This is a section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries, email me, tweet me, or leave me a message on the Kikay Runner Facebook page.
Last month I asked my Facebook Page followers: “Anything in particular you’d like me to write about? Training tips, troubleshooting, reviews?” Here are some of the requests they made.
Pao Moreto asks: How to get back after a long time of hiatus. Or more importantly, how can anybody who works in the graveyard shift find time to run. BPO and running.
Shelley Jo Rojas Saracin asks: How to get back after a long hiatus din!
Rj Bumanglag asks: Following Mr. Moreto’s idea, you could also write training schedules of an 8-5 office employee.
Macky De Leon asks: Time management. How to squeeze in training for us with 9-5 work.
Sheila Llorin asks: Same with Macky De Leon’s comment.
Finding the time to train, whether you’re a very busy person or someone coming back from hiatus, is about creating good habits and celebrating each step forward so you become more motivated to continue. Here are a few tips to help you get started training again.
- Start with short and easy sessions. It actually takes anywhere from 18 to 251 days to form a new habit, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. Missing one session won’t set you back, but when you’re first getting started in a new workout routine, consistency creates a rhythm that makes things easier. Waking up earlier at the same time every day to complete a training session, even if it’s a short one, before heading to work makes training an integral part of your day. (Alternatively you can train after work before going home to avoid the heavy traffic during rush hour.) And when you start off with easy sessions your body is able to adjust to the new physical activity so you don’t need to take a day off to recover from sore muscles.
- Set challenging but reasonable goals. If you’re coming from zero you can’t expect to run a full marathon in a month’s time without suffering through it. Instead, first set shorter goals that you may not be able to do now, but that you can achieve with training — even if it’s a 3K or 5K fun run. Especially for those with limited time to train, consider the amount of free time you have versus the amount of time needed to train properly for your goal race and adjust accordingly.
- Listen to your body. This bears reminding for everyone. We often feel we’re being heroes for gutting through an unexpectedly long session or completing intense training despite not feeling too well, but there are times such things break you down instead of building you up. So if you’ve had a tough session, take it easy the next day to allow your body time to recover and absorb the work you’ve done. It can take up to two weeks to see the benefits of training!
- Remember why you’re doing the training. I started running because it helped me stay fit, drop extra weight, and was a lot of fun. Some people try to stay fit so they can live longer and with more quality with their loved ones. Others run primarily because competition is their livelihood. On the days you feel unmotivated or think you can’t be bothered to train, go back to the reasons why you started doing this. They are usually compelling enough to get your butt off the couch. :)
I find that training schedules are a very individual thing; some people may prefer to get their workouts done first thing when they wake up, while others love the midday workout, and still others use workouts after work as a way to unwind. I consistently have three quality runs in the week: speedwork, tempo, and long. Check out this previous Ask Kikay Runner column about half-marathon training for how I do it. If I want to run at other times in the week, these are usually very easy recovery runs lasting no more than an hour at a nice aerobic pace.
If training for triathlons, I follow the MaccaX Plus Weekend Warrior schedule which sets a particular focus for each day of the week: Recovery on Mondays, Speed on Tuesdays, Foundation on Wednesdays, Strength on Thursdays, Speed on Fridays, and Foundation on Saturdays and Sundays. I set one key session a day (whether it’s swim, bike, or run) that I must do which I believe will help me finish my target race. I’ll let Mr. McCormack do the explaining here. You can avail this training system by signing up on MaccaX.com.
I personally think it’s much easier for someone with an 8-to-5 job to find training partners, which help make training more fun and less mentally draining, so you wind up being more consistent. For those with BPO jobs (business process outsourcing) on a shifting schedule, it may be worth your while to invest in a gym membership so you can train indoors conveniently and consistently if conditions are unfavorable before or after work.
If you’d like more specifics and help with referrals for a custom training plan for you, please hit me up in this contact form.