This week I have two pearls of experience to share. Recently, I had an early speaking engagement at a conference in Dublin. Addressing the customers of a corporate client at 9am on a Monday morning is unusual. Normally I speak towards the end of such days or events.
My client – a global leader in the technology world – was keen that motivation and (hopefully) inspiring messages would encourage attendees to get more out of the conference.
That morning, I was keen to get a run in before I left for the capital, a one-hour drive away. Not wanting to miss out on a workout, I was out exercising my lungs at 5.15am.
I had been thinking the night before about getting a run in and decided this was the only opportunity I would have. Early morning runs, thankfully, are a part of my regular r outine. This was 30-45 minutes earlier than more recent departures though.
When I give you my summation of the experience of what early morning runs do for me, you might think it a little exaggerated, but I kid you not. It was and always is, fantastic. Whether Monday or not, an early morning run or workout can be a glorious way to start any day.
Not surprisingly, on that run, I was alone. Only the birds alerted to some madcap below broke the silence. Over the 45 minutes, not a sinner or a saint did I meet.
With a gentle five-miler in the bag, I was home by 6am. As I stretched outside my hall door, I was wide awake, alert, thinking very positively and excited about the busy day ahead.
As I left Mullingar just after 7am, I was surprised to spot four other runners out pounding the pavements. Now, perhaps in big cities, this is routine, but not in a provincial midlands town at such an early hour, or so I thought. I am delighted to say, I was wrong. I had thought myself alone.
Having company on a run is a brilliant idea. Committing to a run with a friend can provide a powerful ejection mechanism from a warm and comfy bed. I would imagine almost everyone's motiva-tion can get quest-ioned at 5am or 6am as rain hits the window.
I run alone most of the time, but at least twice a week I will join up with fellow runners from my local club. Those sessions are usually the hardest but also the easiest.
Sound like a contradiction? Well, I always find I work harder and get more out of the accompanied sessions. Having the company of friends is distracting though. There is nothing like great conversion to make you forget about the challenge your legs and feet might be embroiled in.
Therein lies two recommendations. I encourage everyone to try them.
If you have never exercised early, give it a shot. You are in for an amazing experience and – I am almost certain – an even more rewarding day.
If you want to guarantee your attendance, arrange to meet a friend. It will ensure you follow through on your commitment.
And enjoy your breakfast after!
Gerry Duffy is a motivational speaker and endurance athlete. www.gerryduffyonline.com