As an elementary school teacher, September brings great excitement starting off a new teaching year. It’s also a time of transition, where life becomes significantly busier for my family and I.
I currently train with the Newmarket Huskies, and am a part of the Brooks Run Happy team. I train twice a week with my team, and for the remainder of my training week I train alone.
Keeping to my training schedule at times can be difficult. Between work, marking, coaching and fitting in family time—the majority of my “easy” runs are done past 9 p.m. Nothing too easy about that.
Here are my tips to staying on track with your training as the business of fall sets in:
- Find Your Support System: My coach, Sue Dieghan, is someone who I’ll often check in with. Especially if I’m feeling run down at any point. I always plan out a goal each season, and she is amazing at keeping me on track. My teammates also keep me accountable, and motivated during workouts. It’s hard to do life, and running, on your own.
- Be Flexible: With me, flexibility has been so important. Four out of seven days of my training consist of “easy runs.” I always give myself a range on those days. I aim for anywhere between seven to eleven kilometres. On days I’m feeling run down, I will just focus on slowing down the pace and hitting 7K for the day. The important thing is to remain consistent, keep running!!
- Switch Up Your Training: When I’m lacking motivation, I’ll swap locations for my easy runs for a change of scenery. I’ll even swap easy runs for cross training to switch it up. Keep yourself interested and stay involved with your training—remember, this should be fun!!
- Down Week: I cycle my training with three weeks at my normal mileage, and one down week where my overall mileage is significantly lower. My workouts will remain the same, but I will lower my easy day runs or take an additional day off all together if needed. Combat burnout, both professionally and with your running and, most importantly, listen to your body and listen to your feelings!!
Some days can definitely be difficult to get out the door. I always try to listen to my body and reflect on the strong workouts I’ve had, goals I’ve accomplished and amazing people I’ve met to help boost confidence and keep me going. Waves of motivation will come and go. Don’t be afraid to adjust your training based on your needs. Continue to challenge yourself and enjoy the journey. You’ll surprise yourself, with your family and in your running, with all the new finish lines you will find.