Now more than ever the ability to maintain the desirable work: life balance is becoming increasing difficult. Finding enough time in the busy schedule to complete our necessary (physical and psychological) exercise is tough.
Below are a few tips to help you maximise your training time and help you stay injury free.
Planning the week in advance
It doesn’t matter whether you are training for a specific event or you are simply the weekend warrior who likes to go out for a few social runs during the week; the importance of planning your week is paramount.
I prefer to plan my week out on a Sunday night (it symbolises the beginning of the working week for me). Open up the smartphone calendar and put those diary entries in – locked in times that are non-negotiable. This is particularly helpful if you are running with a workmate in lunchtime – send a calendar invite so you can both dedicate the time to hitting the running circuit.
Keep the system ‘moving and grooving’
As has become the case with modern society, so much of our time is spent sitting on our backsides at a desk, in the car, on a train, etc. This is no more prevalent than with corporate runners who spend 8-10+ hours sitting at desks during the day.
Tightness through the hip flexors and associated restriction in hip extension is a very common problem with running gait. Proper hip function, in particular hip extension, is a critical element of running gait (this is too large a topic to discuss here!) and therefore tightness through the hip flexors, which limits normal hip extension, needs to be prevented.
To help avoid tightness through the front of the hips and improve flexibility, get up from your desk every 90 minutes, walk to fill up your water bottle, go to the toilet. Above all, make sure you are moving those legs, stretching out the tightness that comes with prolonged seated posture.
If possible, attempt a few tasks throughout the day while standing up – try holding an informal meeting with your colleague while standing instead of sitting.
Substitute for H2O
It’s so easy to get caught up in your busy schedule at the office and forget a really important element of the running toolkit – consuming enough water.
By simply placing a water bottle at your desk you can continue to sip of the precious H2O throughout the day and ensure you are ready to tackle the run fully hydrated.
Be prepared to let it go
Things can change in the blink of an eye and this is none more evident than in the corporate world. Re-scheduled meetings or deadlines and hastily arranged business trips can impact on our event training plans.
It is normal to miss a session or two during a training program – what we mustn’t do is go chasing the one that got away! If for whatever reason we miss a recovery run or a mid-week long run occasionally that’s ok, don’t go out and try to fit in an extra run on top of another run later in the week. Overloading by adding in extra sessions is likely to lead to injury – resulting in even more missed sessions!
Finding the motivation or energy to go for that midday/lunchtime run is much easier when you have a running buddy to push you through. We are much more likely to stick to what we set out to do if there is someone there to motivate/push us through all those painful moments.
So often forgotten when thinking about our running is the important aspect of cooling down – particularly when running during lunchtime or before/after work. We finish our run and step back into the office and before you know it the time has escaped you and you haven’t properly cool down.
Before you head back into the office – dedicate 5 mins after your run to stretch outdoors. This will save you from getting distracted from work related issue and potentially forgetting to stretch and cool down.