If this schedule sounds familiar, you’re most likely training for an upcoming race. Whether it’s a 10K or full marathon, your running schedule is probably dictating your life. Some weeks go smoothly and others can be a challenge. Between work, your social life, training, and getting enough food and sleep, how do we find the balance? Everyone maintains their life balance in different ways. If you’re anything like me, you rely on lists, meal prep, and a training schedule to guide you through each week. And while every week definitely hasn’t been perfect (I’m always learning), here’s how I’ve been balancing it all out.

1. Prioritize: WRITE IT ALL DOWN! At the beginning of marathon training, I highlighted on my written16 week plan all the weekends that have a potential conflict with my long run. I’m getting married on 9/22, have 6 additional weddings, and a few weekends away during my 16 weeks of training. Not only do I have to fit the long runs in, I need time to stretch, eat and recover. All aspects of running need to be a priority, especially fuel and recovery.

2. Plan: Once you can see each week in front of you, plan out your days. My Sundays include listing my social commitments and meal plans for the week. Over the past few weeks I've found writing down what I (generally) plan to eat not only ensures that I bring it with me when I leave the house, but helps me to see if I'm eating enough overall. When your office is as busy as Custom Performance, finding the time to eat I can be very challenging. Multiple 5 minute snack breaks can be a lifesaver on days without time for a full meal. Rx and Lara bars, protein shakes, and almonds have become my go-to snacks.

3. Execute: Once everything is written down and planned to the best of your ability, do it! You won't know what works best for you until you try it. As cliche as it sounds, "fail to plan, plan to fail.” Having a general plan to follow is better than winging it week to week, especially with marathon training!

4. Reflect: At the end of each week, look back on your training. What went well? What didn't? Is it an easy fix like throwing more snacks in your bag or saying no to a Friday night commitment in favor of more sleep? Or is pain getting in the way of increasing your mileage and should you get checked out by a professional?

As fall gets closer, take the time now to evaluate your training plan. Even if things are going perfectly, there's always room for improvement!

Dr. Lisbeth Hoyt, PT