I often find myself running out of hours in the day and wonder how others manage to cram it all in. I see others running to work or running at lunchtime or running super-early in the morning, or super-late at night and saying that's the only way they can fit it in. But what if those options are possible for you? What if you don't really take lunch breaks or you can't run early in the morning as you need to get your kids ready (and to) school because you're the only parent available, or you can't run late at night as you can't get childcare? Everyone faces different challenges and has to find their own way to fit training into their life. As the very inspirational Sally McRae says you have to find a way to fit it into your life, work out what you can sacrifice to fit the running in - and there will be times in your life when it simply isn't possible, and that's okay too. We can't all be super-human, and we shouldn't beat ourselves up, but if you can make those sacrifices, and get the training done, you will likely reap the rewards.
So, I had exactly 40 minutes between child duties and work duties this morning. So I was straight into a tempo run (no warm up - ouch). It was tough. And it was sweaty, despite wearing a vest and shorts! And in those same (still) sweaty shorts and vest I had 30 minutes between work and child duties this afternoon - making it with just 2 minutes to spare.
Here's what I learned:
- I sweat a lot when running, and even more so in an office environment straight after running. I was still mopping myself up an hour after finishing! There are no showers at my work and when you are required to present yourself in a professional manner, the sweaty betty look does not really go down too well. Plus it made me feel quite squirmy and rather unhygienic to be honest.
- With a tight time-scale, both runs are done as tempo runs without any warm up. Not really the best way to do a tempo and it adds to the risk of injury (and I've had enough of those!).
- I would need to keep dry shampoo, baby wipes and deodorant, and spare shoes, and spare clothes and more at work as I simply cannot fit it all into my bag.
- I need to think about what the weather will be like for the return leg and not just what the weather is in the morning. I was really cold on my run home as it was no longer the beautiful sunny day I had experienced this morning. And if it's pouring down in the morning, how long will it take my hair to dry out?
- There's a lot of time-pressure, a lot of feeling yucky at work, and lot of effort for less than 4 miles of running. Not really sure it was worth it for me.
- Running to work and then sitting on a office chair for 8 hours does my back injury absolutely no favours. Bl**dy painful!
- A tub of salad is not the easiest thing to cram into a running pack.
So, whilst the run-commute could now provide now me with an option for some extra miles on the road, it will not be my first port of call for training. It's handy to have this extra option available though, especially if I am unable to do one of my other planned runs. It's all about fitting in what you can, where you can, and making your training work within your own life situation. Chances are you will have to make sacrifices but hopefully it will all be worth it.