Here are a few tips that help me exercise before work:
- The night before a run, I mentally decide that the run will happen– that I have no other choice. If I fall asleep to this thought, I will usually wake up with the same exact thought.
- I place my alarm clock away across the room so it is harder to snooze!
I get my entire running outfit ready and lay it out before bed. This includes all of my gear, including layers of clothing (down to my socks), as well as my keys, phone, headphones, iPod, Garmin, and whatever else I may need. It’s much easier to have the items ready to go instead of scrambling in the morning! I also check the weather the night before so that I am prepared with the best clothing.
- I drink a glass of water when I wake up, and try to eat something before I head out. I usually opt for a banana and a handful of my favorite trail mix from Whole Foods, Hodgepodge Harvest. If I am running longer than an hour, I will take some kind of GU or other fuel along with me. If I’m feeling hungry in the morning, I may eat a small bowl of oatmeal. I try to do this before I stretch to allow for some time to digest!
- I do some light stretching—always with a foam roller—and some basic quad, hamstring, and calf dynamic stretches (as opposed to static stretches). Dynamic stretching is a good way to warm up the muscles and extend the range of motion of your muscles, as opposed to passive or static stretching. Several different drills including forward lunges, squats (two legs and single leg) and bending down and touching the toes with repeats are just some of the dynamic stretches that are part of my routine. Stretching post-run is even more important than pre-run. I make it a habit of foam rolling post run, and can feel my muscles ache if I don’t foam roll.
- Just thinking about how good it will feel to get this run in before my day starts and not having to worry about fitting it in later will inspire me to get out the door.
- Recruiting a running buddy has helped me get miles in before going to work. It is harder to coordinate, but definitely worth it if you can make it work.
- Lastly, I try to get to bed early! I feel that once you get in the habit of working out before work, you will get into the early bedtime routine and your entire day will shift a bit. Life will be easier once this routine is set!