As everyone’s summer schedules are building, I think its important to take a minute, step back and really look at how much work goes into being an athlete at any level. Whether you are spending 30 minutes to an hour running or seven hours in one day on the bike there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making that workout happen. It takes planning, coordination and balance. Many of us balance training against family time, demanding jobs, and life’s little hiccups. It takes a commitment and dedication to making training a part of your life and not a side job.
In order to get workouts in it is key to look ahead, plan your week and be flexible to get it done. If your schedule changes you have to change with it and be prepared to still get your workout in. It order to do this you have to think gear, time and food! As you look at your workouts for the week ask yourself the following questions?
- How much time do I need to comfortably get my workout done?
- Where will I do my workout? What is my route?
- What is the weather like?
- What gear do I need?
- Where in my week do I have flexibility?
- What will I need to eat this week and WHEN to maintain and recover my schedule?
- What can I do to prepare for the week?
- Who do I need to coordinate with?
- When will I sleep and for how long? CARVE OUT THIS TIME!!!!
- Is there gas in the car?
- What is your back up plan A, B and C?
Taking the time to plan makes hard workouts much less daunting. It helps break them down into a task you are ready for. This is especially key the busier and more tired you are. The easier it is to actually get to the workout (you know what you will wear, where your watch is, where you are going to work out, etc) the less likely it is to be a mountain to climb….although some of you CL athletes may literally be running up mountains.
I am very proud of the CL team this summer! Here are some real life practices of CL Teammates that are thriving despite tough schedules.
- Cooking on Sundays! Get out the crock pot, pre cut veggies for the week, bag up snacks and have a meal plan. When you are tired it is much easier and better for a recovering body to grab a pre-prepped homemade meal.
- Bike commuting or run commuting. If your route is safe and it fits in your daily plan this is a great way to find some extra time.
- Getting out early to beat the heat. Even if you want to sleep, its much easier on your body to workout before the temperature rises. Going to bed a little earlier to squeeze a run in before the family is up can be a great way to start the day.
- Being sure to move around and stretch at work. Too much sitting can be hard on the body pre/post a workout. Being ready to get that workout in means taking care of yourself all day.
- Running with the dog. This can be a great way for both of you to get in an easy run. But please be sure your dog has been gradually building up too and no running in the heat of the day.
Being prepared for the week gives you the ability to focus your energy on your actual workout and not how you are going to get there. This will be a huge boost to you mental game!