It’s been relatively easy to fit in my long run: just meet up with some friends early on Saturday morning and run for hours. The middle-of-the-week mid-distance run? That’s a completely different matter.
At 12:30 or 13 minutes per mile, the up-to-10 miles I had to fit in last week — on a weekday no less — meant more than a two-hour commitment. What’s a chica to do? She gets creative. To whit:
- Get it in first thing or just before bed. I am a morning person but often already get up at 5:30 to get things done before the rest of the family is up. I could not fathom getting up at 4:30 to run. But that’s what I did several times so that I could still get ready and to work (relatively) on time. A few times, I was on my treadmill at 9 or 10 o’clock at night.
- Flex time. If you are fortunate to have some flexibility in your schedule, consider a morning or late-afternoon run before or after work. If you have an awesome manager like I do (hi, Ruth and Mike!), you can get six or seven miles before work and still get a full day’s work by staying later or working an hour or two more on other days.
- Split the run. My friend Janet suggested I get half my run in first thing and the other half in the evening. I never could bring myself to doing this but it might work better for your schedule.
- Run it on the weekend. Not remotely ideal, but the Higdon plan does allow for switching the order of your runs. A couple of times I had to run my middle-of-the-week run on Saturday and my long run on Sunday. Not ideal, but it allowed me to get the miles in.
- Be realistic. Despite my best intentions, there were weeks when I genuinely couldn’t fit in another six, seven or eight mile run. Instead, I ran as much as I can and moved on. Ignore the guilty thoughts. As long as it’s not a regular occurrence, I’m told by experienced runners, it’ll be OK.
Feel free to borrow my mantra: Trust the plan.
What’s your hardest run to fit into your schedule? How do you manage?