Getting up before the crack of dawn to go for a dip may seem like pure torture when your bed is so warm and cozy. But in my 7 years (and counting) of morning swimming and coaching, I’ve come to discover that the effort is well worth it!

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Sure, It’d be great to lie in bed an extra hour or two, but that would mean postponing your swim until later in the day or evening, when other commitments might get in the way. When you swim in the morning, your evenings open up, and you’re free to do whatever you choose!

Related: 10 Steps To Swimming Smarter Freestyle

Last year a new swimmer walked into my 6am swimming class and said to me, “I don’t know how you guys get up this early and have energy to swim!” Since she didn’t have time to swim in the evenings, she showed up to every morning session religiously! Now, swimming in the morning is no longer a chore, and today, she’s at the pool even earlier to squeeze in dryland before we hop in the water. How’s that for a positive life change!

10 Tips For Becoming a Morning Swimmer

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1. Schedule it.

You wouldn’t miss an important meeting with a mentor, your doctor, or your boss, would you? Just like these appointments, make your morning swim part of your daily schedule!

2. Get your gear out the night before.

When I was a kid, I practically lived in my swimsuit during the summer swim season. I figured why take it off; I’m just going to go swimming in a few hours anyway! You don’t have to live in your swimsuit, but getting your swim bag ready the night before will make your morning routine that much simpler.

3. Have a workout plan.

MySwimPro Personal Swim Coach iOS
Know exactly what your swim workout is before going to bed! If you’re going to a swim team’s workout, great! If not, download our app MySwimPro and get a workout that’s 100% specific to your goals! When you wake up, you won’t have to think about what you’re going to do when you get to the pool, and you’re that much more likely to show up and do it!

4. Consider a workout you have to pay for.

Some days it can be very tempting to stay in bed. If you’re paying for your pool time or a trainer, think about how much money you’d be wasting if you miss a session. A commitment to a personal trainer or masters team will ensure you get out of bed for the sake of your own sanity and wallet!

5. Make it a competition…with a reward!

If you have a swim buddy and you’re both on a quest to make early swimming a habit, come up with a challenge. Maybe you’ll decide that the first one to miss a day has to do a 500 butterfly. If you swim alone, treat yourself to a new piece of swim gear after a solid month’s worth of commitment.

6. Find a team to swim with.

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Swimming is often looked at as an individual sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Swimming with other people can make all the difference in your morning swim routine. Look for a local masters team to train with and take the plunge!

7. Take baby steps.

Start by setting your alarm back just 10 minutes this week. Next week, go for another 10 minutes, and before you know it, you’ll be up 30 minutes earlier. Before long, you’ll be able to squeeze in a short swim before you start your day.

Related: How To Set SMART Swimming Goals

8. Have something tasty to look forward to.

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The golden window of nutrient absorption after a swim is 30-60 minutes; so make your breakfast the #1 priority after getting out of the pool. Have a consistent meal plan in place to keep your mind, body, and stomach in check!

9. Preserve the endorphins!

You know that feeling you get after a great swim? Jot those thoughts down. Then, when you’re about to hit snooze in the morning, remind yourself how on-top-of-the-world you felt at the end of your last work! Then get moving!

10. Capture the morning sunrise.

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Swimmers see 90% more sunrises than anyone else. If you’re lucky enough to swim outdoors, the morning sunrise can be the singular reason that gets you to the pool! Take a picture, share it on social media, and tackle the day with full intention!

I’ll see you bright and early at the pool!