Trying to be Forest Gump

28 Sep

A capable man: Health

This post is part of my quest to become the most interesting man in the world. As a base for some of my later goals, I decided I needed to become fitter.

So I started running.

I’m a terrible morning person. I prefer to sleep in, however I currently inhabit the corporate world so lying in bed until 11am is not an option for me. My normal routine is to sleep for as long as possible, quickly get ready for work and then grab a liquid breakfast on the way out. I usually go to the gym after work. Almost all the material I read about getting fit suggested working out first thing in the morning and ensuring you consumed a good breakfast. This was obviously going to be a problem for me!

Then I came across this fantastic post about becoming an early riser. I decided that now was the time for change and that I should become an earlier riser. Here is how my first week went:

  1. Monday: Left the blinds open when I went to bed and set my alarm for 7:15 (early for me). I woke to natural sunlight at around 6:15 and promptly shut the blinds. I rose to my alarm at 7:15, put on some running gear and got my iPod. Ran for about 20 minutes and realized just how far my fitness had deteriorated. Made fantastic breakfast – yoghurt and fresh fruit, toast and juice. Made it to work early and feeling fantastic for the first time in ages!
  2. Tuesday: Decided to leave the blinds shut and set my alarm. I snoozed for 10 minutes then got up and ran again, this time pacing myself a little better. Took the time to read the paper and have a similar breakfast – things looking good.
  3. Wednesday: I planned to run Wednesday morning then give a friend a lift to work on my way in. I woke up to the alarm at 7:20 and it was raining, so hit snooze. I next woke up to my friend ringing and asking why I hadn’t picked her up! I was so tired from running in the morning then hitting the gym at night that I slept through my alarm and right through to 8:40. I think this routine may take a bit of easing in to…
  4. Thursday: Day off as I had to be at work early and had a function that night – still set my alarm for 7:20 but ended up snoozing until 8 anyway.
  5. Friday: Up at 7:20 and running again. Realise that it’s going to take a while to get back the level of fitness I had when I was playing footy and decide to ramp things up very gradually. Straight out after work for a big night, which probably undoes a lot of my good work from during the week!
  6. Saturday: Hungover.
  7. Sunday: Smart decision to have a quiet Saturday night. Go for a nice run in the sun with a great playlist and feel fantastic for the rest of the day.

As you can see my first week wasn’t perfect but I was happy with four runs and two gym sessions. I think it might take a little while for my body to adjust to the early start and extra exercise but I will persist. Here are a couple of things that have helped me so far:

  • Put your alarm out of reach: There is much less temptation to press snooze this way! I put my phone across the other side of the room so I have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. This has helped me a lot with getting up and about!
  • Get some sun! I also open the blinds and let in some natural light which helps you wake up and if it’s sunny, motivates you to get going.
  • Set out your gear the night before: Don’t give yourself any excuse to bail on the jog. Having your clothes all ready to go stops you from having to rummage through the cupboard and potentially put you off.
  • Down a glass of water: This gives you a reason to get out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. It hydrates you and kick starts your metabolism. Drinking a couple of glasses of water is the perfect way to start your day.

The next thing to focus on is getting the right breakfast, so I’m on the hunt for a few good protein smoothie recipes. Once I’ve found a couple of good ones I will post an update!

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