Training While Working
Training For an endurance event while working a physically/emotionally demanding job can be tough.
Does your job involve long hours, night shifts, early shifts, swing shifts, physical, or is emotionally demanding? As if training isn't hard enough, you now have to factor in all of the above, plus family and life.
By training smart and utilizing your training time specifically, you can still look to complete your desired event while actually enjoying the process with a few simply tips.
- Try to get your workout in before you go to work. This can be difficult especially if you are working an early shift. If you can make the sacrifice to get up early it will ensure you get your workout in. The chances of getting it done after work are 50/50, and you will most likely be fatigued so it may not be your best effort. With that said, if it is a long endurance day split it up. Do part in the morning and the rest when you get home. I have a friend that would some days split it into 3 parts! Run in the morning, stair climb at work during lunch and run or ride after work.
- If you need to do it after work, have a quick light snack and go it immediately when you get home, or have what you need prepared and in your car to do it on your way home.
- Keep your workouts brief but specific on the days you are working.
Use your work days for those speed, hills or tempo days making sure you are no more than and hour. Use an athletic watch to know the speed or heart rate zones for each workout will ensure you are getting the maximum benefit in every session you do. When time is limited no junk miles are the key to your success.
- Keep your training sessions or workouts specific to the event that you are training for. For example, if you are training for an endurance event bulking up at the gym may not be the best use of your gym time. Instead consider higher reps with lighter weight or just body weight, working those small stabilizing muscles to keep them strong for the long haul.
Fuelling and Hydration
- Ensure you are hydrating with plenty of water throughout the day and post workout, skipping the sugary drinks. If you need some flavour try adding some electrolyte tablets to help with your hydration such as Ener-C or Nuun
- Meal prep as much as you can, that can be as simple as making extra dinner so you can pack it up for your lunch. This will help with the greasy fast food temptations and ensure you are getting the proper nutrition you will need throughout the day.
- Easy, quick cheats for your lunch can be a simple as making extra protein at dinner, putting this into a container with mixed frozen vegetables, or fresh pre-cut pre-washed fresh vegetables. If you don't have time to cook some carbs, try adding a bagel or cutting up mini raw potatoes into chunks, adding them to your protien and vegetables. When you microwave the container they will cook right up. Sometimes I will put some rice vermicelli under my frozen or raw vegetables, the moisture while microwaving helps cook them.
- Smoothies are an absolutely fantastic way to get more fruits and vegetables in. If you don't have time to make them yourself there are companies out there that make them and mail them to you frozen. simply add water and pop it into the blender, maybe add a scoop of protein, blend an tadaaaa, breakfast! I personally I use Revive Super Foods
They are quick, easy and have real fruits and vegetables in them.
Setting Realistic Goals
- Make sure you are setting realistic goals for yourself. Have a good look at your work, life and family commitments during the training phase of your desired event. Are they realistic? Or should you be looking for an event at a more appropriate time?
- Having a support network with family, friends, co-workers or a coach will help keep you on task with accountability and encouragement.
- Remember to be kind to yourself!!!! This is a big one that alot of athletes seem to put off to the side. Beating yourself up if you missed a training session or didn't perform the way you thought you should feel does not advance your goals in any way whatsoever, is demoralizing and will start to eventually erode your confidence...
Training for an event is a process with highs and lows just like schooling, work or relationships. Sometimes you can have only 1 out of 10 training sessions that felt good, I get it, I've been there and sometimes I still go to that place. Consider those ones the mental training side of your event training because lets face it, there will be times during your event that you are not going to feel good (just like those workouts), and you will need to regroup and push through.
Every training session is a good session no matter how you feel about it. I consider these sessions the ones that I am benefiting from the most! I'm not giving in by skipping my training, NO I'm out there, I did it, it sucked, but we rock for simply doing it.
Remember!! What would you say to a friend if they felt how you do about your session? Be that friend to you, leave time for fun, family, friends and wine xoxoxxo.