In the days of ever-evolving technology, meant to make life easier and more convenient, many of us find our schedules more maxed out and busier than ever before. The delicate balance of juggling a career, family and friends, school, or whatever other aspect of life you take on can make it difficult to find time to train for a marathon. But, with a bit of dedication and commitment to your goal, you can work training into your schedule (and even find it enjoyable and a good outlet for stress!)
Schedule in Your Training
You make appointments for doctor’s visits, plan play dates for your kids, book meetings at work, so why not schedule training time? Making a planned commitment to fit in training as part of your daily routine will help keep you on track. There are many different marathon training plans available, so find one that works for you and schedule the time in. This can be waking up at 4:30 a.m. to get a run in before work or running during your lunch break (which helps relieve stress and can make you more efficient when you return to the office). Schedule long runs on days off from work. Consistency is key to logging in the miles necessary to complete long distance races.
Push Through Your Tired Days
Sometimes taking a break to rest and recover is really what you need, but many times the best thing to do when you’re tired is to actually go for a run. Getting started can be the hardest part, but running can actually leave you feeling more energized and productive, especially after your body releases endorphins and dopamine. Instead of skipping a run, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier to help with the tired sluggishness.
Practice Proper Nutrition and Supplementation
While runners do burn more calories during training, it doesn’t necessarily mean upping caloric intake without giving special attention to what types of food your calories are coming from. While you may think you can justify eating a whole pizza or fried chicken after your long 20-mile Sunday run, this is not the road you want to head down. Stick with nutrient dense foods such as vegetables and fruits, nuts, unrefined carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes), and lean meats.
Also, with long runs, supplements can help your body recover faster. Antioxidant supplements help repair damaged cells caused by free radicals which develop in the body after training for long distance races such as marathons. One of the strongest natural antioxidants and best recovery supplements to take is BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin. BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin is a natural microalgae extract grown in Kona, HI. Kona, home to the Ironman® World Championship, is an ideal place for cultivating microalgae. Athletes and runners all around the world, such as six-time Ironman championship veteran and legend Dave Scott, are beginning to understand the power of astaxanthin. Dave reports, “I recommend astaxanthin as one of my top 3 supplements due to its recovery benefits and antioxidant power.” Studies with astaxanthin have shown that astaxanthin can help:
- Support joint and muscle soreness after intense exercise (Fry, A., 2001).
- Decrease lactic acid levels in the muscles by an average of over 28% after mid-distance running (Sawaki, et al, 2002).
- Provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support to the energy-producing part of our cells, the mitochondria (Kuroki, et al, 2013).
- Reduce damage to cell membranes and DNA (Aoi, et al, 2003).
- Increase time to exhaustion during heavy exercise (Aoi, et al, 2008).
- Reduces muscle damage from rigorous physical training (Starling, 2015).
Keep Training Fun
Sticking to your running goal is easier to achieve if you remind yourself that you added training to your schedule because you enjoy it. Inspiration can be found everywhere: post motivating quotes in your office, bathroom, etc., switch up your play list to some fresh beats, join a running club, or get the family involved in active family fun days. Other activities can serve as good opportunities to cross train and give you a break from the daily pounding on pavement.
Life is busy. In order to make the most of your training time, following these few simple steps will help you achieve your training goals without the extra burden.