ab exercises