Long gone are the days of being bored. It seems like there is never enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. This is coming from someone who will readily admit I have more “free time” than the average person. So how do you fit in marathon training when your schedule is full from work, kids or life obligations?
Here are some tips that have helped me keep up with training for marathons over the years.
- Accept that you may not get to run when you like to run. I’m a morning runner. If I had it my way I would wake up and run first thing. With three kids and a husband who leaves for work at o-dark-thirty, this isn’t possible unless I want to get up in the 4’s. I use to dwell on this, but now I make a choice to accept that a run is a run no matter when I fit it in during the day.
- Pick a training plan that allows you multiple rest days. Running five days a week is perfect for my schedule right now. I can fit in 4 days of running during the week and run longer on Sunday. Some years I’ve managed to run 7 days a week. Other years it’s been more like 3 or 4.
- Accept that others may have more time to run, they may run more miles, or they may run more days than you. They aren’t you. Try not to fall into the comparison trap. If your schedule is packed, then you have to be willing to stop thinking about what others are doing. You are doing what you can, with what you have, at the time of your life you are in. You can still fit in marathon training, it may not be what you want it to be. But you can still make a marathon happen.
- Start your runs from your house or work place. My mom often drives over 30 minutes to meet friends to run long. Couple that with the time she spends talking before and after the run begins; she is adding on 1 -2 hours of time on her long runs. At the stage of life she is in, this works for her, but it often doesn’t work for me. If you are short on time, don’t drive somewhere to run. Start from wherever you are.
- If you like running with friends, combine it with the time you would have spent being social. Hanging out with friends is often the first thing to go when I need to make more time for running, but there is no reason you can’t combine the two. Find a friend who lives close and ask him/her to meet you for a run after work instead of a coffee date or happy hour drink.
- Work with people who run? Ask if you can take that meeting outside and talk on the run. I realize this won’t work for everyone, but you never know till you try. I’ve been fortunate that almost all off the jobs I’ve had in my adult life have been related in some way to the running industry. Many work discussions have taken place on runs.
- Split your runs. I don’t love splitting runs, but there is value in it rather than skipping your workout all together. Need to run 6 miles and only have time for 3 in the morning and 3 at night? Do it. Something is always better than nothing.
- Don’t be afraid to rearrange your running plan. If you have a coach, they can help do this for you. If you are self coached or are following a plan out of a book, follow this general rule of thumb when rearranging days— hard days should typically be followed by easy days.
Related: There’s no JUST in 13.1
How do you manage to fit in marathon training? Tell me your tips on the Mile Posts Facebook page!