Early mornings

Dawn in winter from my front doorstep overlooking Tramore

Dawn in winter from my front doorstep overlooking Tramore

Fáinne geal an lae” is a song I sometimes listen to in the car on the drive up from Waterford to Dublin on a Sunday evening. The setting sun casting long streaks of golden light onto the motorway, gets me thinking about tomorrow’s dawn. It’s ironic to listen to a song about daybreak as the sun sets to close another week, but the next morning will bring a new “fáinne geal an lae”. The song is a traditional Irish song and the version I like is by Iarla Ó’Lionáird. I like the softness of his voice and the fact he signs in our native language.

This year I’ve been taking more notice of the dawn. I’ve turned into an early bird, a morning riser during the week but it’s now the norm at the weekends too. I just love getting up and making the most of the day. Some of the best days out I’ve had this year have been out cycling at 7am up the Dublin mountains with Mossy and Brendan.

Besides work, I want to get outside and train on two feet or two wheels. I also want to have time to meet friends, to shop, to relax cooking, reading or watching TV. If I leave all my training til the evening I get home late, cook dinner late and always feel as if I’m catching up, with no time unwind.

So why are early mornings so good? Here’s 5 reasons why you should set that alarm an hour earlier, starting tomorrow.

  • It’s bright so early
    In summer we’re lucky to have dawn after 5am so it’s bright by 6am. Get outside – go for a walk, swim in the sea or hop on your bike. Train first thing, then breakfast tastes so much better and you’ll be buzzing by the time you get to work.

morning ride may15

  • You see the world at it’s quietest
    I go for a cycle with friends on Wednesdays at 6.30am and once we get into the Dublin Mountains, I just love the peace and tranquillity up there. No traffic, no noise except the birds chirping, animals in fields and the lovely whir of wheels spinning. I’ve also had such beautifully peaceful long mountain runs up Ticknock, overlooking Dublin Bay, listening to Sunday talk radio, passing by wild deer and all sorts of birds through the forest fire roads. Such a great place, right on our doorstep.

  • Your appetite will improve
    People eat breakfast out of habit many times without needing the energy on the plate. Breakfast gets boring with the same porridge/toast /coffee combo. Burn some calories and you’ll arrive home looking forward to eating. Try healthy options – quick and easy with fruit, granola, porridge, eggs, nuts, smoothies, avocados, nut bars, wheat free breads. Or be a crazy chef – throw the bread loaf tin in the oven before you run and make sure you get back before it’s a burnt curst.
  • Free evenings
    If training takes you 1-2 hours in the evening it can be 9pm by the time you’re sitting down for dinner, rushed and in front of the TV. You’re thinking of tomorrow’s worries already. How about training before work, arriving home at 6pm, cooking a nice meal and relaxing for the evening? Go for a walk, go meet friends or family, or go to the cinema.
  • Sense of satisfaction
    Without sounding smug, being awake while the world sleeps, especially at weekends, gives you a sense of accomplishment. I love being done and dusted with my Sunday run, just in time for a late Sunday breakfast or brunch. Plus you don’t get in the way of the your other half’s style by taking up the day training.

So turn off the phone that bit earlier at night, hit the hay before 11pm and get up and make the most of our beautiful country this summer. You won’t regret it and will be amazed how much better you feel.

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