How Do You Have Time to Train for a Marathon?

People always want to know how I have time to train for a marathon, when I run, etc. What I have learned about marathon training is that it is more about time management than anything else. You have to CREATE time to train and if you don’t, you will not train as effectively as you can. It is not a matter of if you have time to do it….it is a matter of how willing you are to make time.

I just ran my highest weekly mileage in my Boston training this past week. Sunday to Saturday: 100 miles. I also worked 65 hours this week, spent time with my boyfriend, had 2 doctor appointments, and read a book. How? Here is a peek at my schedule:

Sunday, March 19th:

20-mile run

Hang out with Max.

Monday, March 20th:

Workout 1: 5 miles

Work: 6:30 am – 3:30 pm

Workout 2: Hill work, uptempo (7 miles)

Hang out with Max.

Tuesday, March 21st:

Workout 1: 5 miles

Doctor appointment

Read How Bad Do You Want It, by Matt Fitzgerald for 2 hours

Work: 10:30am – 7:30pm

Workout 2: Strength training, core work, 3×1 mile repeats + 2-mile w/up & c/down

Hockey game & dinner with Max.

Wednesday, March 22nd:

Workout: 10 miles

Work: 6:30am – 3:30pm

Coffee break / Read for 15 minutes

Work: 4:00pm – 11:00pm

Thursday, March 23rd:

Workout 1: 3×1 mile repeats, 2 mile w/up & c/down

Read for 1 hour

Work: 10:30am – 7:30pm

Workout 2: Strength training, core, 3 mile up-tempo, 2 miles easy, 2-mile w/up & c/down

Hang out with Max

Friday, March 24th:

Workout 1: 5 miles

Work: 7:00am to 11:00am

Run to doctor apt: 8 miles

Read for two hours

Work: 4pm – 11pm

Saturday, March 25th:

Workout: 4×5 mile repeats + 3-mile c/down

Sixty-Five hours of work and 100 miles of running. Again, this was my highest mileage in training (my peak week). Did I feel awesome? No. Did I feel bad? No. Was I sore? Yes. Could I finish every run confident and strong? Yes. On Sunday’s I take my already made lunches and clothes to my workplace. My first workout of the day is also my run to work. This works out well for me, seeing that my office is in a YMCA with access to great locker rooms and showers. Do I say “no” to more social events than I would like to? Of course. Is it a problem? No. When you prioritize what is important to you, you will find a way to do it all and get enough rest every night.

I know what you are thinking: I do not have children to take care of, pets to attend to (heck, I don’t even have a plant), a house to maintain, a husband, etc…Maybe my lifestyle is set up to perfectly accommodate this high mileage. Then again, maybe I am not the only one doing this. Check out these blogs from busy runner-ladies who have learned to manage their schedules and train for races at the same time: The Running WifeLone Star Run Girl, and My Heart Races.

I will have more to share about high mileage in a later post. For now, I want you to know that there is a lot of planning involved in training and it is possible to train hard and enjoy other life activities as well.

Training does not have to be complicated. But, it does have to be organized and mindful.

Mindfulness must be trained in running just as it must be cultivated in life. – Matt Fitzgerald

Happy Running,

❤ A

runner

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