Training Seven little changes that make a big difference

Seven little changes that make a big difference



By Krista DuChene

When it comes to maintaining my training schedule, people often want to know the little things I do to make it all work. Here are some of the temporary sacrifices and changes I am currently making as I look ahead to my race goals this spring. Admittedly, some are easier than others. But collectively, I know these temporary accommodations will make a big difference as I prepare for my marathon.

Eating even better. Getting the sardines and beets in. Don’t be fooled, I don’t love these two foods but when I return from the gym, I am tired and need something quick and healthy. Added to some leafy greens, vegetables, and sweet potatoes along with a glass of milk and you have one very high quality recovery meal.

Avoiding sweets. I’ll be honest, I’ve had a few bites since my last peanut buster parfait in July but it’s all good. I thoroughly enjoyed a small amount of our friend Tony’s cheesecake on Christmas Day, my aunt’s butter tart on Boxing Day, and the chocolate cake my husband and kids baked for my birthday. But until the marathon weekend, there likely won’t be too much indulging.

More flexibility at dinner. As a mom and dietitian, I have always had strong feelings about cooking and eating healthy meals together. Cost, packaging and nutrition are always my top three priorities when feeding myself and my family. So when it’s one of those evenings that I am tired and/or do not feel like cooking, I keep these priorities in mind as best as I can when choosing something different. Flexibility is important but again, no regret. Take-out pizza with salad and raw vegetables just has to do sometimes.

Here’s a really tough change to make.


Reading one less story to my preschooler before heading into the gym to train. I’ve always reserved the time between school drop off and training to give my full attention to my child(ren). It’s usually only about 15 minutes spent on my lap with a Richard Scarry book but it is precious. Very precious. Now that my mileage is increasing, I need that much more time to get it in. My daughter starts school in September and I know I will have to adjust to missing the kids as they will all be in school full-time but I will not look back with guilt, regretting these choices.

Allowing the kids to have more screen time. Again, this is something I feel strong about especially the younger the child. But these days I am allowing my nearly 4 year old to watch more television than normal while I’m napping, because quite honestly, I need it.

Learning to watch a movie. Yes, that is right. Rarely have I sat to watch a full movie with my family. When the kids are quiet and entertained, there is always something else I could be doing nearby. But I’m working on changing that. No phone, no computer, no papers. Just the couch and my Team DuChene from now on.

OK, so here’s something I have struggled with for some time, so maybe it’s not quite a change I’m making but more of an ongoing challenge around our home.

Cleaning. My house is in decent shape. The kids help out and my husband is amazing. But with a family of five, including a seemingly forever shedding dog with a floor that shows everything, it seems to be a never ending job.
Never. Ending.
Honestly, you vacuum and mop, only to see footprints and dog hair, seconds later.I have contemplated hiring someone to clean but you need to clean when it is dirty, not wait for the scheduled cleaning day.

Years ago, I promised myself I would hire a house cleaning service, if I was training for something big, like, say the Olympics. Ahem, so here I am gearing up for the season and my Olympic goal. Maybe I just need someone to tell me to do it? Something tells me this is one change I seriously need to make, not just for this season, but for the long run.


  1. Get that cleaning person. You will still have to clean up after the dog, etc. but having the house really clean once a week or even once every two weeks will make the daily cleaning easier.

  2. I agree with the above comment. Also get yourself a Norwex mop system. It’s environmentally friendly and can grab dog hair in a flash.

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