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{Early Mornings} My Morning Routine

Posted Oct 11 2012 8:38am

In the past few weeks I’ve received a few questions about how in the world I manage to get my booty out of bed at 5 AM every morning to work out. Well obviously I’m no expert on early morning rising but I figured I’d let you guys know what works for me just in case it might help anyone who is looking to move a PM workout to the AM. To any of you who actually like evening workouts feel free to glaze over this post while thinking about how crazy I am for forfeiting almost 2 hours of sleep every morning.

See, I’m not always thrilled to wake up at 5 am

First, I’ve found that it’s easiest for me to keep the same morning routine regardless of the length of morning workout scheduled. This means that I wake up at 5 am if I’m running 10+ miles before work and I wake up at 5 am if I’m cross-training or going on a shorter recovery run. I know I lose out on sleep this way but I think the consistency of always doing the same thing really helps with routine and mindlessly making my way through the morning. Basically, I turn into a robot and don’t have to think.

Second, I always have an idea of at least two things that I might want to have for breakfast (or I suppose if I was going to pack a breakfast I’d make sure to pack it the night before). When I’m done with my workout and shower, I decide between the two options and make whatever I’ve picked. If I didn’t think about things beforehand, I’d most likely mindlessly stare into the fridge/cupboards and not know what to make.

Third, I always prep things ahead of time. I’m finding it’s so much easier if I can cook a big pot of chili, soup, or grain dish on Sunday night and then eat it during the week for lunches. I also know that I like to have some sort of fruit with my lunches so I buy things that are easy to transport like apples and grapes and I can easily through a serving into my lunch bag. I also try to go to bed early on weeknights. I’m usually okay if I can get into bed and be asleep by 10:30 but everyone is different and I know of people going to sleep at 9 in order to be up at 5.

So this is what a typical morning looks like for me:

{5:00 – 5:05 am} Alarm goes off. I grab my phone and hop back in bed for 2-5 minutes. I try not to fall asleep while waiting for the app to load. Once I see what the weather is like, I plan my running outfit accordingly.

{5:05 – 5:15 am} Put in contact lenses, go to the bathroom, get dressed, and put on shoes all while trying not to wake up Ian or step on Sonic in the dark. This part is really fun.

{5:15 – 5:25 am} Grab key card and apartment key, put on Garmin and headphones, and eat snack/drink water if the run is 6+ miles or if I’m feeling hungry. Leave apartment by 5:25.

{5:25 - 5:30 am} Get outside and wait for Garmin signal to load, try to be running by 5:30 am.

{5:30 – 6:55 am} Run [this is how long it would take me to run 10 miles including starting and stopping at crosswalks in the city]. If my run doesn’t take this entire time I’ll spend the extra checking e-mails, playing with Sonic, and making breakfast.

{6:55 – 7:00 am} Enter apartment building and check mail if I forgot to do it the night before. Get to apartment, take off shoes, Garmin, and iPod. Drink water. Make coffee if necessary (and by necessary I mean I don’t have iced coffee left over from the day before not that I don’t need it).

{7:00 – 7:10 am} Shower and change.

{7:10 – 7:45 am} Make and eat breakfast. Write/edit blog post and “publish”. Check various e-mail accounts and read the news. If time allows read a few blogs.

{7:45 – 8:00 am} Pack lunch. This is extremely easy if I have leftovers in the fridge. Pour coffee into tumbler and pack bags for work. Fill Sonic’s food and water bowls and scoop litter if necessary.

{8:00 – 8:15 am} Blow-dry hair, brush teeth, do make-up (if wearing some that day), give Sonic a treat, and walk out the door.

{9:00 am} Arrive at work. Chug coffee.

I want to be sure to say that waking up early didn’t happen overnight. It was definitely a gradual process with “early” changing from 7 am to 6 am and then only this past summer to 5 am. I think some of the reason I made a gradual change had to do with being in school and being tired from staying up late studying but I also don’t think I had a good morning routine nailed down until a few months ago. Life has become so much easier since then!

Also, my routine could still be streamlined in order to get more sleep. I could eat breakfast at work (I don’t want to). I could also do some of the Sonic stuff at night (again I don’t want to). This schedule works for me because I like to have very little responsibility at night. Personally, I’d much rather do a few more things in the AM and enjoy free nights.

AM or PM workouts?
Do you have a morning routine?

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