This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is time management and training, which is appropriate given the little monkey wrench Oliver’s accident just threw into our normal daily flow. Thanks to Erika, Patty and April for hosting, as always!
Back in the fall, in the midst of training for the Des Moines Half Marathon, I did a “Day in the life” post that went through a fairly typical day for me. Looking back at it now, it’s funny to see how many of the “bones” of that time management strategy are still in play now, even if my day looked different in some key ways (ie I woke up on the floor of Oliver’s room this morning because the only way he’ll sleep with the cast is if I’m in there with him).
– Plan ahead! Every weekend, I look ahead at the week’s runs and my schedule for the week. We keep a weekly calendar in the pantry that we use for meal planning and to keep track of big events for the week. Any of my runs that impact family time (usually those requiring the treadmill, which means gym time, and my long runs) go onto the weekly calendar so we all know that we’ll be working around them. We also use this planning ahead time to decide what evening my husband will go to the gym. With all of this in sight, I can make a better plan for daycare drop off/pick up and meal planning.
– Take advantage of help where you can find it. For me, that means my wonderful husband, who is very supportive of my running, my gotta-have-it slow cooker and my every-other-week cleaning service. I felt a little guilty having someone come clean my house when I went back to work after my maternity leave but a) it was surprisingly less money than I expected and b) I reminded myself that what I’m really buying is time to spend on more important things, like my family.
– If you can get your workout done in the early morning, it really is easier. Man, do I hate it sometimes when the alarm clock goes off super early, but I have to admit that it makes it a lot easier to get training done for the week if I’m getting at least half of the workouts done while the rest of the house is asleep.
– Figure out which workouts are the priority and which ones you can let slide if you need to. In general, you probably shouldn’t skip the long run or the speed work, right? It also probably isn’t the end of the world if you sometimes miss an easy 2-3 miler. This depends on your training plan, of course. I love that the Another Mother Runner plans I’ve used lately specify which workouts are “must do” and which ones can slide if life gets crazy. We have to be realistic – things happen.
– Remind yourself that the training is time you’re gifting yourself with and that you deserve it. One of the questions I got on my “day in the life” post was where the time for “me” was in my day. I try to view my runs as “me” time so I’m “double dipping” (or triple dipping really) in terms of benefits to me from the time I’m working out. First and foremost, I’m investing in my health and that makes me better at everything else I need to do. Second, I’m investing in my sanity by allowing myself this “me” time. Third, I’m training for a race and the cool medal and all of that other jazz. Perspective is huge for me!
How do you balance training with all of the other responsibilities life throws at you? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!