I hit the snooze way too many times every morning. I like running and/or working out after work, rather than before. I don’t WANT to get up early and workout.
There is a wonderful Wednesday morning cycle class that I like to go to, and it’s at 5:45 in the morning. And my gym is adding a Monday 5:45am class next month. I have really enjoyed cycling these last 6 weeks, and even bought cycle shoes for class. I want to make at least the one morning class a normal thing, and for two weeks in a row, I have. But dang, it’s hard to get up in the 5’s.
I have a few tips that have worked for me when I have to get up early to workout (in the summer, I often get up and run before work to beat the heat). I also have some tips that I’m planning on trying in the future when I really don’t want to get up.
• Set your clothes/equipment out the night before. For my cycle class, I set out my clothes, jacket, cycle shoes, and water bottle the night before. When my alarm goes off, I don’t have to think about any of it, just put on what I have laid out, grab my shoes and water bottle, and head out. Same for running, I will set out my clothes, running shoes, running socks, visor, etc; it’s all ready to go so there’s no thinking involved.
• Get to bed a bit earlier. Going to bed a half hour to an hour earlier means getting up early is a bit easier. Easier said than done.
• Find a workout buddy. When I need to get up and run early before work, it’s much easier to get up and get going when I know someone is counting on me to be there. I feel bad having to text and cancel at the last minute, and knowing that I will have company definitely helps push back the covers. Same goes with a class. I see some of the same people every cycle class, and becoming a regular means they will wonder why I’m not there if I don’t show up.
• Make it a competition. At work, we have a fitbit challenge, and this week’s challenge is to get the most “Active Minutes.” Knowing I can get up and cycle before work means I’ll have a head start on my active minutes! If there is no work competition, make it a self-competition. Try using incentives like if you make it to the morning classes all month, you can treat yourself to a pedicure, or massage, or a new pair of shoes.
• Share your plans on social media! If I post on Facebook or Twitter that I’m going to cycle or run the next morning, I feel bad if I let my followers and friends down! Holding yourself and your friends, offline or online, accountable means you’re more apt to follow through!
• When the alarm goes off, make yourself get up at least to go to the bathroom. I have found that if I’m really sleepy and want to snooze or cancel my plans, I likely still have to go to the bathroom. If I make myself get up and go to the bathroom, I can usually talk myself into staying up.
• Try to at least start. If I need to run 4 miles, and all I want to go is sleep, I tell myself if I at least do 10 minutes, then I can quit and go home. 100% of the time, after 10 minutes, I’m awake enough to keep going. I’ve never quit a morning run – they might not always be easy runs, but just by telling myself I only HAVE to do part of the workout makes it easier to start, and then hard to quit.
• Have an easy, go to breakfast. I need a little something before I run, cycle, or workout first thing in the morning. I don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping a breakfast, because that means I’ll have to get up even earlier! Now for a race or a long training run, I will practice my race day meal plan, but for a shorter morning workout, I can grab a protein shake (I like the Gatorade Protein Shake) because it tastes pretty good, is quick, easy, and gives me enough energy to push through the cycle class or run. Of course after class I will have a more complete breakfast.
• Know that sometimes it won’t happen. I’m not going to beat myself up if 1 time out of 10, I don’t make it to the morning class or run. A terrible night’s sleep, or a stressful week, or a cold… there are so many reasons that could pop up. Not beating yourself up will make the next time easier. And you will be motivated to “make it up” next time. That being said, truly try to make it a habit. After 7-10 times, it will feel easier and become routine.
Those are some of the tips and tricks I use when I have to wake up early to workout. I truly plan on making my cycle class at least once a week a routine, and this summer, I will surely be running in the morning to beat the heat and humidity. Do you have any other tips to add?