The number one excuse for people’s lack of exercise is time. Time to go to the gym and work out, time to go out for a run, swim, play football or even lift weights. Those that do maintain a healthy exercise regime don’t necessarily have more free time, or a less busy schedule. They just know how to train efficiently and effectively in the little gaps they are given.
The majority of us work, have families and lead busy social lives. We all have chores to do, errands to run and other responsibilities to fulfill, therefore when you first decide to embark on a new training routine, the idea of finding time in your busy schedule can be a daunting thought. The challenge of fitting in the time-consuming nature of endurance training is possibly of the most difficulty. Training for road races, marathons, triathlons or any other form of endurance activity is often accompanied by the thought of hours upon hours of tedious, repetitive exercise routines, often involving incredibly early mornings, late nights and busy weekends.
Here are a number of tips to help all those with busy schedules fit the time-consuming nature of endurance training around their hectic lives.
Make it a priority
Everyone has different priorities in life. They differ from person to person, but it is important to understand where endurance training comes in your personal list of priorities. Obviously work and family life are the two most common factors that come first, but what about other activities?
Identify which activities that take up a bulk of your time are less important than your endurance training. How about the time you spend down at the pub after work? Or the hours you waste watching TV every night? Cut back or eliminate the less important ones and make room for your priority: endurance training.
Stick to a schedule
Ask any successful endurance athlete what one of the biggest keys to their success is, more than likely it will be an effective schedule.
Sit down and spend a little bit of time evaluating your typical day, work out where time is wasted and at which points you can fit in appropriate training time. Achieving your endurance training goals is often a result of a correctly applied schedule.
Example of a 4 day workout
Here is a great example of a simple 4 day endurance training routine. Each day focuses on different effort levels, speeds of pace and distance run, all of which are needed when training for any endurance event.
-Mon: Active Recovery
-Tues: Speed workout (i.e. 3-4 x 1-mile sprints at a 2:1 work to rest ratio)
-Wed: Steady Run (i.e. 5-10 miles aerobic)
-Thurs: Active Recovery
-Fri: Intervals or Hill Training (5-10 x steep 1-2 minute hill runs with walk down)
-Sat: Active Recovery
-Sun: Long Run (10 – 20miles that include race pace intervals and fast finishes)
As you can see from the above workout, endurance training does not always have to be a 10-20 mile slog every single day. A smart athlete will perform a variety of training methods to prepare themselves for an event or race. These other training methods can be completed relatively quickly, yet still remain highly effective and beneficial.
Active recoveries are essential in ensuring your body does not suffer from any over-training injuries. They also make for a perfect opportunity to perform other forms of exercise such as yoga or core training.
About the Author: Stacey is a fitness fanatic who exercises 6 times per week and adheres to a strict low carb diet to keep her body in optimal shape.