Stay on track with this advice on balancing life and training
Marathon and half marathon training can be the perfect way to get physically fit and optimize mental health. Studies show running reduces anxiety and depression, promotes relaxation, and even prevents aging of the brain. As we all know, life can get in the way and take your focus off your training routine. Remember, it’s never too late to get back on track. Here are some simple tips for balancing life and training so you can reap running’s wonderful benefits.
Pro tip: make sure you have these essential items before you begin training.
5 helpful tips below
Make the most of your morning
There’s no escaping the fact that marathon training places a huge demand on your time. You need to dedicate a number of hours each week to training. This includes tempo runs, long runs, cross-training, speed workouts, and recovery. The key is to utilize the time you have before heading out for work, just as 36-year-old Michele King Gonzalez does.
The social media star has not let her marriage, children, or her hectic full-time career get in the way of running. She has a fine-tuned routine where she wakes up at 4:00 a.m. on most days and hits the pavement at 5:00 am. She utilizes that one hour to fix lunches and knock out other tasks.
Prepare to save time
Planning ahead helps you streamline your week’s activities and squeeze out more time for marathon training. On Sunday, Gonzalez chooses her jewelry and helps the family pick their outfits for the entire week ahead. The weekend is when Gonzalez also prepares meals for the week ahead. Pro tip: use these 4 stretches for your pre-run routine to save time.
Keep recovery meals simple
When you juggle multiple things in your day-to-day life, preparing recovery meals can be an uphill task. Simplify your recovery meals by just including a low fat, high protein drink such as chocolate milk. Munch on nutritious snacks throughout the day such as nuts or protein bars.
No matter how well you plan and prepare, disruptions can and will occur. Instead of stressing about these, the key is to expect them and leverage the opportunities created by them to enhance your training. For instance, run on the treadmill at home in case of bad weather. You can also flip workouts or runs if one day offers less time than expected. Handling adversity is also a great way to build your mental toughness.
Involve your family
When we asked about tips for balancing life and training on Facebook, this was a popular response. Bryan Golz said, “…make it a team effort. When the family is involved nobody feels left out.” Train with your family on shorter runs, during workouts, or recovery sessions. Brian Pfeiffer said, “ Buy a jogging stroller and train with your kids!” This is a great point, especially if you can’t leave your kids at home. Your training runs will be much slower, but you’re also getting stronger. You’ll fly when you run without the stroller!
Relax and reward yourself
Adequate sleep helps rejuvenate you and boosts recovery. Just don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve smaller training goals every week. These can be as simple as getting a massage, watching Netflix, or just spending time with family.
The key is to effectively manage your time. Life happens, just don’t let it slow you down! By planning ahead you reduce the amount of time needed later to achieve the same tasks. When this happens you create more time for yourself, your family, and effective recovery.