Sleeping In Before a 5:30 a.m. Gym Class

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Pre-child, I used to think of waking up before 7:00 a.m. as an especially cruel form of torture.

But then the kid came — and if you have one of these, you know what happens next. Let’s just say that, all of a sudden, all you dream about is having four uninterrupted hours of shut-eye. Or three. I’ll take it. I’ll take anything!

But despair not, oh ye childless readers, the zombie-like existence I speak of only lasts for about three and a half years per child. Plus, the sight of your kid sleeping is just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen:

The point is, it’s really, really difficult to voluntarily give up sleep once you’ve been without it for a few years.

So when I recently joined a tri-club with a 5:30 a.m. swim class on the schedule, I knew I’d have to figure out a way to maximize sleep and still make it on time.

The first week, I woke up at 5 a.m. — and was promptly late. But then I instituted a few quick improvements and made it!

So, here’s how to “sleep in” before your 5:30 a.m. gym class:

1. Prep your gym bag the night before. Put it in your car. If you have to head to work straight after the gym, put your work clothes in the car, too.

2. Set up the coffee maker the night before, too. If you have one of those programmable ones, great. If not, just load up the grinds, water and whatever else you need so all you have to do in the morning is press a button. Put a travel mug next to the coffee maker.

3. Put your alarm clock on the other end of the bed. Or far enough out of reach that you can’t hit the snooze button without stepping at least one foot out the bed. Leave a jacket or sweater right next to your alarm clock or phone.

4. In the morning: grab that jacket/ sweater and put it on the second you hit the snooze button. Get up.

5. Brew coffee. While that’s happening, put on flip flops (or whatever you can wear in your car without freezing your feet off) and do your bathroom business.

6. Coffee’s ready. Pour in travel mug. Go to your car. Drive.

7. Yes, in your pajamas. No one at the gym will notice, honest.

And there you have it, my roughly seven-minute pre-5:30 class morning routine, in seven simple steps.

One last optimization I am mulling over: sleeping in my swimsuit. Might feel a little tight, though, I don’t know…

–> What is the earliest you’ve had to wake up to go to the gym? Any tips for me to shorten my prep time further and sleep until, I don’t know, 5:04? <--

Monday’s workout:
If RunKeeper is correct and an hour of swimming burns only 300-odd calories, how come I’m so darn hungry all day after that?

Today’s workouts:
Ran to the gym for Tuesday Tri-work:There, warmed up with more running:Followed by about 40 minutes of jumping jacks, lunges, burpees and other fun stuff and wrapped up with a wee bit more running still:A total of 5.41 miles in 49:01. I’ll take it.

One last thing: tomorrow (Wed, Feb 20) is the 408K training run at the Athleta store at Valley Fair. If you live in the 408, join us for a test run on part of the 408K Race to the Row course, plus a chance to win a head-to-toe Athleta outfit and a lifetime free entry to the race!

5 thoughts on “Sleeping In Before a 5:30 a.m. Gym Class

  • February 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I’m with you on the pre-kid sleeping and now 5am is my gym time and I love it 🙂 Great suggestions, I change into gym clothes, throw in contacts, jacket, grab water and go. Coffee is waiting thanks to hubby when I get home 🙂

    • February 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Wait, so you have coffee *after* gym? Way impressive, there is no way I’d be able to even drive, let alone work out, before I’ve had at least two cups (I have a humongous travel mug!)

  • February 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

    go to my AM swim in my PJs too. No one notices especially in winter with a coat.

    And I’m with you on the eating after swimming! I feel like I could eat a horse and probably end up eating like a horse too.

  • February 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Really wanted to go to the 408k training but start a new job tomorrow evening. Will there be more training runs before the 408k?

    • February 20, 2013 at 7:44 am

      I’ll ask tonight! The race is only 20 days away, so who knows, but it’s worth finding out. But a new job sounds exciting – congrats!


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