Our modern corporate life means that many of us struggle to achieve a healthy work : life balance… Let alone a work : training : life balance!
Whatever type of athlete you are, when also holding down a full-time job, there are a number of challenges facing you both physical and logistically, which many of your colleagues will never fully understand.
The first challenge is the amount of sitting we now tend to do and what that does to our hips and lower back. Hip mobility is vital to moving well in running, cycling and walking and that covers a large number of sports.
Things to think about that may help are:
- Can you get a variable height desk and stand at work?
- Take walking phone calls or meetings.
- Drink a lot of water, keeps you hydrated and increases visits to the toilet (walking and opportunity to stretch).
- Look at the attached sheet of stretches and try to do as many as possible throughout your day. Little and often works best.
- Schedule training and “me time” into your work diary so you don’t get pulled into different things. Use your lunch break wisely. Don’t be tempted to get back into work mode before you have finished your cool down and stretches.
- Another challenge is travel. Working away from home can play havoc with your training routine, if you let it. If you use this time sensibly, the variety can enhance your usual sessions.
Here are some tips:
- Use local knowledge (Hotel concierge, work colleagues, Facebook) to find local facilities and groups where you can train. Council run pool/gym, running clubs, Triathlon or Masters Swim groups will probably let you train with them as and when you are around.
- Hotel facilities vary but many have a small gym and pool. The pool may be too small for a full session, but will be ideal for drill practice. Alternatively use your room for some resistance band and body weight strength work. If there is a spa, try to get a massage.
- Always pack swim suit, goggles, trainers, resistance bands and a small foam roller. They don’t take up much space and give you a lot of scope to do something whilst away.
- Finally, don’t stress about sessions missed through a long work day or unexpected travel. Resist playing catch up and only re-schedule the sessions vital to the achievement of your ultimate goal.