All our lives are busy in one way or another. Jobs, family, responsibilities, volunteering, or just life can all become a lot and make it difficult to fit in our training.
So, how do we accomplish it all? A healthy balance of life, work, and running?
Well, we don’t.
That is the first thing to remember. The balance would mean that you are giving all of these aspects of our lives equal attention and effort, which is impossible. So, let’s throw out the balance goal and focus on how we can make it all WORK together. How can we fit running and training into our already busy schedules?
Here are some tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years. Some work for me, but others work well for some of my clients. As with everything, some things will work for you on this list, and others just won’t be a good fit, sort of like trail shoes.
- Make it a scheduled priority. Every Friday, I block off time and will not schedule clients or appointments for the first part of the day. This is my time to get in my long run, and I treat it as an appointment to myself and the single-track every week. Any other day, time, etc isn’t off-limits except this time. Now, I know Fridays don’t work for everyone, but you can take this into the weekend or whatever works for you. Just dedicate the time and treat it like a responsibility. Because essentially it is… it is a commitment to yourself and your mental and physical health.
- Wake up early or go after everyone is in bed. Sometimes daylight hours get away from us. We have a big deadline; the kids have sports or ballet recitals. These are the days that I wait until the kids are tucked in, and everything is done before I slip out the door. I consider these runs not only “getting in my training” but also allowing me the opportunity to practice my headlamp skills or running when tired. Is it ideal? Heck no, but it’s what has to happen sometimes. I am definitely not a morning person, so I know that early mornings won’t work for me, but it might be a better option for you!
- Have an accountability partner or group. Prioritizing your training is a lot easier when you have your friend waiting for you at the trailhead. Find someone that you can rely on, who you know will be there and will also rely on you. This way, you won’t let each other down, and it makes the training process a lot more fun and enjoyable.
- Wear your workout clothes to bed. It seems sort of awkward at first, but when you roll out of bed and are already dressed and ready to go, you really have no excuses. You can’t sleep in and be like, ‘oh, these are my cool new dri-fit pajamas. This is subtle encouragement to get out the door.
- Double task with small children. Taking care of small humans means making training work the best you can. Grab a stroller, or if they are big enough, have them bike or run with you. Pushing a stroller while running is TOUGH, but it will make you stronger. Don’t worry about pace or stopping to give snacks to the kiddos. Just get what you can in and be so proud and satisfied with that!
- Ditch the guilt. No, you are not selfish by getting your training in. I hear this way too often. Training is not only important for you but for everyone in your world. Remember that prioritizing yourself and giving yourself the mental and physical break will make you a better friend, family member, co-worker, etc. So, stop feeling bad about getting your runs. That guilt isn’t helping anyone.
In the end, it comes down to you. What does your training mean to you? How important is it to you? We all have the same hours of the day. It’s just how you utilize them. I hope these tips and tricks can help you get in those training runs amongst the chaos of life!
Alexa Hasman – Owner/Trainer at Fit Life