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(Not Quite) Up and At 'Em



I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that triathletes must be morning people. (How else do they fit in all the workouts on their training calendars?!) I, on the other hand, am not. In fact, I am master of the snooze button (just ask my college roommate). If I’m going to succeed at this triathlon at all, though, that’s going to have to change. My work schedule just fluctuates too much—especially when we’re wrapping up an issue—to make hitting the gym on my way home from the office an option. So a.m. it is then, unappealing as it sounds. 
There’s actually lots of research out there on the benefits of early exercise, like a study I wrote about in SHAPE last fall, which found that sweating it out in the morning helped participants sleep better that night. The researchers didn’t report this, but I bet that makes it all the easier to get up and train the next day. (The irony of this chicken-vs-the-egg situation is not lost on me.)
Tomorrow I have week one, workout four: Swim 500 yards and run 1.5 miles. So I’m going to forego the wine at my book club meeting tonight and hit the sack as soon as I get home. That way I can get a solid 8 hours of sleep before I need to be up and headed for the bus in order to make it to the pool by 7:30 a.m. That might not seem bad to some of you, but for a night owl like me, the early rising is worse than the workout. 
What about you? When do you usually train? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @DaniSMcNally.

Danielle McNally is the associate fitness editor at SHAPE magazine, where she reports on the latest news, trends, and gear in the exercise world, along with the occasional travel and pop culture piece. She was previously an assistant editor at Food Network Magazine, but left shortly after completing the ING New York City Marathon, when she realized her passion for working out. She’s run seven half marathons, and regularly practices yoga and pilates. This summer she’ll be competing in the New Jersey State Triathlon (her first!) and blogging about it here!


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