knocking out “i’m too busy”

Cara at her desk

You're committed! You love the idea of completing the race! It's going to be fun! Now when do you fit in the training?

We're all busy, so first, let's drop that line from the excuse pool.

Training for a race - no matter your goals - takes some rearranging, flexibility mixed with stringent scheduling, and a lil' bit of sleep sacrifice.

Below are four general activity groups and tips to get the workouts in without rearranging your life:

  • Parent
  • Worker Bee
  • Social Butterfly
  • Already Active Athlete


  • Join a training group or gym that offers childcare. It's a guiltless way to get in strong training time, assured that your children are well cared for during your time on the road or in the pool.
  • Work out while your children are at school, a function or sports. Nothing like a track workout during that soccer game.
  • Wake up before the kids. These are the stolen hours. Use them!

Worker Bees

  • Balance: Take your lunch break to get in a quick run, stretch/strength session or 60 min. yoga class. And leave on time! The more productive you are at work, the more "okay" it is to leave on time. Use those hours to get training in. Maybe it's a sunset run - so much better than missing it while holed up behind the proverbial computer screen.
  • Wake up earlier. Yeah, you may have to trade your reading the morning paper ritual for an NPR podcast on the road.
  • Schedule it in. You're going to make that meeting, the call in to the conference call and the deadline. Put your training in your calendar and you'll be accountable to yourself to follow through. This tip goes for everyone.
  • Get to know the city. This is a special one for those who travel. If you're too jam-packed during daylight to get in a run or ride around town, get to know the hotel gym.

Social Butterflies

  • Train with friends. You still get the gab time in without the effects of the cocktail (or reward yourself with one at the end of the training session).
  • Join a run group or tri club. Expand your social circle while sweating it out.

Already Active Athletes

  • Replace workouts. You're a soccer player on two teams? Let one of the teams know that the alternate is off the bench, because you're hitting the deck that day. Yogi? You may be replacing three of your four weekly practices with swim/bike/runs.
  • Add on. You're already in great shape. Your endurance - the foundation - is strong. Don't give up your fave workout. Just add an additional one in.

I'd love to hear other ways you fit your workouts in, particularly when training for races!

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great advice for everyone. it’s a shame that people can’t make time for themselves, but are more than willing to bend over backwards to please others.

Comment by Chloe — June 4, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

breaking it down into 4 segments of people and the way to workout for each is great. as a parent and worker bee it was really cool to see this. funny, because you have a store near me in Carlsbad and I finally went into it the other day and it makes you want to work out. keep up the great work!

Comment by Jim Simcoe — June 4, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

I’ve been trying to figure out a time for my yoga practice at home, waking up before my one year-old is a great idea! The best part is I have to be asleep early (pooped from an active day) to keep up the routine. What a healthy habit to get cycled into.

Comment by Erica — June 5, 2009 @ 12:12 am

Jim – I work at the Carlsbad store. Please feel free to come in and join us for complimentary Sat. yoga at 9a or run club Weds at 6. A bunch of train for triathlons, cycling and running races, so you can join us!

Comment by Lauren Clapperton — June 5, 2009 @ 10:42 am

You’re SO right about scheduling it in Lauren. When I have the time booked off and allotted for fitness I always follow through. I’ll book an early morning yoga class in my Outlook calendar just like I would any other meeting and that way nothing can get in the way. It’s also a great way to track how many workouts / classes you’ve attended in a week / month / year!

Comment by Carolyn — June 6, 2009 @ 8:45 am

Great ideas!
One of my favorite things to do is wake up (super early!) eat a little something and head out for an AMAZING work out! I have a shower bag packed so I can head straight from the gym to work. I feel energized and revitalized to face the day after I’ve broken a good sweat!
I’m excited to have learned about your blog and promise to return often to see what’s going on in your world :) Take care and check us out if you get a chance! We have a lot to contribute to the lifestyle of health and wellness!
Take care!

Comment by Kerri — June 7, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

My best advice is organization. Plan your day the night before, pack you lunch, your gym bag, and even lay out your clothes for the day.

It helps so much when you’ve scheduled in your workouts to not have to think about anything in the morning: throw on the clothes you’ve laid out, grab your lunch out of the fridge and head to work. I am usually out of the house 15 minutes after I get out of bed (I shower at the pool).

You won’t have to decide whether or not to pack your swimming/running/gym bag because it’ll already be packed and ready to go! This means you won’t be able to say “I forgot my gear” when it comes time to leave work and head for your workout…it also gives me a great excuse to leave on time, because I often have something planned right after work!

Comment by Sylvia — June 8, 2009 @ 4:55 am

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