It’s 5 a.m. and your alarm goes off a whole hour earlier than usual. If you’re anything like me, that hour feels like a lifetime of a difference. That hour has the power to make or break your workout goals for the day – yet often we find ourselves choosing the snooze button (and guilt!) over just getting it done!
Here are some of the tips and tricks that I use to help me get moving in the early hours of the day.
Get your 8 hours.
This may seem obvious, but the process of getting that morning workout in doesn’t start as soon as your alarm goes off. It starts the night before. If you’re not getting a proper night’s sleep, getting out of bed earlier is going to seem even harder – and isn’t recommended, since you’re depriving yourself of that much needed rest. Get to bed early to wake up early.
Sleep in your workout gear.
This is probably the most useful tip I heard when I was transitioning to morning workouts. It’s also the one that I frequently ignored as well. No matter how motivated you are at night to wake up the next morning and get that sunrise run in, once the morning comes, that motivation is hard to come by. Be proactive. Eliminate the extra steps (or excuses) that stand between your bed and your run. If you’re dressed before even getting out of your bed, you’re one step closer to that run.
Prepare your breakfast the night before.
This could mean that you pre-program your coffee-maker to start before you get up. (Or just get the water and grounds set in the maker the night before.) Choose a light breakfast; something that won’t sit heavy in your stomach during your run. If you’re only planning a few miles, you can opt to do a fasted run – a morning workout done on an empty stomach.
Before long runs (90+ minutes), I usually opt for some oatmeal. For shorter workouts, a banana and peanut butter or a gel both work fine.
Drink water immediately.
Not only is a hydrated body key for your workout, but water can also wake you up! If you go straight from your bed to the kitchen and drink a glass of water, you’ll start to feel the energizing effects – further assisting your objective to get out the door. Many people like to keep glasses of water by their bed. While this is a great idea to stay hydrated during the night, heading to the kitchen for a fresh glass provides more encouragement to get up and away from your bed in the morning.
Just try it once.
Often, we get overwhelmed thinking about how many things we have on our plate. When trying to switch over to a morning workout routine, it can seem daunting knowing that the next few days are going to consist of early mornings. Try to turn off that kind of thinking and focus only on the day ahead. It’s so much more manageable and less disheartening to tell yourself to try it just once. Try it just for tomorrow. You may enjoy it and keep up the momentum.
Find a partner.
Running with a buddy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and many don’t have one that they can turn to. However, if you have friends who run, try to organize that morning run with your friend. Being accountable – not only for your workout, but also for your friend’s – will help give you that extra push out the door.
Incentivize your runs.
If all else fails, promise yourself a reward for getting up and getting out. Promise yourself a new active top if you get your early morning workout in every day for a week. Take yourself out to (a healthy!) dinner with the newfound extra time in the evenings! Sometimes it’s that extra bit of motivation that will encourage you to stick with it. Pretty soon, early morning workouts will become habit and you won’t need to use the reward system. What are some of your methods for getting up and being active in the morning?
Kelsey is a graphic designer, blogger, and runner from New England. She's a lover of adventure, food and mornings. In addition to running her blog Spice & Dice, Kelsey's latest ventures are designing a cookbook and training for a marathon.
Main Photo Credit: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: AnastasiaKopa/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Antonio Guillem/shutterstock.com