… especially after you start a new job and your whole (previous) life’s schedule is turned upside down. As you know, I started a new job about 5 months ago that is (currently) 7 am - 5:30 pm demanding and, until I moved at the end of June, was a 40-minute commute. My previous (temporary) gig was substitute teaching, where I was home by 3:30 every afternoon and could run when I pleased. Needless to say, going back to an 8-to-5 was pretty tough and even these few months in, I’m still struggling a little with finding the balance, and sometimes the desire, to make sure I get out the door. Now that I'm past orientation season and those 4-day, 70-hour work weeks, it's time to get my figurative ball moving again.
I shared this on Carlee's blog a number of weeks ago, but thought I'd share here too. Here’s a few tips, partially by science and partially straight from yours truly, on ways to take advantage of the time you have and the energy you’re given on how to make sure you’re still lacing up to your satisfaction.
I fortunately/unfortunately live by a planner and a to-do list. My summer is swallowed whole by work, so it’s tough for my time to get quickly commandeered by other ‘life’ things. Just like you would write a to-do list of the things you need to get done at work, consider adding your run to your to-do list, too – it’s just one more check-mark to add to your notes! Maybe it also means putting it into your Outlook with a reminder so that you have a regularly scheduled workout time built into your day for you.
If you haven’t heard of the runch, you’re missing out. I mean, check out all these people that do it! Runching asks more of you, especially if you value your lunch hour more than anything, but it’s a great way to combine two loves: getting out of the office and getting your run in! This is hard logistically sometimes, especially if you’re super-sweaty and don’t have access to a shower at your work (lucky for me, I work on a college campus with a gym). I took advantage of this often in Georgia in the winter and spring, and would get a solid 2-3 miles in and time to chow down! Total time maximization.
3. Incorporate it Into What You Do
Because I work on college campuses, and students are typically super cautious or interested in building a fitness-based lifestyle, it’s often been easy to incorporate running and exercise into what I already do day-to-day. At my last school, I was given the opportunity to coordinate a student trip to a local 5K – many of these students ran/walked their first 5K ever that day! How lucky am I that one of my passions, running, can be easily interwoven into my work life too?
|MCU students at the Didi Hirsch Alive and Running 5K, 2013.|
4. Set a Goal
Every time I’ve felt a lull in my motivation to get up and going, I’ve found a new goal or challenge to work for. My downtime in motivation has often come after a big move or job change, and I often found it hard to just run with no goal in sight (I have a different appreciation now of just running for the sake of running). Whether that means you're tackling a summer #RWRunStreak,or have a PR in sight, create a finish line for yourself that will inspire you on the toughest days to keep going. My spring had a good schedule of races on weekends, but the weekdays were tough for me and many thanks to the run streak challenge this summer, I re-found some motivation to get me over that hump. Now that orientation is over, it's time to find it again!
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned… cut yourself some slack! It doesn’t have to happen every day, nor does it always have to be as long as you want. Keep in mind what you’re working for but listen to your body and what it’s willing to give. A friend of mine posted this article last week and it resonated with me: sometimes it’s okay to sleep in and choose a later alarm over getting in another 2-mile run. Not only are both necessary, but it’s difficult to get healthy doses of one without the other. So know that hitting snooze an extra day or two won’t make or break you… and it’s OKAY!
|Orrrr you can just use motivational alarms like this one!|
What other tips do you have to keep up on your running when work and life requires so much? Any great things you’ve learned?