by ryanhall | May 17, 2010 |
Well, my rest cycle is coming to a close. After four weeks of not doing any real hard effort I am looking forward to my fits workout tomorrow. I am feeling well recovered and my sprint speed is back after doing plenty of strides and getting two massages a week. I am curious to see how this buildup begins as every buildup is like a snowflake: unique. If everything goes well I may be doing more racing than my typical buildup.
As I begin my buildup and my day fills up more and more with the activities that make professional running a full time occupation (naps, stretching, self therapy, gym, ice baths, warm baths, Normatec, ect) I was wondering how I would train for a major marathon if I had a 9-5 job and a handful of kids at home (don’t worry, Sara and I are not planning on having kids till at least after 2012.
So let me jump in some of your shoes and daydream about how to train and maintain the life of a family man (or woman), after all it wasn’t that long ago that professional running didn’t exist. I am extremely thankful to all the elite runners that came before and fought to get our sport where it is today.
To start, I imagine I would have to move my start time of my workouts from our leisurely 8:30 am to an earlier hour, perhaps 5:30 am. While I am sure it would take a couple of weeks to get used to the earlier start time, I find that the body is remarkably adaptable to whatever I throw its way. There is also something beautiful about being out at dawn before the craziness of the world gets underway that I am sure I would come to enjoy. I always find those early mornings invigorating.
Other foreseeable adjustments I would have to get creative with, depending on my job, would be working out during lunch break, later evening gym sessions, perhaps purchasing a treadmill so I could workout at home while watching the kids, skipping an occasional run realizing that my body is going to need the rest more than the workout. I think one of the biggest tweaks I would have to make that would be key to my success as a working father would be nutrition.
It may seem a little self absorbed or like it doesn’t make sense but if I started moving workout times around and had no established daily pattern it would be key to have the necessary energy to workout at random times to be adequately fueled without having stomach problems. I know from my experience of traveling on the road it can be tough to workout or run in those late evenings when I am tired and just feel like collapsing on the couch, but I think a big reason for this is because I am trying to keep the same eating patterns as my typical day and I’m at the end of my energy. For example, if I am trying to do a workout at 6 pm, which is my usual dinner time, my body is telling me to eat not exercise, so when I go out to exercise at this hour I usually feel lethargic or even get lightheaded. To effectively workout in the late evening I would need to make my snack much larger so that when I hit the evening hour I will be adequately fueled for the run. Let me conclude by saying I have a deep amount of respect for runners who pull full-time jobs and have a family as well. My hats off to you, and if I may, I encourage you if the end of day comes and you have to choose between heading out the door for a run or connecting with your family you will be able to make the best decision realizing that there is time for heading out the door because the time spent running will rejuvenate you mind and spirit thus making you a better parent and a time for setting aside your running shoes for family time. Maybe I should come back and read this once I have kids!