One of the biggest struggles I’ve always has is fitting in everything I need or want to do. As runners we know that it goes beyond just getting in your run each morning. Sure, it will get you progress but the little things are what keep us pushing forward and help us stay injury free. We can’t always avoid injury, but there are ways to help minimize the risk.
I haven’t always been a morning runner; in fact for the first 3-4 years of running I did it every day after work. It was tough, but for me it was much easier than getting up before work. Once I moved to Virginia, my husband and I both made the decision that we needed to become morning runners. It was really the only way we were going to be able to get in what we needed to.
The running part (even if I do get up at 4:00 AM) is the easy part for me. My struggle comes in fitting in the little things that I really need to keep myself healthy and strong. As I’ve slowly been incorporating running back in my routine the past month or so I’ve been making it a point to be creative about when I get it done.
I don’t know about some of you, but when I get home from work I’m exhausted. It’s one of the hardest times for me to get myself motivated to do just about anything except cook dinner. The thing is – looking at my reasoning I see a lot of excuses. I know if I want to improve then I have to do the small things; even if that means moving things around.
I’ve set a few new habits into play that have seemed to help even though saying they are easy to make happen on certain days would be a lie.
Mornings are for Running – I used to try to fit in everything in the morning. I knew it would get done, but I ended up getting up extra early or I would be rushed the entire time. One of the most frustrating things for me is when I am rushed during my run. It makes it so much harder for me to relax and enjoy it. I’ve changed it so I get up about 30 minutes later or more than I used to in order to get some extra sleep and just focus on getting my running (or cardio) in the morning.
Strength Work in the Afternoon – I’ve moved most of my strength work to the afternoon. I do have to be very careful with this because it is still easy for me to skip, but it makes it again not as rushed and I can actually focus on making sure I have proper form. I try to have a plan ahead of time so I just don’t go stare at the weights, but being prepared and doing it the afternoon ensures it happens and it is done right.
Fit in What I Can When I Can – Some days I try my best to stick to my schedule and sometimes life gets in the way. Some days I have to do weights quickly 5-10 minutes in the morning and another 5-10 minutes in the evening. It’s not always easy but some days just require me to be a bit more flexible.
Fit in more on the Weekends – Weekends have always been a big training time for me because I don’t have to get up super early. It was always my long run and I have missed that in this come back. I still treat my weekends as my “longer run time” which right now hovers around 60 minutes. I sometimes will add in some spinning and try to get a longer strength work routine as well to help! Fit in more on the weekends if you can.
These small changes have made a difference for me, but mostly because I’ve been focused on changing the way I think about things. No matter what period you are in – recovering, training for a marathon, or just running for run the little things help to keep you stronger and reduce your risk of injury. Looking at it in this light has really changed my mindset. Plus, when you begin to see the results it makes it all worthwhile!
When do you fit in strength work?
Do you have certain times of day you do your workouts?