If Forest Gump can run for over three years, you can get your ass on a 30 minutes run this morning. – Unknown (Pinterest)
To wake up early and run right out the bed can be a tough challenge. Hitting the snooze button of the alarm, tightly packed in the warm duvet sounds much more attractive than getting out of bed before sunrise. So imagine the idea of waking up AND go running.
I did not become an early bird overnight.
I had to take baby steps, train the body and the mind.
Like every good, new habit, you’ll need to learn it in order to create a new routine.
#1 – Define the Why
As in different aspect of life, I think you need to define why you want to wake up early. You are not going to rise and shine if you have no purpose behind it.
Luckily, you want to set up the alarm earlier every day because you decided to become a morning runner. Defining a goal is more than “Ok tomorrow I wake up early and run my 10K.”
You also need to define the essence, the advantages you will get out of this decision.
#2 – Waking up early starts the night before
Two things I want to tell you here.
If you want to wake up early, you need to go to bed…earlier. As you train your body to wake up, you will have to train going to bed at a different time than before.
I have no problem to admit, that I start being tired around 10 pm simply because my body is used to it.
Create a bedtime routine! In the good days, I turn my phone off at 9 pm, prepare a golden milk and read until 10.30 pm.
The second important thing is to plan your morning the day or night before.
If you want to run, place your gears out the closet!
If you like having a coffee before working out, have the coffee maker ready so you only have to hit the power button.
See what I mean?
#3 – Do. Never. Hit. That. Snooze. Button. Ever.
This one is as clear as water.
Let’s be honest. We always feel more tired after hitting that snooze button than we were before. It’s clearly a waste of your time. Also, the probability that you won’t hear the alarm in the next minutes growth every time you hit that button.
Just remember your goal: you want to go for your morning run so badly because you have this dinner in the evening…
One rule: just get up!
#4 – The Golden “5”
5, 10, 15 minutes. If you wake up before your alarm, just get up!
You might have heard about it, but our body has 90-minutes sleep cycles. Usually, if you wake up naturally – except because you have a bathroom emergency – it’s because you are at the end of your cycle. Going back to bed because it is “only five more minutes”, could send you right back into your deeper stage of sleep, making you feel grumpy and groggy when the alarm goes off.
#5 – It is a step by step process
It won’t be a surprise if I tell you, that waking up earlier than before does not happen overnight. You will have to train your body (and your mind). You are not going to wake up at 5 am if your day used to start at 11 am.
Don’t worry! There is a solution for everything.
Try to not set you up for failure by following this simple rule.
Start to wake up (and going to bed) 15 to 20 minutes earlier every day… until you reach your wake-up time goal. It should eliminate any source of frustration and a brutal sign of (over)fatigue during the day.
#6 – Create a morning routine
I wake up early every day. But I personally don’t run each time.
I try to workout six days a week, but some of them are planned in the evening. For example, starting from next month, I will start yoga classes, and it takes place three times a week on evenings.
Since it’s important to me to keep rising early, I decided to create a morning routine.
Waking up early just to do so is setting yourself up to failure.
When I am not running, I will still wake up early, drink a big glass of water, prepare breakfast and start working on my to-do-list for the blog.
Find your morning routine. It can be meditation, writing, listening to a podcast, reading the newspapers, having quality time with your partner or family.
If I can give you one advice here: Do something for you. Something that will pump you up and make you feel happy for the rest of the day.
#7 – Stick to it & wake up early every day
Yes. Every. Single. Day.
I understand that you like to have long nights and mornings on weekends. Party long, or staying up longer, getting out of bed at brunch time…
But if you are like me, your long runs are planned on Saturdays and/or Sundays.
And if like me, one of the reasons you wake up early to fulfill your training, is because you want to maintain a work-social-running balance, then you might consider waking up early on weekends too.
It doesn’t need to be at 5 or 6 am like during the week.
My tip: try to wake up two hours after your regular time at the latest. Between us, since I wake up early every day, I wake up without an alarm on weekends, one or two hours after my usual time.
See it that way: you have plenty of time to do plenty of things.
And if you are still balancing the pros and cons of an early rise, think that almost every successful person wake up early and have a morning routine.
Yes, even the one who have a family!
Picture: Bethan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)