Time Crunched Running #RunFormFriday

Time Crunched Running #RunFormFriday

No Time to Run? 5 Creative Ways to Find Time

Our lives are busier than ever. We are all frantically juggling family life and long working hours; some statistics showing the average working week to be close to 36 hours, with some professions working 40 or more. That’s before we even include sleep, cooking, housework, social engagements, study and additional commitments.

With so many demands placed on us, it’s no wonder that training slips down the list of priorities. But are we really that busy? Or are we just poor at time management or just making excuses?

Scheduling a run can be tough. But with these tips, we’ve got you covered!

 

Make running a priority using creative runner friendly hacks

The busier we get, the more creative we have to be about how we spend our time. It’s easy to waste many hours on the internet, watching TV, on your mobile phone or just frittering time away. You have to get tough with yourself and become incredibly efficient – don’t get distracted by things are less important. In our frantic, busy lives, if you really want to find time to run, you have to find a way to make it work and get organized.

The main thing that stops us finding time to exercise is not giving it a high enough priority in our lives.

When we have enough time, we usually manage to fit exercise in, but when we get busy, exercise is the thing that gets pushed aside, because it’s not deemed as important. But running is one of the best ways to help us deal with stress and overwhelm. Yet the time when we need it most, is the time we tend to short-change ourselves.

We all know intrinsically that exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our health and we need to make it a top priority, but it’s easier said than done. People who make exercise high in their list of priorities are generally the ones who manage to fit it in. They understand the connection between physical fitness, health and mental wellbeing.

That is certainly true for me. I’ve learned over the years that training is a vital part of my life. It’s like medication, and without it I feel physically sick, grumpy and can’t function well. That doesn’t mean I’m always joyful about going for a run or getting in the pool, it just means that I need it in my life and on the days I train I ALWAYS feel better.

So I’ve learned to prioritize. It might mean I go to bed early, or it might mean I miss out on a social event or a TV show, so I can get up early the next day to train. It’s not an obsession; it’s just a choice. And in our busy lives, we can’t have it all. We have to make choices. Life is about balance, sometimes you need to make the social choices. Sometimes you need to make the training ones.

Schedule your run into your day for a guaranteed win

There are two other behaviors that set successful runners apart from the ‘excuse makers’.  ‘The other thing they do is schedule it into the day. They know it’s high priority, and they don’t immediately move it when something else comes up.  They also recognize that a short session is better than none at all.  Even just 15 minutes some days is easier to fit into gaps in your schedule, and keeps you in the routine of regular exercise. Little and often is the key. It’s better to be consistent, but do regular short runs, rather than overwhelm yourself with big mileage goals.

On that note, I find standard training plans for busy people often don’t work. You need to devise your own flexible plan to fit in around your own lifestyle or work with a coach who understands you and can tailor your training to your life conflicts. This is where our coaching plans comes in! Learn HOW to train, what you need to do to meet your goals and work with your schedule to make it happen. A strict training plan (which isn’t personalized to you) can add more stress and the sense of failure when you don’t manage to follow it.

Don’t ‘go hard’ all the time

Pushing hard every single time you go out could be making it difficult for you to stay on track with your training. I often encourage people to back off in a large percentage of their sessions as it helps get the best out of them consistently.

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]If your brain always associates running with pain, eventually it’ll persuade you to stop.[/clickandtweet]

If on the other hand, your brain associates running with pleasure and enjoyment (perhaps a slower pace and gradual increase of miles, rather than forcing things) then it’s far more likely you’ll continue and WANT to go training, rather than dread it.  Try it and see what happens.

5 Ways to Fit Your Training into a Busy Schedule

  1. Get your training done as early in the day as you can. If you’re waking up for an early morning, you could go to bed early. It sets you up for the day and makes your more productive. We can  ALWAYS find something else to do, so get your run done first.
  1. Make it a habit. Habits are easy to form when you do them every day. Even if you don’t run every day, try to make it the same TIME each day you run. It helps to have a trigger. For example, you run immediately after getting up, or always at lunchtime at work. The idea is that you embed it as something you do automatically. On days where you don’t run, you could do some stretching, strengthening work, or even just work on your balance.
  1. Don’t underestimate the power of a training partner. Training with someone else at least once a week is a great way to make sure you get out there and run. Book in with a friend or group session. The commitment of meeting someone else will mean you’ll be less likely to let them down. If you do not have anyone else in your area to run with, you could set up a virtual running partner with friends on social media, or even using Strava.
  2. Make sure your training schedule works for everyone else in the household. If you’re finding it tough to get out, and the people around you are complaining or encouraging you stay at home, it makes it doubly difficult. Perhaps get them to join you? Or at least make sure they know your plans and how important it is to you. Don’t allow anyone else to derail you or your enthusiasm. Kids could come out on the bike with you, partners could run with you (or do one of your supplementary exercises), or running could mean that once you’re done training, you spend time with them.
  3. And finally, leave some gaps in your schedule. Life has a habit of disrupting plans and things always take longer than you think. All time management systems work best when you build some spaces in for contingency. It reduces stress and gives you another window to run when things go off schedule.

You have 168 hours each and every week. If you work a 40-hour week and sleep 8 hours every night, that leaves 72 hours or just over 10 hours per day. Of the remaining time how much of it do you spend doing things that benefit you less than training; watching television, wasting time on your computer, playing video games or on your mobile phone? I know that it’s something I’m guilty of!

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]168 hours per week. 40 hours working, 8 hours sleep(!), you have 70 hours left, some of which could be used for training. How are you going to organise your life to do the runs that make you feel better?[/clickandtweet]

Send us a message or leave a comment and let us know if you have any questions! We all have our own thoughts on the matter, and we all have something different that suits us.

See what’s up next week for our #RunFormFriday tip! For more in depth understanding on how to put this into practise, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help!

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Oregon Circuits – Give Track Sessions A Kick! #RunFormFriday

Track Sessions – Why?

Lots of athletes get out and do track sessions – for various reasons. Some do it for speed, some do it for technique, some for power; some just for the ability to run with others! All of the above are certainly applicable, but some track sessions such as Oregon Circuits can do all in one go!

Oregon Circuit training sessions are track sessions with a difference. Taking their name from the University of Oregon where they were apparently first conceived, these sessions entail a measured balance of speed running combined with targeted strength exercises. The benefits are multiple, as you will see below.

 

What’s The Benefit To My Body?

By working on circuit activities and running between each station, you mix endurance work with resistance work and so tone and strengthen your muscles whilst getting a double whammy of aerobic and anaerobic activity. You keep your heart rate fairly high throughout and so get a good conditioning session for the heart. The session tends can be done and dusted in a short space of time because it gives such good return for your effort.

Track Sessions

Track sessions are a great way to improve your running, Oregon Circuits are a supercharged version!

By working on circuit activities and running between each station, you mix endurance work with resistance work. This will strengthen your muscles whilst giving a double whammy of aerobic and anaerobic activity. You keep your heart rate fairly high throughout and so get a good conditioning session for the heart. The session tends can be done and dusted in a short space of time because it gives such good return for your effort.

The way that you order the exercises to be performed depends on what you want to get out of the session.  The Oregon Circuit is sometimes performed with leg-only exercises; other times it has two or three stations for legs, core and upper body. The stations can be grouped with the leg exercises being performed consecutively before the core exercises and finally the upper body. However, the benefit of splitting the workout so that you alternate between different areas is that the heart has to work harder to move the blood from one area of the body to another. As a result the cardiovascular workout is enhanced.

The most important coaching point in terms of pace and effort is that while the runs should be at ‘race pace’, these should feel like the recovery in terms of effort from the challenging nature of the exercises.

 

Example Sessions

4 x 8min blocks of work (2mins recovery)

Warm-Up
Block 1 (8mins no-rest):
– Sumo Squats x 20
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Plank Jacks x 20
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Repeat…
2min Walking Recovery
Block 2 (8mins no-rest):
– Lateral Lunge x 15 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Mountain Climber Press-Up x 12 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Repeat…
2min Walking Recovery
Block 3 (8mins no-rest):
– High Step-Up x 15 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Single Leg Deadlift x 15 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Repeat…
2min Walking Recovery
Block 4 (8mins no-rest):
– Single Leg Glute Bridge x 15 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– 4-point Donkey Kicks x 15 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– Repeat…
Cool Down

Of course your sessions don’t have to be that complex! You could do something far more simple if you’re on your own or you want to get something in quickly!

Simple session:

100 @ race pace, 10 squats
2×90 @ race pace, 10 squats
3×80 @ race pace, 10 squats
4×70 @ race pace, 10 squats
etc etc.

To be honest, I believe it’s the basic combination of strength and tempo running that provides the benefit, not the specifics in terms of sets and reps. I think we often look to make training more complicated than it needs to be.

These sessions are intense and should be performed once a week at most. I’m yet to find another running workout that builds strength-endurance and resilience as effectively, not even hill reps, another favourite workout of mine.

Running fatigued is the biggest benefit of these sessions. With the correct cues in mind, every run rep can be very focused on technique. Not only this, but with well chosen strength exercises, you get a degree of transfer of muscle activation between the exercise and the run rep.

Send us a message or leave a comment and let us know if you have any questions! We all have our own thoughts on the matter, and we all have something different that suits us. Let us know if you do these – or give it a go this week!

See what’s up next week for our #RunFormFriday tip! For more in depth understanding on how to put this into practise, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help!

 

Most of the info/text for this came from fantastic coach/writer/physio James Dunne at Kinetic Revolution –

Oregon Circuit Workouts: Big Bang for Your Training Buck!