For some runner’s and gym enthusiast’s a 5.30am start is a normal time for a good run or tough strength and conditioning workout in the gym.
While some love this early start in the morning, other’s hate it or don’t have time, and wait until the evening when they feel more awake and energised. Starting the day with a run or exercise can result in many positives, including; boosting your fitness, burning body fat, and many psychological benefits that will positively impact the rest of your day.
One runner shares their approach to running early in the morning.
What gets me up everyday at 5.30am?
For me nothing quiet beats the peacefulness and tranquility of running at this time of the day. The roads are clear, the air is cleaner, and it is just me with my thoughts. If you are lucky enough to have a running route close to a river, try it in the AM, the sounds of the river and wildlife at this time of the day are something else.
Even going to the gym at this time of the morning brings its own peacefulness. It is definitely a lot quieter for one, and you get to avoid the 8am-9am rush before work. Going to the gym at 6am gives me the time and space to focus on my drills / workouts, without feeling rushed to vacate a space on the mat or bench.
In a way, I suppose I am lucky that getting up early and feeling alert enough to get on with my tasks now comes naturally to me. This wasn’t always the case though, it does take self discipline and some getting used to initially, especially in the first few weeks, but if you keep it up, I promise it will soon become second nature. As an added benefit you will have a achieved something before 9am, leaving you more focused and productive for the rest of the day.
Below are some tips I have found that will help you start training in the morning.
1. Picture waking up early, running — and enjoying it. So for just a few minutes before bed, think about waking up to your alarm and feeling energised. Then, imagine getting ready and having a great run. If you can do that regularly, it’ll only help you see yourself as someone who likes running in the morning. And then you can make it a reality!
2. Ensure your morning routine is simple. Running in the morning has to be as painless as possible, and you want it to be as easy as possible to get out the door. So have your running kit ready to go the night before, in the morning brush your teeth, get a quick bite, lace up your running shoes and get going. Do nothing but the bare minimum. Ideally, it should only take you 5 to 10 minutes to get ready.
3. Do what’s necessary to wake up. Set your alarm across the room so you have to get up and out of bed to turn it off. Then, once you’re up, flip on the lights. And, of course, be sure to warm up before working out in the morning.
4. Have a few bites to eat and water. Eating too much before a run isn’t great, but you will feel better if you eat something. Try a banana or a slice of toast with peanut butter, and then drink a cup or two of cold water. This will get your metabolism going, and give your body fuel for running in the morning.
5. Make it a non-negotiable. While we all like to hit the snooze button, you need to be strict with yourself and avoid it at all costs. Getting up and out of bed is the hardest part of running in the morning, so hitting the snooze button and procrastinating doesn’t do anything but make it more likely that you’ll go back to bed.
6. Ease into running in the morning. If you’re not used to running in the morning getting up a couple of hours earlier than you’re used to is not going to be easy. Try gradually waking up earlier and earlier, and don’t be afraid to get up for early morning runs every other day, just so that you have some sleep recovery time in the beginning.