Elle Linton (www.keepitsimpelle.com)
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person out there who in their head is Super Woman; I'm lucky enough to have a life crammed with work and social commitments plus the odd event sprinkled in to keep me motivated to stay active. I've found that when I sign up to events months in advance I even end up forgetting to train as it always seem so far away!
With a question like, "how do I juggle a busy life with a training plan?!" I do what I always do when I need inspiration - turn to my friends on social media!
Here is what they shared with me:
Find a plan that works for you
The longer you have, the less intense your training needs to be. You'll have more time to build up your base fitness before focusing on more specific training (which will feel a lot easier once you're more physically prepared!). You can usually find suggested training plans on the event website which you can then tailor to your own specific needs and situation.
Use your training plan as a guide
At the start of each week, take a look at your training plan to see what sessions are suggested for the week.; "that way you know what you're doing when the day comes and this could make it a little easier to commit to" says @vik_c on Twitter. Then put all your sessions for the week into your diary like you would a meeting or appointment.
Make the most of your day
The one suggestion that we never want to hear, is to start your day earlier! It could be just 30 minutes earlier - short, high intensity sessions can be just as effective as longer ones. Maybe get out the door to run 5km with intervals before breakfast?! My friend Megan told me that it's also kinda in your mindset too; "My wake-up time isn't 'usually 7:15 but 6:15 because I've got to cycle'... I say '...it's 6:15 because I've got to do stuff and better myself before work each day'".
Then Gareth on twitter (@beoutrunning) blew all our excuses out the window with this quote he had come across -You can always make time at the start of the day but there is never more time at the end of a day".
Georgina of @fitcetera reminds us that "if your plan says do a 6 mile run try doing two x 3 miles (one in the morning, one in the evening) or however you can fit it in"! Run commuting (running to / from work), running to meetings, or home from events ...or to go and pick things up on your days off were all suggested by Julie (@fattymustrun).
The biggest takeaway from being flexible though is not to panic if you miss the odd session, or have to cut one short - the occasional missed session won't make that much of a difference to your progress. Just make sure you prioritise the important sessions.
It also wouldn't go a miss to have a contingency plan in place too. Ever booked in for a class and then it gets cancelled?! Or your meeting overruns and you can't make run club?!
Your training time can be productive
When I'm out running on my own, and particularly for long runs, I love listening to podcasts or audiobooks. @speedybecsruns says that "you may even find you're more productive in the afternoon as it gives you the chance to refresh and refocus your priorities as you work out". Bethan (A Pretty Place To Play) added that "The other thing to remember is that exercise is particularly good for you in busy times, it gives your head space to rest and lifts that foggy cloud we all get when we're super busy".
For more from Elle visit her blog www.keepitsimpelle.com/