Early Morning Running

Enjoy a guest post this morning from http://redmountainsquatch.blogspot.com/ while I am still in Florida. I have so much to share with you when I get back! Stay tuned!

4:10AM….Snooze….4:20AM…..Snooze…..4:30AM

Twenty plus years ago I decided to become an early morning exerciser.    It’s not an easy decision to make but as my life got busier it became harder and harder to exercise in the evening.   So I took the leap one morning.  It was a difficult transition at first.  You are a little sleepy in the morning and by 10:00AM you are usually starving. But for me the rewards to this schedule far outweigh the hurdles (no pun intended) adopting this strategy.   There are many epiphanies I have experienced while working out during this time period.  First, I am not the only crazy person that does this.  There are many people out on the road during this hour.  I am not the only one at the gym.  It’s not the chaotic mess at 5:30PM.  It’s very laid back but be warned you still have to get there early for a bike in a spinning class most of the time these classes are full.

I start my day the night before.  I put together everything I will be wearing to work the next day.  I also pack my lunch.  I have it all packed and ready to go.  Why do I do this?  Because at 4:30AM I do not think clearly and inevitably I will leave something out.  There is nothing more frustrating than driving to the gym and realizing you left your pants at home.  I am usually in bed by 10:00 but sometimes I can stretch that to 10:30.  Anything after that and the likelihood of me getting up at 4:30AMdiminishes.  The first alarm goes off at 4:10.  I hit the snooze bar and go to sleep for another 10 minutes,  I do that one more time before the dreaded 4:30 time is upon me.  The hardest part is getting out of bed.  Once I make that “commitment” it’s a good sign I will make it to the gym.  I put my gym clothes on and grab a light breakfast.  I also get in a few minutes of the local news and weather.  Yes, the local news starts at 4:30AM on three of the local channels.  This lets me know what the weather’s going to be like for the day.  I have had a few mornings where I made the call of not working out due to the weather.  On April 27th 2011, watching the weather stopped me from going to work out.   That morning a tornado crossed one of the roads I take to the gym.

I head out around 5:00-5:10 and I am usually at the gym by 5:30.  I either take a class as part of my cross training regimen or run.  This time of year is great due to the long days.  By 5:30AM it is daylight enough to run outside.  I run through the neighborhoods around the gym. During the winter months I usually run on the gym’s indoor track.  It takes nine laps to make a mile.  Some people find this to be tedious but for me I prefer it over running on a treadmill.  In addition to using my Nike Sports Watch I bought a clicker counter at Office Depot that helps me keep track of how many laps I have ran.  I can’t mentally keep track of this on my own ESPECIALLY at 5:30AM in the morning.  I usually work out between 1-1/2 hours.  When I am through I shower at the gym and head directly to work.   I always have a morning snack when I get to work.  By this item it has been over three hours since I have eaten and I am hungry!

There are some drawbacks to this workout strategy.    Things that are not so great include the wintertime.  22 degrees, wind blowing and the darkness at 4:30 in the morning is not fun.  I mentioned this earlier but have to bring it up again.  Forgetting an article of clothing is frustrating.  The items I have forgotten the most are socks, t-shirts and underwear.  I keep a backup pair of socks and underwear in my gym bag.  I have been known to stop by Wal-Mart on the way to work if I have forgotten a belt.  Dress shirts, pants and shoes are a deal breaker.  I usually have to head back home if I forget one of these.  That throws the whole morning off.

These drawbacks do not outweigh the positives for me.  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I am through working out.  It makes the rest of the day more enjoyable.  I love the people that work out at this time in the morning.  They are all there to do one thing, exercise (a novel concept for the gym…right?).  It’s a close group of people that will usually give you a hard time if you miss a morning.   I love the calmness of the morning.  Whether I am running or just working out it seems less hectic.  Lastly, depending on the time of the year you get to experience amazing sun rises.

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QOTD: Are you a morning or evening runner?

Comments

  1. IM SOOOO AN EARLY MORNING’ER
    if only I could learn to love the run Id join you :-0

    • It’s a great way to start the morning. You don’t always have to run. I’ve been to several gyms over the years that have early morning classes. They are a lot of fun!

      Thanks for reading.

  2. I am a late afternoon runner, but I would really love to become an early morning runner. Only problem is I work 6:30 am – 3:30 am so late afternoon just works best for my current schedule!

  3. I am a morning riser for sure. First alarm goes off at 3:40 and I try to jump up as quickly as possible. If I think about the hour, or the lack of sleep, I may go back to bed. I also pre-set all of running clothes the night before. I try to get out the door and onto the sidewalk before 3:50. That way I am assured a good 4-5 miles in the morning. I LOVE running in the predawn and dawn. I like to have the outdoors all to myself and generally I am back home without even seeing a single car or person. Sometimes I see the paperboy, and I always wonder what he thinks – especially when I am trying out some new costume. I am certain he looks for my Sparkle skirt. When I get home I take some time to cool off, and then shower, dress, grab some food for the day and off to work. Even with a 30 minute commute, I still am at my desk between 6 and 6:30 most days. Bedtime – pretty much 10pm.

    • Wow, that is very impressive. I am even more impressed that your paperboy delivers your paper that early. Maybe it’s the sparkle skirt hmmmm I might have to give that a try.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. Heather says:

    This sounds exactly like my morning routine, except I’m about an hour or so behind you. I love that I have it done and over with. There is too much time to talk my self out of exercising after work, but in the morning I give my self a couple snoozes and there really isn’t time to talk myself out of it. And I do love the comradery of the other morning people there. Thanks for the post!

  5. I’m definitely a morning runner! I love starting my day out with a run. It makes me feel more energized the rest of the day!

  6. Totally a morning runner…If I had to become an evening/afternoon runner for some reason I would need a whole new list of tips and tricks for accomplishing that task because I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to do at the end of the day when I am lucky if I can still make dinner before crashing into bed! haha

    • I totally agree. This past week my schedule changed a little bit and a few days I worked out in the evening. The weather has been unseasonably cool so it was not that bad running outside. I still enjoy the morning but it was a nice temporary change.

      Thanks for reading.

  7. I soooo wish I was a morning person. I can usually workout during my daughters morning nap if I HAVE to, but I prefer evenings. Although I do agree it is much harder in the evenings. Luckily this summer my kids have been able to ride a long side me making it a bit easier.

    • Hey, if it works for you then that is what is most important. Evening workouts were my standard exercise routine but I found it harder and harder to consistently go. That’s why I tried the morning.

      Thanks for reading.

  8. I’m terrible at working out in the early mornings. I’m lucky that my current job allows me time to work out in the not-so-early mornings and still get to work on time. I do want to try some of your tips though, particularly setting the alarm super early then watching news and having a light breakfast.

  9. I’m a former early morning exerciser but when I shifted work, I didn’t have anymore time to do my daily routine. During weekends, I tried to wake up early but I didn’t have the same motivation to do my early workouts. It’s just frustrating. :-(

    • I understand your frustration. I get into exercise ruts also. There are times I would walk away from getting up early or not work out at all. Sometimes it only takes making that one step of running again or going back to the gym, or even doing something at home to get back into a daily exercise regimen.

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