Motivation’s always sky-high the night before a morning training session but what do you do when you wake up and it’s vanished? These surefire tips guarantee you’ll not only smash that session, but that you’ll love it too
We’ve all been there. Pumped and ready the night before, excited at the prospect of some tough and testing training miles the following morning, we wake up and somewhere between hitting the hay and the alarm going off, all of that excitement has vanished.
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Now it’s been replaced with lethargy, exhaustion, and an overwhelming desire to crawl back under the duvet. Bugger.
Your brain is your worst enemy at this point because now you are - consciously or otherwise - asking it a question which is: ‘how can I stay in bed?’
And when we ask our brains questions, they always give us answers. Whether they’re right or not is irrelevant. The brain is hardwired to answer. The answers will usually be a combination of:
- You could do the session later instead
- The rest will help and you can train better later
- The weather’s not good, you don’t want to get ill
- That old injury’s playing up, missing this session is probably a good idea
Hitting the snooze button and rolling over feels good...for just a moment. You'll regret it later!
With your brain supplying an excellent list of reasons why bunking this session is actually good for you, the chances of you now crushing it are slim to none, and your race goals will take a beating.
What you need to do instead is bypass the brain, or convince it that missing the session is a very bad idea so it shuts up.
Which is exactly what these tips will do.
Check them out, stash them in your performance toolkit and deploy as needed. And if you’ve got one we’ve missed, drop us a line on social media - the links are at the bottom of this page - we’d love to hear it!
How to crush early morning training 1: Engage autopilot
Laying your clothes out the night before will help you engage autopilot (but perhaps switch out the jeans, jumper and beanie for shorts, t-shirt and sunnies)
Here you want to remove every obstacle to you getting out of bed and out the door as quickly as possible, so:
- Lay all of the kit you need for the session out the night before
- Remove all faff and hassle. If there is anything you need to do beyond getting your kit on and leaving the house, whether that’s repairing a puncture or sticking new laces in your run shoes, do it the day before. Remove every unnecessary hurdle to your success
- This includes breakfast. If you’re eating before you head out, make sure everything you need is layed out and ready, just like your kit. For those big sessions, this is another place where our unique Pre and Post Workout Shakes score big-time, delivering the ultimate pre-session power up in seconds
Cover these three, and your autopilot plan is ready. No matter where motivation’s at you can bulldoze through any lows by simply engaging autopilot to get from bed, to kit, to breakfast and the door beyond.
How to crush early morning training 2: Make a deal
If motivation’s still wavering and an unseen forcefield is somehow glueing you to the bed despite all of your prep the night before, it’s time to make a deal with yourself. The deal is this:
‘If I still feel I don’t want to do this after 10 minutes of starting, I can stop and go back to bed, guilt-free’
This works like magic, because it gets you out of the door which is the hardest part.
After 10 minutes, you’ll feel way better anway and you’re now up and flying, all set to crush your session.
This also has the benefit of giving you the perfect get-out clause for those rare sessions where there really is something up, whether through injury or illness, and you actually do need to give the session a break.
It’s a total win-win, just be sure to always apply the ‘guilt-free’ part. Pulling a session after starting out of necessity and then beating yourself up about it all day won’t help anything.
How to crush early morning training 3: Get accountable
Make a plan and get accountable to that plan. Share your intentions with others - they'll help you stick with it
If there’s not the motivation there to train for yourself, add accountability with a training partner. Now if you bail, you’re letting them down, messing up their training, and - most importantly - looking like a flake to a friend.
That last part is often the biggest key.
Our self-respect and happiness is innately tied to our ability to live consistently in line with our commitments. When we fail in these commitments and go back on our word, we feel bad. When we follow through, we feel good.
Which is why a good training partner is worth their weight in gold. Someone you just know is going to show up when they’ve said they will, and who you know you’ll be letting down if you don’t show.
With them in place and accountability high, you’re locked in and the chances of you making that session just went through the roof.
You can even reinforce this accountabilty with your training partner by saying stuff like, ‘it’s great we can train together, it’s a good time to hang out and I know you’re always going to show up which really motivates me’.
This reinforces the training bond, and the training deal, locking you both in tighter and making it even more certain you both show up regardless of how either of you felt when the alarm went off.
How to crush early morning training: Conclusion
So next time you need to crush an early morning session, but wake up feeling like you had an all-night session of an entirely different kind just remember, bypass your brain and:
- Engage autopilot
- Make a deal
- Get accountable
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