Balancing Running With The Rest of Your Life

Updated: Jul 31

Let's face it, running and other endurance sports are time-consuming. If you participate in sport as a hobby, you must consider how to balance and structure training to mold with the rest of life's obligations. It's not an easy task and one that doesn't come with its fair share of hurdles. It can be important to explore the reasons behind your pursuits of fitness and be mindful of the importance of maintaining personal connections away from the sport. Even many elite athletes have to structure a rigorous training schedule around a day job and time with family.

As you progress, the demands of training and life can become overwhelming. Often amateur athletes quickly burn out and step away from a sport, leaving potential mental and physical benefits on the table. So let's revisit ways to approach training and life to maximize the vitality of both.

"Never Skip A Monday" To Train And Connect With Those Around You

The saying "Never skip a Monday" has played repeatedly throughout the sporting world, and while jump-starting the week with a good training session indeed creates momentum, what if we include connecting with a family member or friend away from sport every Monday as well. Often, the drive to dig into a training session feels more easily attainable than reaching out to someone we haven't connected with in a while. Why is this, and how can we begin to nourish those connections away from sport to create balance in life?

Review Your Running Goals With Family And Friends And Invest In Their Pursuits As Well

Your unconditional support system. Regardless of whether they are athletes or not, they have just as much invested in your health and wellbeing as you do. They will be your cheerleaders and that voice of accountability reminding you of the goals you set. They will more easily accommodate your demanding schedule if they are aware in advance, but it's essential to be mindful of their goals as well, even if it doesn't include running.

These conversations can be enriching and perhaps shed light on new interests or open doors of opportunity. One of the best ways to stimulate the mind is to engage in meaningful conversations about topics that may not be the most familiar or within your comfort zone. Your support network is filled with individuals with alternative prospectives, dreams, and aspirations, and supporting their gifts will help enrich the energy they give to yours. Connect to create.

Don't Ignore Hobbies Away From Running

Regardless of whether you’re an elite runner or not, we all have gifts away from running. Your mind needs a break from the monotony that running brings. You’ll find yourself arriving mentally fresh for workouts when you take time to immerse yourself in other activities. It could be as simple as picking up a stimulating activity such as gardening or attempting a sport like climbing. The further away you step from the physical demands of running, while engaging in a meaningful activity, the better prepared the body and mind will be when you return to training.

Find Ways To Connect With New People When Training

Although some consider running a solo sport, it’s very much a community driven activity. Try running outside of your comfort zone, by attending a running club. If you're already part of a running club, visit a new one. Seek out ways to connect with new people and runners in your network. These can turn into lasting connections.

Be mindful that it isn't always necessary to partner with someone that trains at the same level or pace. While, for safety reasons, we don't advise you to attempt training at a level that isn't suited for you, you'd be surprised at how many lifelong friendships have developed even when the athletes are at drastically different points in their running journey.

Review Your Training Schedule Weekly And Monthly

It's hard to know when we've become overwhelmed until we're overwhelmed. Revisit the goals often. Ask yourself if you've been rushing to make appointments, getting enough sleep, and quality time with family and friends. It can be helpful to consult your close network. Typically, your network will notice if you've been pushing too hard before you will.

For the most part, training is fun. For athletes and competitors, training is the guarantee. It can be easy to neglect other aspects of our life, such as those relationships beyond pavement pounding. Balance is key. "Balance is not something you find, it's something you create." - Jona Kingsford