Experience From - Martha Holden , Dina , Gary Bruner ,
Previously I wrote:
I could really use some ideas on how to get running back into my schedule.Thanks to everyone who replied with suggestions on how to have a family...and still find time to run. It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this (for some reason, no one in my running group is facing the same challenges I currently am--their kids are either much younger, older or non-existent--we're a pretty diverse group).
I've been distance running since 1995 (12 marathons) and ran JFK 50 in '97 and '98, but this past year could only manage to get outfor a run once a week (enough to manage a 4:22 marathon this fall...a personal worst).
Here are the factors:
A daughter in 2nd grade who has homework and also needs to stay on a schedule (great kid) - A promotion at work necessitating 40+ most weeks.- Taking graduate classes at a local college (4 more to go)- A daily schedule that has us leaving the house at 7:15 am and gettinghome around 6 p.m.
There are some plusses:- A fiance who is willing to watch my daughter while I run, but heworks late most nights- A manager who has given me informal permission to leave 1/2 hourearly 1 day/week to run- Lot of great running buddies for long runs
How do those of you with kids; jobs manage to get in the long runs anda couple of runs/week? It was much easier when my daughter was younger!
Thanks for any advice and suggestions.
Here's a summary of suggestions:
I would like to add one more suggestion. Get some cross training equipment that you can use at home. That way you can be home with your daughter and train at the same time. My children are grown (now have three grandchildren), but at one point before joining a health club I had a treadmill, a stepper, a Nordic Track, a Nordic Flex (for weight training), free weights, leg weights, and an assortment of other gadgets, plus video tapes for stretching, yoga, and other aids. I hadn't planned in the beginning to start a home gym, but somehow over time it just accumulated.
None of it was exactly health club quality except for the Nordic Track, but it did keep me going during periods when I was injured, had a heavy work load, or during short days and inclement weather. I ran when I could during the week and concentrated on running long on the weekends. My husband also used some of the equipment, and didn't mind the clutter.
I now cross train at a health club, but my home gym made a huge difference at that time. A Precor Transport, for example, might be worth considering, as it doesn't take up much space, is quiet, and is very effective. At any rate, hang in there. I believe one reason women with children and other challenges do so well in ultras is that once they're really able to get out there, they are well seasoned in dealing with obstacles.
Here's one more take on the subject, illustrated with a personal example.
First off, at the risk of stating the obvious, you have to set your running scheme based on your goals. Just maintain fitness? Do you want speed? To extend your overall long-distance threshold? To complete a specific ultra event?
Let me use my 1998 as an example. I wanted to run the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-miler. Didn't care about time, just wanted to finish. I also wanted to keep the peace at home by keeping my training as invisible to the family (wife & 2 early teens) as possible. This meant low mileage, and running at creative or even odd times & places (early, early morning; late evening; getting dropped off by my carpool for a run part way home or to work).
So, to prepare I decided that my minimum run would be 10 miles. With only a couple exceptions, whenever I laced up the running shoes I'd cover 10 miles or not go out. For the 6 months prior to MMT, I did these 10-mile minimum weekday runs before work from 5:00 to 6:30 AM, generally twice a week. Family didn't know, didn't care. On the weekends my distance alternated between "short" and "long" weekend runs: 10 on the "short" weekend and 25 on the "long" weekend. To maintain my cloak of invisibility I also did the weekend runs early so I wouldn't shoot half a day.
To get my distance threshold up, I threw in an ultra-distance run every other month (38, 40, and 50). Now, these runs were in fact done during "prime time"--couldn't make them invisible. In 1998, the year I completed MMT, my annual totals were: 1190 miles--107 runs--11.1 miles avg per run. My numbers were real similar for 96 and 97.
I guess I'm trying to make several points: