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A New (Early) Routine

June 15, 2011
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Well, I did it again today! I dragged my sorry, exhausted butt out of bed at 5:10 in order to fit in some exercise. I had absolutely no intention of putting up with Jillian Michaels this morning (we had a date yesterday afternoon, and she’s a bit much for me to handle before the sun rises), so instead, I finally tried Gina’s Summer Shape Up workout (#2). I love Gina’s Shape Up workouts: they’re clear, effective, and are such easy ways for me to switch up my routine.

(My post-it interpretation of the circuit).

There’s something about exercising first thing in the morning that wears me out so much faster than when I work out in the afternoon. Halfway through this weight routine, I started to feel muscle fatigue (which I took as a good sign! It was working!). I only did the circuit once with the intention of doing it again when I got home from class tonight.

When it came to the cardio portion of the morning, I didn’t want to spend 20 minutes doing jumping jacks and mountain climbers in my living room (as I said, I had a date with Jillian yesterday, and we did PLENTY of those). At this point, the sun had started to rise and it was light enough to go outside and get some fresh air. I headed out and did an easy 20 minute walk/jog around my neighborhood, and it felt fantastic.

(source)

(Let’s pretend this is where I do my morning walks, mmmkay?)

It was nice and cool this morning, and everything was so quiet and peaceful. By the time I got home, I felt a lot more awake than I expected!

Here’s what I’ve decided about early morning exercise (after doing it for a whopping TWO DAYS):

1. It’s not that bad. As long as I convince myself the night before that I’m actually going to DO it, getting up in the morning seems a lot easier. That’s not to say that I’m itching to jump out of bed and get my sweat on at 5 am (I very seriously considered hitting the snooze button this morning and rolling over for another 45 minutes), but it’s not the most difficult thing I’ve done either.

2. I don’t get as good of a workout (in terms of intensity) this early in the morning than I do during my “regular” workouts (meaning later morning on the weekends or afternoons during the week). I usually need some time to wake up and snap out of it before I can start getting my heart rate up. However, I’m living by the philosophy that “anything is better than nothing.” It’s ok if I’m not getting in high intensity workouts EVERY SINGLE DAY. In fact, it’s probably better for me this way!

3. I love the feeling of accomplishment that early morning workouts are bringing me. I felt this way during the earliest stages of my half marathon training, too. My friend Kristine (my training partner for the race) and I would get in a 6-7 mile run AND breakfast before 9am on a Saturday during our training for the Baltimore Half. Not only do these types of early workouts make me feel like I’ve gotten a lot accomplished, but I also feel as though I have the rest of the day wide open, with no workout hanging over my head.

4. The odds of me sticking to this routine in the dead of winter are slim. Very, very slim. I don’t mind waking up and moving as the sun is coming up, but in the middle of February (when the sun isn’t rising until after homeroom!), I might find it hard to workout during what feels like the middle of the night. I know that’s months away, but it is something I’m already considering!

Anyone else on the early morning work-out train?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2011 3:53 pm

    I used to be an early work-out kinda gal. I LOVED it. Like you mention in bullet #3, it would make me feel so much more productive having completed an entire workout before even starting the day. Extra bonus: I’d have tons of energy to get me through the day. Alas, I’m on the mid-day workout schedule right now (mostly because of my strength training that currently happens at my school’s gym). I have evening an evening class right now, and it didn’t make sense to make two trips out to campus during a single day. I can’t wait for my next session, class will be at 9am. Back to my morning groove!!

    P.S. love the forest where you do your runs 😉 looks so idyllic.

    • June 16, 2011 6:46 pm

      Yeah, my workout schedule is totally screwy right now, but hopefully it will calm down next week!

      And yes, that idyllic forest that just happens to be in my front yard is the perfect path for running ; )

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