My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. this morning. Yeah…seemed like a good idea last night when I got in bed at 9:30 but I was definitely second guessing myself when it came down to it. But somehow it has become easier for me to get up when my alarm is set for the 5 a.m. hour than when I can “sleep in” until 7. Weird. I tried to laze around for a few minutes and contemplated going back to sleep but I was up.
Why so early? I had an easy run and ashtanga planned for today. My easy run was only a couple of miles and I really didn’t want to deal with the hassle of fitting it in and taking a second shower after work. So I thought, “oh I’ll just knock it out before ashtanga.” Eh, don’t know if that was the best idea. It was dark and lonely running at 5 a.m. and honestly, I didn’t feel very safe. I sped through it as fast as I could and then hopped in the shower to rinse off and get ready for yoga.
I’m sticking with the ashtanga and every practice is getting better and better but it is tough on my body. But not in the hot vinyasa “oh my god I’m going to pass out on my mat” kind of way but more “oh my god how is it possible for my body to move in this way and get into these poses?” Seriously, it is amazing to see the things that your body can do when you prepare it for the pose and have a little help. I must admit, my lower back is feeling really, really sore after this morning’s practice. Ashtanga involves an insane amount of backbending and I think I need to talk to my teachers about making sure I’m not compressing my low back in a lot of the poses.
And while we’re on the topic of early mornings…let’s talk about how to work out in the morning. First things first, it is not easy. I honestly wouldn’t say that I’m an early morning riser and I used to loathe morning workouts. I started working out in the mornings out of necessity. If I had after-work plans I would try to get my workout done in the morning. I would say that I was successful at this 50 percent of the time. Usually an early morning work out attempt would result in resetting the alarm and sleeping until 7, going to work and then being pissed that I missed my work out.
This has really changed in the last couple years. First, training for my first marathon was very motivating. I was scared to death not to get all of my training runs in so I was forced to do some of them in the morning. Second, when we moved to Charlotte I discovered yoga and fell in love with practicing in the mornings because it made me feel awesome for the rest of the day. And third, in January I committed to teaching a 6 a.m. BodyPump class every Monday so I really had no choice but to start the week off right with early morning exercise.
In bulleted, user-friendly format, here are my tips and tricks on how to work out in the morning:
- Make it a habit. It might not be easy the first, tenth or hundredth time but if you keep at it, you’ll get there. And eventually you’ll find yourself waking up early even on days you don’t have work out plans.
- Get your sleep in! It’s much, much easier to get up early to work out if you’ve gotten enough sleep the night before. Start pushing back your bed time until you find that you’re getting 7-8 hours in. (I need to follow my own advice on this one!)
- Make it something you enjoy. You are way more likely to get up for your alarm when you enjoy the activity you have planned. Whatever it is you love – do it in the morning!
- Commit to meeting a friend. Case in point, my ashtanga class last Thursday. There is absolutely no way that I’d have made it to class if I hadn’t committed to meeting Sarah. And in the end I was so happy that I went. Work out friends hold you accountable – even when you don’t want to be.
- Have everything ready the night before. Coffee maker set, breakfast assembled, workout clothes laid out, bag packed if you have to get ready at the gym. Trust me, these things make morning workouts so much simpler.
And that’s about all I have for you. Let me know if you have any other questions about how I make it work.
Ready for some photos? I know you are!
I had not been to the store and the fridge was bare. The best I could come up with was a slice tomato over a Doctor Kracker flatbread with cream cheese. I also had an apple as a midmorning snack and the new Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar for afternoon snack.
Brandon and I met at Y2 for a power mixed yoga class after work Monday. I was itching to get a practice in after taking the weekend off of yoga. I dont’ remember the last time I went three days without practicing! I loved, loved the class. The instructor, Jane, put together an awesome sequence and it was exactly what I needed.
We were debating homemade pizza or going out for pizza last night and going out won because we had a buy one get one free coupon for Brixx and it was their $1.95 draft night. We started out by spitting a Brixx salad.
I selected the Artichoke Pizza for my entree.
Artichokes, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto base and whole wheat crust. YUM. I ate about half of this.
As I mentioned above, I ran and went to ashtanga this morning and then had this fabulous breakfast at my desk.
Lunch was a repeat of last night’s dinner – two leftover slices. Later this afternoon I had an apple and maybe a small piece of office birthday cake. It all happened so fast…one minute I was in the kitchen and the next minute I was shoveling down cake! 😉
Since my workouts were done this morning I had the evening to relax. I went grocery shopping and cooked. It was lovely. Dinner tonight was a favorite.
Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers, roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.
So I don’t even know how I’m sitting upright right now. I’m so tired. Must sleep! I have a tough tempo run and a hot vinyasa class planned for tomorrow so I need to get my rest.
And I leave you with…
Are you a morning workout person? If so, what are your secrets? If not, would you like to be? What do you struggle with?