A few of my training secrets for the busy professional (or anyone really)
1. The rule of 7: Sleep is super important for recovery and is also directly correlated to my mood. If I sleep less than 7 hours, whether it’s from staying up too late to get things done or my mind racing when trying to sleep I re-evaluate my workouts in the morning and often throw one or both out. I have found this to keep me from getting too far “in the hole” and if nothing else Doug is happier that I’m not crabby, tired and whiny.
2. STOP if you are hurt: I’ve learned the hard way too many times by trying to “push through an injury”. People, listen to your body! Right now I’m fighting a back injury and I could have listened to that crazy athlete in me and gone on my long rides over the weekend, despite the fact that I could barely lean forward to grab the bars. But, this is only going to set me back more. Instead I’ve taken 3 days of nothing but walks, massage and chiropractor visits. I’m only going to lose about 5 good days of training compared to the weeks or months that “pushing through the pain” could lead to.
3. Drink water: Water is more important than we realize. Even a slight level of dehydration can significantly limit performance. I strive for at least 4 Nalgene sized bottles a day, maybe even more in the Summer. If I’m not at my desk when I’m in my office the next best place to look is the bathroom.
4. Pretend you are a fireman: Every night I get ready for the next day. I pack breakfast, lunches, water bottles, workout clothes and lay out my work clothes and bike if needed. This is partially because Doug is usually still sleeping when I leave and I can’t be fumbling around the room. As a result of my efforts to let my night owl (Doug) get some more ZZZZs in the morning I rarely forget things and it is so much easier to simply grab everything while I’m still half asleep in the morning. I can be up and out the door 5 minutes after my alarm goes off, surely there must be a prize for that.
5. STOP freaking out: We can plan our workouts all we want but we can’t always predict what the day throws at us. I can plan to ride my bike at 5:15 but then have a crisis at work and not get home until after 6. I spent plenty of time freaking out because “I didn’t get my entire workout in”. I’m learning to let it all go and realize that consistency is key and missing a little here and there does not equal failure. I estimate that the amount of stress work places on my body emotionally and physically is probably equal to at least 10+ hours of training anyways.
6. Eat all day: I’m not talking about eating all you want but I find that grazing throughout the day with a couple of medium sized meals in there keeps my energy up on long days. Lots of fruits, veggies and protein fill my food tote each day. And, indulge every now and then…cupcakes and Glacier ice cream top my list. If you’ve never been to Glacier ice cream here in Boulder you are seriously missing out.