I love a good morning workout – there’s something really satisfying about getting down to the beach for a run or class before the rat race to work commences – really sets me up for the day. I used to be really good at dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn for regular early sessions – I say ‘used to’ as I’ve got a bit crap with it lately and have been doing more evening classes instead.
The problem with early sessions is it requires a lot of organisation. If you’re lucky enough to have a shower at work like I am, then you can do your AM workout en route, and have breakfast/get showered and changed there before plonking yourself down at your desk for the day.
On good days, my bags are packed the night before, lunch made, sometimes even dinner is prepared so when my alarm goes off, before my brain has time to realise what’s going on I’m up, dressed and out the door, 17million bags in tow on the handlebars of my bike.
On bad days it’s like a scene out of a Benny Hill film, me running around the flat with 100 half-finished things on the go at once, leaving just five minutes to do the 15 minute journey to the beach as I’ve spent so long faffing about.
So, bearing this in mind, and as a little reminder for myself to get back on it, here’s my top five tips for early bird exercisers.
Be an early bird…
1) Get up!
Goes without saying really, of course the getting up part is a fundamental point here – but it’s easier said than done. So many times I hit the snooze button in the morning, and the more I do it the harder it is to get up. If I wasn’t so addicted to my iPhone I’d put it over the other side of the room to make myself get out of bed to turn the alarm off.
Unfortunately I am addicted to it, and have severe separation issues if apart from it for more than five minutes, so I’m gonna buy myself an alarm clock and put that on the other side of the room instead. If you’re not as technology-dependant as I am, feel free to do this with your phone!
2) Pack a bag the night before
It’s no fun routing around your drawers at 6am for kit or work clothes – get it sorted the night before to minimise faffing. As I shower at work I normally get my kit out ready to put straight on, and pack my bag with my work clothes, make up and shower stuff etc. – so in theory all I have to do is get dressed and pick up my bag. In theory…
3) Prepare lunch the night before
All pretty self explanatory this stuff, isn’t it? But like all good advice, it’s easier said than done so I’ll carry on anyway… The last thing you wanna be doing at the crack of dawn is making your lunch – get your lunch made the night before so you only have to grab it out of the fridge when you leave.
Sunday afternoons are my favourite time to plan the week’s food and exercise – me and the boy are pretty good at overdoing the Sunday roast so there’s enough meat for a couple of days lunches – combine that with a batch of roasted vegetables and job done!
4) Plan your workouts
Make it easy for yourself – there’s little point sorting out all the above if you get to the park/beach/gym and don’t know what you’re going to do. If you’re stuck for inspiration get over to Tribesports and take a look at some of the challenges. There’s loads of circuits and workouts to choose from and some are really hard work. You can share your experiences and training with others too, and join group discussions and Tribes for specific sports or disciplines.
Here’s the challenge I did on Friday morning, I managed 6.1 rounds (the .1 being a pitiful burpee-beginning of round 7)… Join Tribesports and take the AMRAP challenge yourself – how many rounds can you do?
I topped this off with some beach running – the tide was out and the beach clear apart from early morning swimmers and joggers, a perfect morning for some pebble sprints. Another reason why I love Brighton so much – if this was on your doorstep would you go to the gym?!
5) Join a club/train with a friend
Joining a club is a great way to motivate yourself and make new friends, and also makes sure you get good, structured training. The thing about booking onto the early group sessions is that if you don’t turn up you’re not only letting yourself down, but also the group – it’s much harder to skip a booked bootcamp session with others than it is to hit snooze and bail on the early morning solo run.
Apart from anything else, group training is much more fun, and I don’t know about you but I definitely work harder when in a group. It’s not so easy to slack when someone’s shouting at you! Any Brighton people looking to join a fun club, head over to bfit and come and play!
So… see you bright and early?