Do you have kids? Do you have a job? And do you spend time in traffic? Welcome to my world. In this setup, you will run once or twice during the weekend. For the rest of your training plan you need some creative ideas to carve out the necessary time during the workweek:
In the morning
For people who love to get up early: Take your running shoes and run with the rising sun! Very few people are around and when you come home, you have already completed your training session while others snooze their alarm clock the third time. However, if you have little kids like I do, you know that they are always awake before you are. And then you have other problems than going for a run.
Running to work or running home from work
If you live not too far from your workplace, you can run one way. What is ‘not too far’ depends on your training level. When you start, your objectives in the first months will be between 3 and 5 kilometers. That is pretty close and not many people have the privilege to live that close to their workplace. If you are one of the lucky winners, you have the choice: Run to work in the morning or running home in the evening. For the first option, there exists a highly important pre-requisite which is not to be neglected: You need access to a shower at work or nearby. Do not count on high-performance deodorants – it will not work. And even if you can run to work, you will be facing the famous ‘sweating dilemma’ which I will explain further down.
Running during lunch time
Again, if (and only if) you have access to a shower at work, you could check out during lunch time and hit the road. This is perfect for sessions which will last 30 to 40 minutes as you need some time to get prepared before and showered after. And the ‘sweating dilemma’ becomes an issue the same way as for the morning run to work.
Running in the evening
The day is over and the only thing left is a run while the sun is going down. A great moment to think about what happened this day and to go through your objectives of the next day. Especially in the warmer summer months, this my personal favorite time spot for a run. It is less fun in winter though, when the sun is going down at 6:00 PM. Especially, when I forget my headlight…
The ‘sweating dilemma’ aka afterburn
You come back from your run and you sweat which is an excellent sign. Your body has burnt calories, heated up and produces sweat to cool down. If you do not have much time, because you need to get back to work after your lunch break, you will tend to take your shower as quickly as possible. Not recommended!! In this case your body did not have time to cool down, and it will continue to sweat – and you are good for a second shower. This effect is called ‘afterburn’ which basically means that your body still burns calories after your workout. If you are interested in the technical side of afterburn, I invite you to check out Marc Perry’s blog on this topic. You cannot shorten or even eliminate afterburn (no, taking a cold shower does not work). However, you can use these simple tricks in order to reduce sweating after your shower:
- Reduce your effort in the last 10 minutes of your training (e.g. walk)
- Let your body finish the afterburn phase even if it will take some time. Drink a lot of water.
- As soon as you feel cold, take your shower.
As a result, after your shower you will not continue sweating. By the way, afterburn is good because…
Find your sweet spot and reserve it in your agenda
First, you need to identify which is your preferred time slot for your runs (morning, noon or evening). And then put it in your agenda. I systematically reflect my training plans in my agenda. This way, I plan my day accordingly and better execute my training plan. If not, it is too easy to find excuses and to skip a session here and there – important sessions which help you to achieve your running objectives.