Well, Labor Day has passed and the summer marathon is completed. A new semester just started and it’s time to get back into the grind. Now some of you don’t get to enjoy the “lazy” days of summer (and I say lazy in quotes because I know many of us runners use the summer months to ramp up the mileage), but fall still seems a good time to re-assess how to balance our work life and running life (and family, friends, etc.).
Being a college instructor means my schedule has some flexibility. This can be a good and a bad thing. Some days my only real “commitment” is being on campus to teach for an hour and a half. But then I need to work on lecture notes, grade, and, in a perfect world, make a dent in my dissertation. It’s easy to put all of that first and brush off my running. But then I remember how much better I feel and how much more productive I am when I include my runs. But where to put that run? How to make it all happen?
I have a couple of tried and true methods. First, I schedule my runs. Usually I’m training for something, so I have some type of specific runs I need to get in during the week. I put them on my calendar – the same calendar I use for work and home. This way I know that a portion of my day is dedicated to my run and if something comes up and I can’t make that time, I need to reschedule. Also, I try to make plans with friends for tough runs: long runs, early mornings, etc. Ok I try to run with friends whenever possible, but these more difficult times/distances are priorities for including running buddies. My running ladies keep me honest. When I want to hit snooze at 4:40am, I won’t when I know I have a girlfriend waiting for me. And let’s be real, if you need to run in the dark (which is more likely as our days get shorter), there is safety in numbers! Finally, I keep races on my calendars. Like many runners, having goals keeps me focused and keeps my runs happening.
So what are your tricks to balancing multiple schedules? How do you make sure you get in your daily workouts?