Early Mornings Beckon Again
Breaking in to running again means breaking in to something else I thought I had left behind: early mornings. With the sun shining and a fresh day ahead of you, now is the best time to start an early morning routine. After all, you’re not battling with the dark and cold any more. It’s only going to get lighter and warmer from here on. You’ve got this weather until at least September, so make the most of it. Here are some tried-and-tested tricks that help me get out of bed first thing:
Nothing puts me off more than stumbling around half awake trying to find my gym clothes or running shoes. Instead, I put everything out the night before. That means packing my gym bag, prepping my lunch and filling my water bottle, laying out my gear ready to climb straight in to it. Another trick? I put it right next to my bed. That means when I wake up, it’s the first thing I see. I then feel so guilty about not getting up, that I have to do it.
Set a bedtime
The iPhone has this great Bedtime section in its clock app – you can set your wake-up time and how much sleep you want to get (I must have a minimum of 8 hours to be this great) and it will not only tell you what time you should be in bed by, but it will also remind you. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – so that means the earlier you get up, the earlier you should go to bed. Don’t use a late night as an excuse, because you’ll subconsciously just end up spending your evenings faffing to get out of the next morning. If you’re not sure you can cope with it all in one go, try doing it gradually. Move your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day – by the end of the week, you’ll be an hour earlier than you were before! If you’re really struggling, move your alarm across the room so you have to get up to switch it off.
Drink water before bed and first thing when you get up. A cold glass of water is a sure-fire way of waking me up, and it helps kickstart your body in to activity. I find it quite hard to drink water before bed, but do keep a glass next to me so that it’s the first thing I do when I wake up. Make sure your water bottle is full for your workout too, so you’re not wasting time with that.
Tell at least 3 people
This is a rule for anything. If you want to be held accountable, tell at least three people. Psychologists have shown that 3 is the magic number to make things “real”. If you tell enough people you’re doing it, you subconsciously know that it now must happen. Tell people that you know will ask you about it, for that extra bit of motivation.
Have an early morning buddy
Find someone who gets up early too. Arrange to go to the gym together, or run together, or even travel to work at the same time. Having someone waiting for you is the greatest motivation you will ever need. In fact, this is just about the only thing that really, finally, means I ignore my snooze button. Everything else? I’ve been guilty of avoiding it and lying in. But I have never let anyone down if they’re waiting for me at the gym.
And like I said before – a smug early morning workout leaves plenty of time for a picnic in the park in the evening.