IS YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE PACKED TO THE BRIM, LEAVING IT HARD TO FIND TIME TO TRAIN FOR THE NEXT BIG RACE? THIS GUIDE WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE BEST USE OF TRAINING TIME.
Anyone who races knows that proper training requires a significant time and effort commitment. So it’s no wonder that people who work full time jobs struggle to find training time. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible — follow a few of these key tips to squeeze in workouts, even when your schedule’s demanding.
Run at Lunch
Assuming your employer lets you eat at your desk — after all, half marathoners need to eat! — use your lunch break to squeeze in a quick recovery run or speed workout. Bonus points if your office has a gym.
You never know when a free minute might pop up in your day, so keep a stash of running shoes, shorts, shirts, and other workout gear at your desk or in your car. That way, when a friend postpones dinner or a work event gets cancelled, you can capitalize on that bonus free time.
Go to Sleep Earlier
Not a morning person? Get over it. A morning workout can be a great way to get your miles in without too much interference in your day. Heading to bed 45 minutes to an hour earlier can provide just the boost you need to get out of bed and head to the gym. Bonus: You feel accomplished the rest of the day.
Admit it: Sometimes, you just don’t feel like running. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some valuable training time. Walking a few flights of stairs during a 15-minute break in the day, biking to work, or even cross-country skiing in the cold are all valid examples of cross training that will build strength and stamina to power you through running workouts.
Embrace the 20-Minute Workout
Sometimes, something is better than nothing. A 20-minute run still counts toward your race-day goals. Opt to work on your ability to climb hills on race day by doing hill repeats or increase your race pace with some speed work, which take less time than a long run while still readying you for the race
Set Realistic Goals
We all need to face the facts that some things are just not attainable within our schedule. For example, you probably aren’t going to be able to train for a top-ten finish in a half marathon while holding down a full time job; there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That being said, setting a realistic goal for your race can be a huge motivator as well as a great way to curb disappointment. Losing is no fun, but it’s even worse when it happens because you set the bar out of reach.
Training for a race is a great way to build discipline in fitness and stay in shape while working towards a goal — and there isn’t much that compares to crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles and months of hard work. Don’t let your busy schedule make you shy away from this rewarding experience. Get out there and hit the pavement!
Patrick Gensel is a world-roaming visual storyteller with a special place in his heart for action sports and the natural world. No matter where Patrick is, you can always find him sharing his stories on Adventuretravelbuzz.com, Instagram, and Twitter