By: Ashlee Mickelberry
I am a full time teacher. With a new school year beginning this week I am reminded of the challenges of juggling work, home, friends, family and a packed training schedule. BUT, it can be done! Here are 4 tips for managing your schedule for success, when your schedule, mind and body are stretched to the max.
Set a goal - Whether it is a race, a show, a competition, or a fitness challenge, a goal can help you stay focused when the going gets tough. I can’t count the number of times a looming race has gotten me out the door and on a run.
Find support - Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals. The training and effort belongs to you and having people who understand and rally around you can make all of the difference. My dad, husband and uncle crewed for me during my first 100 mile race this past summer. They changed my shoes, fed and encouraged me for over 24 hours and I can’t imagine the journey without them. Leading up to the race there were my friends who ran countless miles with me, and my family who boosted my spirits when I struggled. Not everyone will get it, but those who do are priceless!
Reward yourself - I know that the run is the reward, achieving my goals is a celebration and sometimes during a long training block I need a little more. Whether it is a pedicure (one of my favorite treats), a dinner out, or a new piece of workout apparel, a massage, or a trip; look for simple ways to acknowledge and enjoy the hard work you have been putting in.
Take care of your body - I ask a lot of my body and I learned the hard way what happens if I don’t take care of it. My first ultra season, I neglected my body. I ended up needing physical therapy and running in pain. I was lucky that I was able to recover and learn from this experience. My injury could have been prevented if I had been training wisely, stretching, and doing some strength training.
At the end of the day we have a lot of demands put on our time. By setting a goal, building a strong support system, celebrating your successes and caring for your body you increase the chances of reaching the finish line healthy and happy!