A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Working a training plan around obstacles in your schedule

on July 10, 2014

This week, I’m on call with my job, which means that 24/7 I’m available to answer phone calls and potentially come in to work. A couple of weeks ago when I was on call, I got paged to come back in to work just as I was literally stepping on the treadmill! Thankfully that was before my training plan officially started so that wasn’t a “must do” workout. However, now I’m on a training plan and pretty aggressive one (for me at least). I had to make some adjustments in my training plan in order to work around this week on call and it has me wondering how others handle schedule obstacles like this, where we have the luxury of planning ahead for (unlike injury or sudden events). For me, this comes up when I’m on call but for others, it could be a week of vacation or family visitors.

Scheduling runsIn my case, when I got my 13 week training plan, I was able to look ahead and see which weeks I knew I’d have difficulty. Thankfully, it’s just this one week that I have to plan around this time.With my last training cycle, I had several weeks to work around for various reasons.

First, I had an honest talk with myself about whether it was really so hard to get the workouts done when I was on call or if I was just using that as an excuse to avoid the work. With the potential of getting called in to work at any point, long runs are difficult because I can’t get too far from the house and endless small loops get so tedious! I’m also a seriously heavy breather, no matter how fast or slow I run, so I can’t actually hear my phone over my own breathing when I run! Embarrassing but true. When I am able to get short runs in while I’m on call, I find myself stopping every few minutes to check the phone and be sure I haven’t missed a call. Given these limitations, a real training week is difficult to come by.

I decided to just start my training plan a week early and “mark time” this week. So, instead of my training plan for my half marathon starting this week like it was originally scheduled, I did week one last week and this week, I’ll just do whatever I can to maintain my fitness for the week before I pick the plan up again at week 2 on Monday. It very much makes me think of the fabulous Roni and her What You Can, When You Can movement last year (#wycwyc). During a week like this where workouts are hard to come by, a short run is better no run and a walk is better than nothing.

I’m also going to try to make the workouts I can get in a little more high quality this week. There’s no reason I can’t get in a short bout of speed work while I’m on call. During the recovery spells I can check for calls and if I find a stretch of road to do the intervals on, I don’t have to travel very far from the house.

imageI can run on the treadmill, where I don’t really “go” anywhere and I can see my phone on the reading tray ahead of me and don’t need to rely on hearing it.Ā  Last but not least, there’s absolutely no reason I can’t do the strength training circuit the training plan calls for twice a week. I can do most of the moves in my office at work (assuming I close the door that is) so there’s no excuse for skipping these.

So far this week, I’ve managed two short runs and am planning on strength training today. Hopefully there will be some speed work in my future tomorrow. All in all, not bad and I’ll get back to the normal training plan on Monday.

When I train for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, I’m going to have to go through this thought process all over again to figure out how to work that training plan around travel for the holidays. Getting workouts in on the road can be tough, but it will be doubly so when the goal is big back to back runs! How do you handle things like vacation or other big schedule obstacles when you’re looking at a training plan? Are you able to work it all in somehow regardless of the other time commitments? I’m feeling a little guilty for taking this week off but keep reminding myself that I’m still getting all the weeks and taking this extra “step back” week really won’t hurt anything, especially this early in the training cycle. Plus, running is supposed to be fun, not guilt-inducing, right? šŸ™‚


7 responses to “Working a training plan around obstacles in your schedule

  1. I’m a heavy breather when I run too LOL. Hope you can come up with a good plan when you are on call. Sounds good so far! Super uber jealous of the Rebel Challenge!

  2. Planning for flexibility is exactly right! I do that as well – look at my schedule and when/how long I’m supposed to run and sometimes I’ll move days around a bit, or even split my run if I need to! You are so right about a short run being better than nothing!

  3. It’s like you read my mind sometimes! šŸ™‚ We are going on vacation in about 10 days and I’m thinking through this very same issue! I had planned to start my plan a week early, as you did, to accommodate our vacation, but unfortunately, I didn’t. I think what you are doing is very smart and there is no need to feel guilty (easier said than done, I know). As you said, something is better than nothing! I’m still debating about whether or not I’m going to stick to my plan on vacation. A part of me wants to in order to stay on track and the other part of me doesn’t want to stress about the when and where of running while on vacation. Decisions, decisions!

  4. […] Working a training plan around obstacles in your schedule Jul […]

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