Good Enough, Isn’t!
Today’s society has most of us living in a busy (if not frenetic) cycle of life where family, job, household responsibilities, social media, friends…seem to pull at us and eat away at our 24 hours. Being an athlete – whether you’re a weekend warrior trying to qualify for Kona or just trying to keep a consistent and healthy regime - can often create even greater stress as we struggle to fit it all into our busy world. Most of us have become creative at scheduling and utilizing every possible window to maximize our time. We get up early and hit the gym or the pool on the way to the office. Squeeze in a run during our lunch hour. Maybe we ride the trainer at night after the kids are in bed.
But what happens when a wrench gets tossed into the system? We get pulled into a lunch meeting and that mid-day lunch run is blown out of the water. Maybe your day stretches past your typical end of day and now you are chasing the afternoon. Or worst of all, your headed home from the office only to find yourself caught in the worst traffic you have seen since that time you were in Bangkok. How do you maximize your life in those moments? Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you just let those workouts go because there is no way you are going to make it to masters swim or the afternoon group ride.
However, you can fight back. One little trick is to not let a traffic jam be the thing which prevents your workout from happening. When traffic congestion turns your 25 minute commute into an hour long bumper to bumper slog of stop and no go - you can surrender. Yep, just stop fighting it. Pull over somewhere and go for a 20 or 30 minute run. By then traffic will likely have dissipated. Your stress level will have come down due to getting some exercise. Likely your entire trip home won’t take much more time than if you would have remained in your car steaming about the horrible drivers around you.
To do this you have to be prepared. You are not getting out the car and running in your high heels or wingtips. Those cool looking slim fit chinos may look good in the office but they are not good for logging road miles. To be prepared keep a small bag in your car with some of your old running gear that you don’t wear much anymore. Include socks, running shoes (an old retired pair are fine for this, we are not running a marathon in them), long sleeve and short sleeve shirt, shorts, tights and maybe a stocking cap in case it is winter time. It sounds like a lot of stuff but if you pack it neatly it will all fit in a small back pack which you can leave in the trunk of your car all the time - 'cause hey! you never know when I run might happen. You may also want to include a bottle of water and a post run snack like a KIND Bar. One other thing which every athlete should have in their vehicle is and Orange Mud Transition Towel. You can wrap it around you to do a towel change pre or post workout and it also doubles as the perfect seat cover if you need to jump in your car and drive off all sweaty.
Sitting in traffic and missing your workout for the day isn’t good enough.
Lance Watson, triathlon hall of fame coach, takes on, perhaps, the most asked question in Ironman, 70.3, Olympic and Sprint triathletes minds. How do you warm up for a swim start where you are not allowed in the water prior to the race start?