If you’re devoted to your training schedule, it can be difficult to fit everything in – especially if you have a busy career and a family as well. Here are seven tips from our experts on getting the most out of your training, while still fitting in all of the things that count.
1) Get Your Priorities Straight
Work out how important training is to you, and balance it against your other obligations and the things that you want to get out of your days, weeks and months. The first step is to identify which things other than training are essential, and require you to work in training around them. Then identify the things that take up your time that are not as important as your training, and working out how to cut back on these things to allow you to spend more time in the gym or on the track.
2) Be Consistent
Keeping your training regimen routine is key in making it a constant part of your life. It’s not possible to get in a ‘full’ workout every day, but if you at least manage to go for a 20 minute run or lift some weights every day, you’ll be making a major positive difference.
3) Make a Schedule and Stick To It
Sticking to an exercise schedule is important, but it can be tricky if the rest of your week is a little unpredictable. Keep it as loose as you can, but make sure you stick to it. Map out when you’re doing weights, cardio, or some combination of the two, and try to stick to this as much as possible. Look for areas in your schedule where you can cut down time wasted, such as watching TV or sleeping late on weekends.
4) Keep The Peace At Home
If your partner isn’t an athlete and you are, you need to make sure that they understand that they are important to you, and that your training isn’t going to dominate your relationship. Sit down with them and talk through your training schedule, and see if you need to make any compromises to accommodate them and keep everybody happy. You can’t schedule in quality time, but you can at least make sure there are times in your schedule when it can happen.
5) Be Creative With Your Time
If you drive to work, think about riding your bike there. Maybe get bike racks fitted to your car so you can drive if it’s raining, then cycle home in the evening if it clears up. Buy an exercise bike and work out on that while you’re watching TV – any time you can combine training with an everyday activity is more free time you’ll have to do the important things.
6) Train Seasonally
There’s little benefit in training at your peak all year round. Focus your training on big events and times when it’s most important to be at your peak, and you’ll find that you have more time to do other things when it’s not the height of athletics season. Training hard when it is season will also allow you to slack off a little when it’s not, without feeling guilty.
7) Quality, Not Quantity
Simply training constantly isn’t always the best approach. Many runners might not be getting the most out of their training programs, because they’re spending too much time on one type of training. If you get a fully balanced training schedule worked out that includes prolonged, steady, moderate-paced aerobic training and threshold work, speed intervals, technique work and/or resistance training, you’ll be able to train for less time, and get more out of your workout.