By Dr. Michael Cerami
A few years ago I recognized I was creating a dysfunctional routine that was sabotaged my fun. Every winter I would get excited about the upcoming racing and training season so I would begin to plan my schedule before the holidays so I could hit the New Year already “on track”. In December I would develop these grand plans about how I was going to squeeze every available workout in every possible minute. In my head these ideas seemed very doable; all it would take is controlling my time and staying on schedule.
It took a few years of repeating the same pattern until I started to notice a trend. I wasn’t a robot that could constantly follow the “ideal schedule” (life tends to throw things in our way) and more importantly, I would get burnt out by mid to late February and be totally bored of trying to squeeze everything in. It was starting to feel like a second or third job and the joy was gone.
With this in mind I made some changes that have definitely helped.
- Anchor workouts: I now create a schedule for myself that has “anchors” at certain times of day that I KNOW I can do. This provides me the foundation of structure and makes sure I have specific hours of training time per week no matter what. These keep me motivated.
- Rigid Flexibility: I schedule these secondary workouts day by day but know they can be done anytime during the week. Sometimes even after the anchor workout.
- Holiday festivities and food: I do not worry about what I’m eating or what kind of weight I’m gaining from Thanksgiving through to New Years day. As long as I am committed to training all year, I can enjoy the fun for 5 weeks out of the year.
- Timing: If I have a 6am workout planned and I need to get to get up at 5am, I MUST get to bed around 9-9:30pm, which means setting my phone to go off at 8:45 as a reminder to wrap up the evening.
- Lunch: Because I feel quality food is so important to health and performance, I try and either take my lunch every day or coordinate a healthy restaurant to eat that I can call ahead to pick up something after my lunch swim. This means preparing the food either the previous weekend or planning what I’ll need and getting it from the grocery store the night before.
- It’s worth it: Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle having to throw 3 bags over my shoulder every morning (lunch, work backpack, swim bag) but it pays big dividends long term and many times can be the difference between getting to work out in or missing it because the hunger pangs redirected my brain.
I’ll post a few podcast links on my Facebook page next week that can help you get more ideas for time savers, scheduling and your training. I would also recommend www.runtri.com and the book “Qualifying for Kona” by Raymond Britt. He does a nice job of breaking down how get the most out of your day.
As always, let me know your thoughts.
Dr. Michael Cerami is an avid runner, cyclist and triathlete. He is available for a no charge consultation one Saturday per month at The Salt Lake Running Company (Salt Lake store) by appointment. He can be reached at 801-486-1818 or online at www.utahsportsandwellness.com
****Dr. Cerami will be at Salt Lake Running Co on 700 east on Saturday Jan 14th 2012 Please call 801-484-9144 to schedule and appointment.