I was inspired this weekend to write about this subject. When does training take over living and turn you into a slave to try and keep up the standards of training that you have become accustomed to? When does living take a back seat? To be the best and excel do you have to stop everything else? Rhetorical question, however I will answer; I think no, just find the balance between both.
I have fallen guilty to this type of dedication and it has taken a while to find a balance where I can still train hard and be consistent, race and still live life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about maybe some of these sound familiar “aww lets not go out to that dinner birthday party tonight, I have a long run in the morning”, “sorry can’t make that event, I’m busy (running!!)”, “If we go away to the spa this weekend for our relaxing, unwinding, romantic trip, I’m bringing my running shoes!”
You get the idea. And sometimes loved ones slip through the cracks, if you are lucky like me, they are your BIGGEST supporters, and don’t ever complain, but its important to not lose sight of those people too when your training. Training requires commitment and in many ways its like going out with someone, you can’t just go for days without doing do it!
Every now and then I slip back into neglecting other areas of life to run. I am not saying that it is right or wrong, good or bad, just in my experience you can miss some other things in life unless you find a happy-medium. It is always sometimes a battle to fit in training every day, every week, especially long training runs and massive chunks of the day where you’re literally M.I.A!
Sometimes theres too much to be done, not enough hours and yes sometimes you have to accept that maybe today, I won’t be able to fit in a run. Its important obviously not to use this as an excuse “not” to run and abuse it, but every now and then there just won’t be time, some day some how…its happened to us all and the important thing is to just accept it, if you can’t change it, that particular day and try and change it the next.
So here are some things that I apply every day, every week, to make sure I can always fit in my scheduled amount of training. I work hard to stay on track with this but I am only human and training for an ultra marathon has its ups and downs!! So I do my best and these few tricks definitely help me out.
I’m a planner, so PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! I usually plan out my runs, especially my long runs and my back to back runs (B2B). I always know where and when, what time and how long I have to run each day. I am an early riser so much weekday shorter runs are done before I even begin my work day at 7am. Find and plan the right time.
If you plan in advance, you won’t miss them. Fit running in whenever you can, on your lunch break, early in the morn, run to the grocery shop, run twice in the day if you only have time for a short run on your lunch break. Like the other day, I had literally a million and one things to do and was getting really panicked about fitting in my run, I knew that I was gonna miss out on dinner and spending time with my hunny if I ran after 630 pm, but it was looking like that was the way it was gonna have to be.
I decided that while my car window was getting fixed (it was gonna take 45-60 mins) I would just run while I waited. Was it the nicest area?? NO smelly stinky industrial SF area, but I pottered off killed two birds with one stone and got to spend the evening as planned with my “biggest supporter”! Look outside the box, when it comes to fitting in runs, be inventive and stop saying the words “uh theres no time…” maybe just maybe there is, somewhere in there, you just have to look for it.
Write out a schedule and mark it off each day so you can see your progress and dedication. Sign up for a race, having a goal is one of the best ways to stay on track because you’re working towards something. Seek motivation, read books, articles online, chat to other runners. Be inspired, Run your own race and live your own life. Everyones balancing act will be different, but don’t stop trying to do it. Happy trails.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013