Skip to content

Training for a Race while You’re working Full Time.

September 7, 2011

Who has a full time job raise their hand.



*raises hand*

Just me??

oh… Well okay then.

In case you by some chance raised your hand and I didn’t see you…. I’ve gotten lots of questions on how to train well while you’re working full time, whether its for your first 5k or your 100th marathon, Working full time and dedicating a few hours a week to training whether it is running, cross training, or whatever… is HARD!

I’m no expert, but I do work quite a bit and manage to exercise…. and eat okay…

Here’s how I do it.

1. Write it down


If you have read this blog for more than a minute, you know that I cannot function without my g-calendar and my old fashioned write it down calendar. If I don’t have it written down… most of the time twice I’ll forget about it.

More often than not I make a plan of my day to the hour so that I can keep myself focused and not waste away.

It’s true though. if you write it down and put it someplace, like your fridge, bathroom mirror, night stand, kitchen counter, on the TV, you’ll look at it and do your workout.

1 mile is better than no miles.

2. Follow Through

with that being said. Make sure you follow through with your plan. Please see number 3.

3. Don’t set yourself up for failure


When you’re looking for race plans or putting together your exercise schedule, don’t do something or plan to do something that it totally unattainable. For example, I work 3 days a week for 12 hours at a time. I am not going to plan on getting up at 3:45 am to run 5 miles before work, just like I would not run 5 miles after being on my feet for 12 hours at 8pm when all I want to do is crash.

Generally, I schedule shorter mileage on days that I work and longer miles on days that I don’t work.

Now, if you’re working 9-5 five days a week, you can fiddle this a little better. remember this is just what works for me, you have to figure out what is best for you, your body and your schedule.

Don’t injure yourself and or burn yourself out.

I guess what I’m saying is be smart.



Take it from Corbean. you’re demanding a lot of your body, you can do your best to give it the rest that it needs. with that being said. Take rest days when you need it, and sleep well for as many hours as you need each night.

Remember, rest days are built into your schedule for a reason.

5. Fuel your body well


This goes along with Sleeping. Again, you’re asking a lot of your body, you need to put back in the nutrients that you need.

Don’t go out and run 3 miles then refuel with chik-fil-a. (cough HB cough) you need to put good carbs, proteins and fats back into your system. You’ll be better off and be less prone to injury down the line.

6. When the going gets tough, picture the finish line!



When you’re having a bad run or a bad work out. Picture yourself crossing that finish line. It’s glorious, the sense of accomplishment that you put all of your blood sweat and tears into however many weeks of training that you put in. Remember… it’s all worth it in the end.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 10:43 AM

    LOVE this post! My hand was raised, I work full time! One thing I do that helps, is plan to get my workouts before work because I know once the workday is over I will not feel like going to the gym. Not to mention that would put me eating too late, going to bed too late, & not having any time with the hubs & fur babies!

  2. September 9, 2011 6:36 PM

    Yes and no. I don’t go to a job full time. But I have two kids, run my own business from home, and although its volunteer, sit district and committee positions for cub scouting so all together, it adds up to a 9-5 and more. But I’m not training either. This week has been hard getting our keys and household goods, but only managed to take one true rest day although a couple days were yoga only. I think the most important tip you shared for training when balancing a crazy busy life is rest. Because without it, the rest will just crumble and you’ll get sick, hurt, burned out, or all of the above.

    As my marathon coach told me when I got ridiculously sick 2 weeks before my first marathon (strept), it’s better to go in on less miles but rested and well than it is to be prepared by the numbers but on a run down body.

    • September 10, 2011 10:11 AM


      I just finished a 7 day stretch at work, I’m not only insane, but i’m exhausted. and I have not exercised since I started my stretch on friday. It’s okay though, I did enough running around at work and I’m just plum tuckered out!

  3. September 14, 2011 6:33 PM

    I find that I do well with training then I find myself working a crazy amount of hours and it throws everything off. I hate running after work in the morning, way too tired! It does help to plan your week out. If I miss a run and need to fit it in with working I feel guilty and dont sleep well (I usually dont anyways, damn night shift) It is just easier to get it done! Love this again, thanks!

    • September 15, 2011 3:33 PM

      It’s so hard to find a balance sometimes. You just have to put it in your mind that you have to bang out your run when you’re done working. that’s what I do at least haah!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: