Nowadays, we have a lot of work to do and responsibilities to take on. Life has become much more stressful than it used to be in the past. And often juggling family, work, and fitness can be more tricky and challenging than the running itself! Here are BEST PLANNING TIPS how to incorporate running into your week plan.
1 GET UP EARLY
The first rule of thumb particularly during the summer is to get a good night’s sleep and wake up early to have enough time to exercise. Prepare you clothes and shoes the night before, decide where you want to run and set your alarm.
Today many people work long hours and therefore find training during the week difficult. The long summer days are a great opportunity not to be missed. You can plan a week or more weeks in advance, go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up and either run or cycle before going to work. It won’t be always easy, especially if you’ve been out the night before. Decide how many times a week you want to run before work, two to three times a week is best, and stick to your plan. One of the most rewarding parts about running early you may find is that you’ll probably see lots of elderly people out walking and running. And this is when you can think to yourself something like “Wow, I’m glad I’m making the effort to look after myself now because this will me in 40 years and I’ll still be running!”
2 RUN TO WORK
Every year more and more people are wearing shorts and trainers to work, particularly during the warm, summer months. And running to and from work is today often encouraged with government incentives and can be an excellent time saver.
Rather than spend longer queuing to get a replacement bus, consider running to work. If you are training for a marathon, this is a great training session, especially if you live 5-10km away from work. Of course, you don’t have to run to work every day, but running once or twice a week to work can be a great exercise. If your office doesn’t have showers, check where’s the nearest gym, where you can shower after your run.
3 FIND A FRIEND TO RUN WITH
Having a running friend can really help you stay motivated. But don’t just have one – have several as back-up! You can also join a running group which meets a few times a week.
Running buddies are just as busy as you are, so when your running friend cancels the last minute, either go running on your own or have a back-up plan – go to your gym instead or take a power walk if you don’t feel like running. If you’ve joined a running group and you can’t make every run, pencil in a morning run with your friend on a day that your running group meet in the evening, so that if yours or your friend’s plans change and you don’t end up running that morning, you can also join your group for a run later that day.
4 SEE RUNNING AS MEDICINE
Individuals who have a deep love of running often see it as a lifeline and more than just a method to drop pounds or build their fitness. For people who have serious health issues (blood pressure, high cholesterol, or weight issues) running can be an effective solution that benefits them not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Running may significantly change your outlook on life, your career, your behavior, habits, relationships etc.
People with serious health issues often see running differently. A man who has life-threatening cystic fibrosis once said that he runs regularly because one day he might not be able to. This person’s daily routine involves medication and lung clearing using a machine (which can take up to one and a half hours a day), and the most important part of his day is the run. He has run six marathons, five of them in under four hours, and tells that running puts him in his happy place. Next time you want to find an excuse not to run because you feel lazy, think of this man, or someone close to you who can’t run.
5 CONSULT A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL
Personal training isn’t for everybody but investing in a couple of sessions could help jump start your fitness and build a long lasting commitment to regular exercise.
Consider signing up for a month, or for a particular number of sessions. All city gyms offer PT services and there are numerous private experts on offer. You’ll learn new strategies to strength train and condition, and it could help you with consistency, motivation, and commitment – consider consulting a fitness professional as an investment which is important to you long-term and will also benefit your self-esteem, well-being and consequently your personal relationships.
6 PLAN YOUR WEEK
Once a week, best on Sunday night, sit down to look at what the coming week presents, and write down ‘running’ at some point each day. If you get into the habit of doing this every week, this will become easier and you’ll naturally become more organized, and soon you may find that your running and/or fitness schedule becomes more consistent.
Thirty-eight year old Mary fits working as a part time designer around looking after her two small kids. She has always planned everything – family, work, social events, chores, and fitness – but when she’s really busy, not even being organized seemed to help me keep my fitness on track. She naturally prioritizes everyone and everything else over her fitness, which used to frustrate her, but didn’t help her change! Eventually, she and her husband came up with a new strategy – they started to synchronize their week plans. It’s less complicated than it sounds. They would sit down together, plan their weekly schedule each on their own and then run it by each other. If she’s struggling to fit a run in on Wednesday because of the school meeting and then the visit to her parents, her husband says he’ll go to the school meeting, so she can go out for a run that evening. This may also work for you, it’s worth trying. In this way you (and your partner) will have a chance to schedule time to be together as well as respect wishes and needs of the other.
7 ASK FOR HELP
When you hit a slump or lack motivation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and we all need some help from time to time. Why not ask those around you for help?
Start with your partner, then your children. Ask them to be interested in your fitness, ask you about your running, offer to run with you, and similar. You can also find a local running group, fitness classes, or advertise on ‘find a running buddy’ if you’ve just moved to a new town. Make your fitness plans known on social media to get interest from other people. Studies show that those who have consistent social support are more motivated and positive, than those who don’t have any social influence.