It’s a rare person who isn’t tempted by the snuggly warmth of the doona and a luxurious extra hour of pillow time, especially in winter when it’s dark outside!  But, if you want to get the best out of your body and your training, consistency is everything.  Not only do you continually improve but it also keeps your body well-adjusted to the training so you are less likely to get injured.

The idea is to reduce the barriers to getting out of bed and increase the incentives.  Try these simple tips to escape the grip of the bed.

1) Mental tips

Your attitude to early mornings is make or break.  There are lots of ways to help you think and feel more enthusiastic about waking up for sessions.

  • Clear goals are a huge to help motivation.  If you are committed to an event which will challenge you, sleeping in is no option, you have to put in the hard yards.

  • Have a training plan which maps your route to the goal event.  In a training plan, every session should have a purpose.  Each session is like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle.  One by one you complete the sessions, each one bringing you closer to the big picture goal.  If you miss sessions, you won’t have all the pieces and performance will suffer or you will get injured.  Keep in mind what you will get out of each individual session.

  • Schedule fun sessions for days and times when you are likely to be tired.  If you get home late on certain nights, plan your favourite type of intervals or your favourite discipline for the morning after so you look forward to the session.

  • Practice feeling more energetic in the morning.  Before you go to bed, visualise the alarm going off and you lying in the cold, dark room but feeling well rested, enthusiastic and excited to start the day.  Visualise it as close to the real scenario as you possibly can –feeling, seeing, smelling and hearing everything you will experience in the morning with your positive feelings.  I’ll admit, you might not feel quite as spritely as the visualisation, but you will at least feel better than if you were expecting to wake up feeling rubbish – in which case you probably will!

2) Practical ideas

  • The most obvious, but worth a mention, is of course getting an early night the night before.  It’s the most sure-fire way to make getting up easier (though it doesn’t always happen I know!).

  • The first morning hurdle is the dreaded blast of cold air on leaving the bed.  I have heard many ways to combat this including a heater near the bed, warm clothes at the ready, sleeping in exercise clothes or putting them in the bed so they’re warm, or even a simple mantra to HTFU!  In our home we don’t have heating but my down jacket at the ready makes cold mornings much easier.

  • Have all your clothes and gear ready the night before so you don’t have to think or search for anything.

  • Organise to meet a training group or friend.  They won’t be happy if you leave them hanging!

  • Make a yummy breakfast the night before so you look forward to eating it, and imagine the great tasting coffee, hot shower and sense of accomplishment you will have after the session.

  • If you really struggle, putting your alarm on the other side of the room will get you up – literally!

The best part is, habits are extremely powerful, so use them to your advantage.  Get into the routine of rising when the alarm goes off, for better or for worse.  Early mornings will become easier and easier until you’re up and training before you got a chance to even think about sleeping in.

Goodluck, you can do it!