Busy summer weekends has required that I rearrange my training schedule around a bit. With a race last weekend (speaking of, I moved up to the 7th place, overall female spot!), a backpacking trip this weekend, and traveling home to Oregon next weekend, I’m going to have to get creative in order to stick to my plan and get those long runs done.
I’m very fortunate that my work schedule is part-time and allows me the option to get it done before I work later in the day. But that said, I realize weekday long runs can be a huge challenge for anyone working an 8-hour day or is juggling the demands of a family and responsibilities at home.
While I was trying not to look at my watch every 10th of a mile this morning, I came up with a short list of suggestions to help make the occasional long run during the week manageable.
- Plan it a week out, minimum. Don’t expect to just wake up one morning and decide to do it. Being mentally prepared is a huge part of the battle so schedule it, put it on your calendar, and make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare. Also, don’t schedule it on a super busy day… like say when you have a presentation to give at work first thing in the morning.
- Prepare in advance. Don’t wait until the night before to restock your fuel. I’m bad about keeping a supply on hand so I’m either trying to track something down the day before or realize the morning of my long run that I only have two Clif Shot Blocks left in my stash. (Yeah, that was this morning.)
- As you would for any long run, get your gear in order the night before. Make sure you have clean socks, all of your gadgets are charged, you know where the lid to your water bottle is…
- Calculate how long your run will take and add a few minutes so you’ve got some wiggle room if you get delayed or have to stop at a trillion traffic signals. Set a departure time and stick to it.
- Plan to get up early enough to allow yourself the time to do whatever it is you need to do to prepare. Coffee, a light breakfast, Chakra cleansing meditation, whatever. It might mean you have to get up at 4 AM, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s not a regular occurrence so suck it and set your alarm.
- Make sure you allot enough time to cool down and refuel before you need to get ready for work or whatever activities you have planned.
- If the mileage you need is pretty high and you truly don’t have enough time before work or you get stressed at the thought of trying to squeeze it in, there’s nothing wrong with breaking it down into two runs. Split it up and run half in the morning and then the other half during lunch or later in the evening.
- Don’t skimp on a post-run reward because you’re pressed for time. You earned that decadent smoothie or stop at Starbucks!