There were times when I was in high school where I was definitely NOT a morning person. I slept in (you know, like later than 7) on the weekends and hated early mornings but now I can’t imagine not setting my alarm for before 6am. It took working out and my love of early morning endorphins to convince me to become a morning runner. I have had a few questions about being a morning person so I thought I would share some reasons why I love being a morning runner and tips for how I became one!
I really do LOVE early morning workouts. There have been times that my feet were pounding the pavement before 5am and although I do admit that is slightly crazy, it is not uncommon for you to find me waiting for the gym doors to open at 5:30am. Exercise wires me and gives me so much energy and the days I don’t exercise in the morning – I can tell, and most likely those around me can tell!
WHY to exercise in the morning:
1. You get to see some wicked sunrises. These winter mornings mean my workout is usually done and I am showered before the sunrises but during the rest of the year I get to see the sunrise almost every single day and it is incredible. There is such peace that comes with the colourful sky and it really starts your day on the right note.
2. It energizes your day. More than coffee, more than lemon water (my dad’s new addiction in the morning), exercise gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing and there is absolutely no replacement for that! When you have sweat dripping from your eyeballs and you know you just killed a workout – before 7am – it is the best feeling.
3. If you leave it until the end of the day, your motivation has decreased by exactly 83% (*not an exact percentage). There is so much time throughout the day to come up with a million excuses why you should just skip the gym or not lace up your shoes for a run but if you exercise in the morning you have no time to create excuses in your head!
4. A warm, delicious breakfast tastes 100X better after an amazing sweat sesh. Proven fact.
5. Also, a hot cup of hard-earned coffee tastes delicious after a workout. Coffee is also water so you are technically rehydrating at the same time as getting an extra caffeine buzz on for your day. Note: If you put your coffee in an inspiring mug, you are more likely to kill your workout the next morning, thanks Shawn for my adorable mug!
6. You can brag to people about all that you have accomplished that morning before you arrived at the office. Getting to work at 8am is a rough start? Try a tempo run at 5:30! Try an hour spin class before the sun has even considered rising for the day!
“Oh, you picked up donuts at Tims? Well I ran 5 miles and set a new bench press record.” (<- Maybe don’t say it like that, but you know what I mean 😉 )
HOW to exercise in the morning:
1. Prepare the night before. If you have your workout clothes laid out, your Garmin charged, your iPod by the door, and your shoes untied and ready to go – it is a whole lot easier to get out of bed and get going. Scrambling around in the morning is highly unmotivating, and if you live with other people, ridiculously annoying (just ask my mom!).
2. Get a good night’s sleep. Do all of those things you hear about but can never seem to try – turn off all electronics at least half an hour before you go to sleep, read a book, don’t take your phone to bed with you or if you do turn it on silent, turn on some relaxing music, and crawl under the covers at a reasonable hour – it works! 7-9 hours is prime.
3. Make plans with someone at the ridiculous hour you plan to be exercising. Having someone else hold you accountable will make it a little easier to crawl out of bed. You wouldn’t just be letting yourself down if you hit snooze, you would be letting your friend/husband/brother/cousin down too!
4. Play it safe if it’s dark. Just because it’s dark in the morning doesn’t mean you can’t run or exercise at all. Wear the proper reflective clothing (which you have set out the night before of course), take the workout to the gym and incorporate some strength training into your routine, or stay home and do a Jillian Michael’s video in your basement. No excuses.
5. It will become habit. I promise. If you wake up early (and go to bed early) consistently, it WILL become a habit and that is exactly what happened to me!
I spent yesterday morning completing a 5.52 mile run and 60 minutes spin session before 7:30am at the gym. I have met so many awesome “regulars” at the gym at 5:30 and it is like a little community. You WILL be called out if you miss a day or come in late and when you show up in -30 with all of the other crazies you will be rewarded with lots of smiles and nods of kudos. It was still dark when I left the gym yesterday and I came home and enjoyed the most delicious and rewarding cup of coffee in my life.
Everyone has a different schedule and a different life so by no means am I suggesting everyone needs to become a morning runner! I know personally, I lose 97% of my workout motivation by the end of a school or work day and the chances I will get to the gym and complete a workout after 10am are very slim. By exercising in the morning I am starting my day off with some heart pumping endorphins and a big smile when I leave the gym. It has become a habit and I don’t think I will ever actively change that 🙂
Are you a morning runner? What time are you usually lacing up?
Any other suggestions for transition tips?