It doesn’t happen overnight. Changing a habit, that is.
It is not easy and your body is naturally inclined to resist change, period. I believe it when you said “I’m going to log in at least 10 miles of quality running this week”, but (oh here it comes) in between busy work schedules, school, social endeavours, kids, boyfriend, girlfriend, and an endless list of other life-made commitments, it didn’t quite happen. It’s not your fault; after all, you can’t be to blame for a finite 24-hour day. Even with the best intentions, sticking to an agenda of evening or late-night runs (or any other cardio training for that matter) can still betray you thanks to poor sleep or a gastric system asking for mercy at such time. The solution plain and simple: Put running FIRST on your daily to-do list.
4 Ways to MAKE IT and not break it.
1. Bunny Hill Approach.
Have you ever gone skiing? You don’t carve out the steep slopes before first getting on your feet and making smart progressions.
I am talking about EARLY morning starts, so beginning with 1 or 2 days a week is smart to get your body and mind ready. Remind yourself to get an early sleep the night before and set time to fuel up with something nutritious (and small!) before you get out there. If you are a fan of intermittent fasting, you may also go on an empty stomach. This will change with varying objectives, experiences and individuals. Remember, when the procrastinator side of you tries to convey that this isn’t the day for it, offer it a knockout punch and tell yourself you still have other 5 days this week to snooze the alarm as much as you please.
2. Time is of the Essence.
I said that your body empirically resists change, right? Yes, I did!
From a person to another the time needed to adjust will sure vary. A smart suggestion is to try this in summer or spring as you are more likely to appreciate the nice weather and beautiful sunrises even! Even so, it might take 2-4 weeks for your body clock and mind to adjust but you will thank yourself after each and every day. Nevertheless, be true to yourself and be open to evaluating again after 5 or 6 weeks if you feel this isn’t working wonders yet. This should be flexible and something you feel adds value to your quality of life, so maybe going a bit later in the morning or lessening the total workout time at first is also a great adjustment tool.
3. Pro-activeness: Say YES before you get a chance to say no.
Prepare ahead of time. Leave your running shoes, clothes, water and whatever other gear you need ready to go.
The checklist here is simple and is meant to make you get up and go ahead of any excuses:
Clothes, shoes and gear: Set and ready at your preferred spot.
Alarm: Loud and far away, so get up and get going.
Cold Face Wash: It’s a nice way to get your engine running and expulse sleepiness.
Coffee: If you fancy one, put it on automatic for those days at the set time or make sure to brew it while you change.
4. Involve your Inner Circle.
Got running friends? A running spouse? Involve them now.
Having good conversation with running friends almost makes you forget that you are running at the crack of dawn. Share experiences, tips and other benefactors that will help you along the journey. Share coffee recipes that pump you up to get going, routes in the neighbourhood both that offer a change of scenery or a new challenge, favorite playlists, etc. The morning is yours to conquer at this point.
Say goodbye to agenda limitations. Say Hello to new reinvigorating new achievements. Getting hooked onto an early morning run has to do with having accomplished so much before others are even awake, as well as the extra energy obtained from a huge rush of endorphins. You may find that applying this early morning philosophy for many other aspects of life has many benefits, as we have lots of energy and can get things accomplished more objectively.
Quote of the Day: “This is the moment I accept the most challenging times will always be behind me AND in front of me.” – Kobe Bryant, OK (The Process).
Push your limits, let doubt become your fuel for motivation.
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