Time Management When Training
This past week, I received this tweet:
Unfortunately, the answer cannot fit in 140 characters, so this post was born.
Simply put, it is hard. I love to be busy, connected and have a problem with the concept that NO is a complete sentence so I am constantly running around when I should be running. However, more or less, I am able to complete my marathon and ultramarathon training no problem. These are a few ways that I have found to be helpful when fitting running into an already jam-packed schedule.
At the beginning of the week, I sit down with my planner and put in every single workout that I need to do. I have a time scheduled on that day when it will happen. If life occurs and I cannot get to that run, I do not stress, but I focus on running well the next time.
For the long run, I carve out an entire morning either on Saturday or Sunday and I run for about 3 or 4 hours to build up my aerobic base. Would I rather be doing something else? Not really. I view it as a reset button for my week where I can think through what I need to accomplish and listen to my favourite podcast.
During the week, I switch up my training between morning and night, with a group or a coach, hills or flat road, road running or trail running. It gives me a huge variety which fits in my schedule.
I also incorporate a lot of cross training which goes a LONG way to keep me strong and fast when running.
To sum it up, I have the training down to a regular routine that I expect, which keeps me from bailing on a workout and staying consistent.
This is what an average week of training looks like for me:
Monday: Teach 2 one hour spin classes. One at 6 am, one at 5:30 pm. It is a nice bookend for my workday, one before I get to the office and one before dinner. This is my “off day”, which is a nice break from running to recover from my long run on Sunday and flush out my legs.
Tuesday: Two hour training session with my coach including hill sprints, form work, intervals and stretching. This is done in a group setting and it a great way to improve my time while chatting with other running freaks.
Wednesday: 1 hour of Pilates followed by one hour hills session. I teach a class at 6 am and then drive to some local hills and run them at a fast pace and try to tackle 9 – 10 hills.
Thursday: Easy 8 km run. I try to do this at around 5:36 km/min. Early morning before work.
Friday: 1 hour spin class followed by 1/2 hour weight session. All done by 7:30 am!
Saturday: One hour interval session or easy 1 hour run, depending on how I am feeling that week.
Sunday: 3-4 hour run from 32-42 km at a slow, easy pace.
So I have approximately 12 hours of training a week that I need to fit in. I often slip it in the mornings which means I need to be in bed in decent time (which means I commit social suicide by being a runner.)
I have a wonderful group of super supportive friends that are either runners themselves or are beyond supportive of the fact that I cannot always stay late or go to every event because my training is important to me.
Sacrifices are a part of being a runner, but they don’t feel like sacrifices because I merely do not do the things that are not necessary or are redundant. I get 7-8 hrs of sleep as much as I can, eat well and see my friends often. I don’t read books, I listen to audio books. I don’t watch tv, I run.
Like everything in life, fitting in running is just a matter of looking at my priorities and gleaning out the things that aren’t necessary. In a world where it is necessary to be completely on, plugged in and keeping up, sometimes it is good to turn off, unplug and run away for a while.
What do you cut out so you can run?
Marina Lehman says
I love how your day “off” consists of merely teaching two spinning classes. 🙂 I’m not a runner, but this is definitely an inspiration in my efforts to clear-but-not-on-target things out of my life so that I have some time for the things that really matter to me. Also, I really need to get into audio books; what’s your favorite source?
Well, to be fair, I don’t not have a wee one to chase so an off day CAN include 2 spin classes. Audio books are awesome – I use the free download option from my local library.
aliceinrunningland (@ainrunningland) says
I can totally relate with you. It’s been crazy training for a marathon with 2 young kids. Thank goodness I’ve been on maternity leave for most of time. I’ve given up a lot of time with friends and sleep very little 🙂 But, I agree that it’s part of committing to a marathon and having your priorities in order. I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband, friends and family. Good luck with Scotiabank 🙂
Marathon training with 2 kids?! I think I am just going to call you super woman! As far as giving up time with friends, I know all about that, but as I head into the last two weeks before the marathon, I try to get no less than 7 hours of sleep a night – it is BEAUTIFUL! Are you doing any upcoming races?