As I’m looking through my calendar, I realized that there’s only 6 weeks left until my half marathon. Eeek! I’m mildly dreaming out because I don’t feel nearly as prepared as I have been the past 3 half marathons I have raced. Not only has this winter slowed things down but between my family and my boyfriends family I feel like we have had things going on almost every weekend and add my knee injury into the mix and it doesn’t make me feel nearly as confident as I have been. I planned out my long runs every weekend, tryyyyying my best to squeeze them in…even if it means waking up with the sun to do so.
Here are some tips to help YOU fit in a workout:
1. Turn Your Commute into a Workout
On days that Monica Vazquez, 27, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can’t do her usual run, she stuffs her essentials — keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID — into a fanny pack and jogs home from work instead. “Running is a great workout, but it’s also great transportation,” she says. “Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway.”
Not a runner? Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car farther away to extend your walking time.
2. Set Your Alarm Early
Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list ASAP. We’re not telling you to skip out on sleep in favor of a sweat session, but there are simple steps you can take to reset your sleep schedule and wake up earlier. Can’t quite get yourself out of bed that early? Wear your workout clothes to bed and get your sweat on as soon as you wake up.
3. Sneak In a Lunch Break Workout
At least one FITNESS editor is guaranteed to use this tip on any given day. Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, you’re also proven to be more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would be by eating lunch at your desk.
4. Work Out at Work
Get your daily dose of exercise even if you’re working all day long. Try this tip from Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Fitness First Inc.:
“Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts like biking or tennis.”
5. Take the Kids with You
Got a young brood? Invest in a jogging stroller to get your miles in without paying big bucks for a sitter. Or strap your bundle of joy into a carrier and do squats for extra resistance and a fun distraction.
6. Multitask on the Treadmill
“Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals, and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. It’s an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets.”
7. Make It a Date
Here’s one way you can work out like an Olympic athlete: Go on a fitness date like Olympic figure skater, mom, author, and philanthropist Kristi Yamaguchi. She and husband, NHL player Bret Hedican, set up workout dates to keep themselves fit. Single? Invite your friends to try a new workout instead of hitting happy hour.
8. Don’t Just Wait in Line
All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so why not sneak in a workout while you’re there? Season 5 Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent recommends doing lunges, toe raises, and squats at the checkout line. “People might look at you like you’re silly, but who cares?”
9. No More “Couch Potato”
Just because you’re catching up on Modern Family doesn’t mean you can’t do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don’t miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.
10. Power Up Your Stair Climbs
“Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute,” says Kari Anderson, owner of ProRobics Conditioning Clubs and Gold’s Gyms in Seattle. “Take two steps at once — if you’re able to do it safely — and you’ll target your glutes even more.”
On the upside….The physical therapist seems confident that my knee will get better the more I strengthen the muscles. He says that I can keep running so that’s what I’m going to do! It’s crunch time! I haven’t really set a goal for myself yet for this race…which is very unlike me…but as I said before about my lack of being prepared, as log as I don’t tear my knee muscles, finish and finish around the time I finished last year then I think ill be happy! But let’s talk when we get closer to the race and I might be singing a different tune. I tend to get verrrry competitive with myself as race day gets closer.
In the meantime I have signed up for a 5k a couple weeks before my race to get be back in race mode. This particular race is one I hold a soft spot for. It’s called Route for Kids 5k – and proceeds go towards Horizon for Homeless children. I used to volunteer for them so I run this race every year to show my support. Until then… Looking forward some good runs and hopefully I will gain a little more confidence in the next couple of weeks!
How do you manage your busy schedule and still find time to get runs in?
Have you signed up for any races yet??
How do you prepare for a big race to build your confidence??