Your New Year’s resolutions should be handled no differently than any other goal that you set for yourself. Those goals should be realistic and attainable. Those goals should also be written down somewhere to serve as a reminder of your commitment and hopefully you are tracking your progress along the way. Many of you have set goals or made resolutions for yourself. And I hope you are all still on course and sticking to your plan. But what happens when your plan becomes challenged as you react to all of life’s curve balls and detours?
The hard part is managing that training schedule while living in the “real world” with everything that is thrown your way. If I had a quarter every time I heard someone tell me that they simply don’t have time to work out, I would be a very rich man. The truth is – you DO have time to work out. And you DO have time to work out while still keeping your priorities in line and not losing your family or your job.
I have two daughters who are now grown but who were extremely active kids growing up. Not only was I helping to shuttle them everywhere, in many cases I was their coach or parent volunteer. Add work and the rest of life’s responsibilities to the equation and that makes training for ironman triathlons and marathons a little tricky – but far from impossible as I can personally attest to. I am going to share with you a few of the ways I have been able to steal some training time (note – FREE FITNESS) over the years without causing too much of a disruption for those around me.
Take it indoors – A modest investment in a treadmill or an indoor bike trainer can do wonders in keeping everything in balance.
Run or ride to or from a family activity – I rode my bike or ran to many of my kids activities over the years and was able to log some significant miles in the process. You get to train without missing out on any family time. It’s a double win.
Bike to work – Many companies are offering commuter friendly shower and bike storage facilities. Check it out and see. If your commute is a little too long to bike perhaps you could take advantage of a “park and ride” and ride a portion of your work commute.
“Nooner” runs – I have been running during lunch for decades. Even if you are to do this a couple of days a week for a couple of miles at a time; it’s a big time score. You will log a few extra training miles and do wonders to combat that work stress.
Dark and Early - I know the thought of waking up at 5 AM to sneak in an early morning workout may not be your first definition of fun. But trust me… the dividends this can pay all the way around are immeasurable.
Always pack a bag – One of my Cardinal rules is to ALWAYS have a workout bag packed in the trunk of your car. You never know when you may be able to grab a quick run.
10 minutes is better than nothing – Too many people fall victim to the belief that if they can’t train for 30-60 minutes, it’s simply not worth it. The truth is, any time you can squeeze in even 10 minutes of training, you are better off than having done nothing.
I also like to see people making healthy choices in their everyday living. Get in the habit of ALWAYS taking the stairs wherever you are. And stop trying to find the closest parking spot to your destination and start parking farther away. Or park a mile away from your restaurant and enjoy walking off your meal. That little extra walking can only help.
Hopefully you find some value in some of these tips. I practice them all and then some. Another key point to ponder is that it is OK to take the occasional scratch when your schedule gets too hectic. But if you do miss that key workout, make the necessary adjustment and keep moving. Don’t lose focus of your long term goals.
Train safe, race smart, and thank the volunteers.