It’s the day after Labour Day, which means back to school, work and schedules. When the weekly calendar starts to fill up with to-do lists, activities and other commitments, it can be challenging to fit your runs and workouts in. If you’ve got a goal race on the calendar and you’re worried about managing your training with the rest of your life, follow these tips to help you breeze through your week.
Don’t hit the snooze button
For many of us, running in the morning is the best way to make sure we don’t skip the day’s miles. This way, no matter what happens throughout the day, none of it will prevent us from getting our run done. This is an excellent strategy, as long as you get up when your alarm goes off. If you have a tendency to hit the snooze button too many times, forcing you to either shorten your run or skip it altogether, try putting your alarm somewhere in your room where you’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off. Getting out of bed is often the hardest part of morning runs, so this is a great way to push yourself to get the day (and your run) started.
Create a bedtime routine
On that note, if you’re constantly feeling tired, part of the problem could be that you’re not getting enough quality sleep. Just like you have a morning alarm, it’s a good idea to set an evening alarm too, to remind you to start getting ready for bed. Ideally, give yourself 30 minutes to an hour to turn off the screens, get comfy and wind down so you’re body is ready for sleep.
Plan your meals
Your nutrition is an important part of your performance, so in the same way you plan your runs, you should plan your meals, too. This way, you don’t waste time scratching your head in front of the refrigerator every evening, or having to run out to the grocery store every night to pick up one or two ingredients. If you can, make enough food for dinner so that you can take the leftovers for lunch the next day, which removes the need to plan and cook two meals every day. Check out our fall meal planning tips from runner and sports dietitian, Stephanie MacNeill.
Try the run commute
Some runners like to get their miles in on their way to work because it’s an easy way to fit their runs in around their busy schedules. Of course, this may not be a viable solution for everyone, but a lot of runners swear by it.
Make your runs fun
Yes, we love running, but it can get a bit monotonous at times. To encourage you to get out the door for solo runs, download a few podcasts or fun playlists at the beginning of the week to listen to while you’re out pounding pavement. We also encourage you to find a running buddy or to get involved with a local running group. Knowing people are waiting for you to get started is great motivation to not skip a run, and you’d be amazed at how quickly the miles go by when you’re chatting with friends.
Add in some enjoyable cross-training
If it’s variety you crave, try swapping one of your runs each week for a cross-training session. Doing something different (that still helps you reach your goals) a couple of days per week may be just what you need to stay engaged in your training.
Make a weekly goal
Having one larger goal to work toward is an excellent north star for your training, but it’s easy for that goal to feel far off or out of focus during your day-to-day activities. To overcome this, set a new goal every week. It may be something as simple as getting up as soon as your alarm goes off every morning, or it could be a weekly mileage total you want to hit — whatever it is, make sure it’s realistic so you can build off of each week’s success.