A Quick Look at 4 Steps of My Morning Routine

by | May 9, 2022 | Training

I recently did a piece for Bicycling magazine about how doing yoga every single morning—just a short yoga/core routine—for the last 6 years has made my life so much better. It’s one of the top things I recommend to pretty much anyone who wants to boost their fitness journey/routine. But I also have a few other favorite morning routines that I feel like have been super helpful in setting my day up for success, with minimal extra time required. So, I figured it was time to do a quick post on the 4 things I do without fail, every morning.

Morning Yoga and Core

Like I said in this article over on Bicycling, 10 to 15 minutes of core + yoga every morning is the equivalent of adding 50 to 80 hours of extra training every year. That’s freaking HUGE. Over the years, I’ve evolved my routine to factor in exercise that a physio recommended, plus bonus push ups and planks into the original yoga routine I started with. Whether you’re doing the full 15 minutes or you just have time for a sun salutation or two, though, I HIGHLY recommend finding a way to sneak in moving first thing in the morning. It sets you up to feel like an athlete all day! Want to get started? You can also grab a routine right here.


No Guesswork with Breakfast

This is a big one. We eat the same breakfast every. single. day. It’s always eggs with veggies—typically spinach—plus potatoes (or some root vegetables for Peter, he’s more adventurous than I am). It’s high protein, satisfying, and has plenty of greens and also carbs to fuel my morning. I don’t puzzle over what to have, this is just the default. I realize not everyone can spend time making eggs for breakfast, but everyone can have a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast that is the automatic go-to, whether it’s a yogurt and berry bowl or a smoothie. Anytime you can make one less decision in the morning is a win… and don’t give yourself the option to re-decide, pick and stick with it.

Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens’ AG1 came on as a podcast sponsor recently, but we’ve been using AG1 for months already, and I love it. I’m a big fan of it for a few reasons: First, it’s got all the vitamins, minerals, greens, probiotics and adaptogens that I’ve previously taken in a handful of different supplements, so it’s streamlined what I’m taking down to a single thing. Second, it tastes great—kind of citrusy/vanilla-y—and makes me drink a huge glass of water before having my coffee in the morning. Third, I do believe I feel better overall. Despite big miles, including a 100-miler, my digestion has never been better, and I don’t have as much of an afternoon slump these days. (You can grab a sweet bonus of a year’s supply of Vitamin D + 5 Travel Packs of AG1 here, btw!) *Note: I also deeply appreciate that AG1 is NSF certified, which means it’s been 3rd party tested and actually contains what it says it contains!

Quick Journalling

I’ve tried and failed at a lot of journalling methodologies over the years, but I want to be someone who journals regularly despite my lack of follow through there! I finally found a rhythm that’s worked for the last 2 years, though, and I’ve done it consistently. It takes about 3 minutes:

  • At the top of the page, I list my 3 MITs for the day (most important tasks—can be life or work!). I used to do 4, but training was always one of them, so I eventually stopped counting it, since it’s just assumed that I’ll do it… but if I was struggling with consistency in my training, this would go right back on the list!
  • 10 things I’m grateful for — and actually writing out “I’m thankful for XYZ” rather than just XYZ. I find writing out the words makes me actually think about it more.
  • A quick sentence or two about how my day is going to go: How I want my workout to feel, how I want to structure my work day, how I want to end my day. I find this just makes me think through the schedule for the day and figure out how those MITs are going to fit in, where training is going to go, et cetera.

All in, it only takes a couple of minutes, but to me, it’s a great way to move into the workday and feel more defined for the day—really helpful if you’re someone who doesn’t have the same schedule every day, or if you’re working on a lot of different projects at any given time. We also recently switched to using Rocketbook Fusion Notebooks, which I’ve really liked: They’re reusable—they wipe clean—which means I don’t end up with a ton of used up notebooks stuffed in drawers, and there’s a corresponding app that you can take photos of the notebook pages with, and then it uploads them to email/Evernote/Drive/wherever, so you have a permanent record of your notes online! It even transcribes, though it’s not great at deciphering my awful handwriting, but since I don’t need a perfect record, it’s fine. For people who travel a lot but like taking notes by hand, this is a fantastic tool!


Perfectly imperfect

I know I said I do these every morning, but life does happen. The skeleton remains in place though. For a long run day, or a day when I need to run very tight to breakfast:

  • I’ll have toast with my eggs instead of potatoes
  • I’ll skip the planks and pushups and just do the yoga flow + physio exercises
  • I won’t use the journalling, but I’ll think through the day / gratitudes during the run

On a major race day, it gets even tighter. I usually skip AG1 since I’m sipping an electrolyte drink. No eggs—I’ll have toast, and put protein in a bottle or in my coffee. And I won’t do the full yoga flow, just the openers and physio stuff I need to do to be race ready. But as I said with the ‘no re-deciding,’ these are still the routines, just abbreviated to match the day’s activity.

And of course, remember that one day of skipping any part of this isn’t a big deal. We’re looking for consistency, not perfection—so don’t let one day of missing a new morning routine ruin the entire thing!


Want more habits and routines? Before you go, check out our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete, right here:


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