Life is Hard. And Busy.
Adding a 4 to 6 day per week running program on top of your existing life will only make things harder.
As a fellow 9-5’er and Weekend Warrior, I can relate. Although I am not an expert, I do have practical experience that can hopefully be useful to you all.
Below are a few tips on how to incorporate a high volume running routine into an already high volume lifestyle.
1. Run before work – My best tip is to learn to get up early and make it a habit. In general, the mornings are the one part of the 9-5er's day that is controllable. Once the work day begins, the world rapidly begins making demands on your time. Start from where you are and slowly wake up earlier in 10 minutes increments until you reach a wake-up time that accommodates your training run. For me, the ideal start time is 5am, which allows me to run up to 13 miles (if I had too) and be back to get the household ready for school and work.
2. Run (Long-Run) commute – Instead of the weekend long-run, consider running home from work one day per week. For me, I live 10 miles from work. Even though my normal car route involves the interstate, with a little creativity, I can string together a safe running route through various neighborhoods and parks. Consider your situation, and maybe with a little creativity, you can also fit-in a long-run as your normal commute.
3. Running conference calls / meetings – We all have them. Those conference calls where we listen for 1 or more hours with close to zero expectation for talking or contributing. Why not use this opportunity to run? If you have an easy run scheduled for the day, it is possible to prepare and be on the road before the conference call starts. Please make sure to mute the line and control your breathing – in case the rare instance occurs where you do need to contribute.
4. Incorporate Stretching and Cross-Training Time with evening routine – As runners, we should stretch more and do more upper body conditioning (e.g. push-ups and pull-ups). But finding time to run is hard enough without adding extra activities. Considering auditing your evening routine. Are you sitting on the couch with family or friends watching TV? Are you cooking dinner? Are you relaxing in general? Each of these instances is an opportunity to incorporate stretching or conditioning. Start by carving-out 5 minutes. See how you feel in a week and then adjust upwards from there. For me, I incorporate stretching while playing evening board games or cooking with the family.
5. 168 Hours – This is how many hours you have in a week. It’s actually quite a lot when shown this way. Mathematically, it is feasible to work 50 hours and train 10 hours per week (leaving 108 hours left for sleep and life). Track and audit your time. Find the areas you can incorporate running into existing routines. Then, modify the areas of your life that are wasting time. After a few weeks, you will not even miss the wasted time activities.
See you at the Finish Line,