QT: When 24 Hrs Isn’t Enough, Pare Back Your Running

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The fact of the matter is that we all have the same amount of time available to us each day.

Another fact of the matter is that most of us wouldn’t mind an extra hour or two each day.

Life is busy. And it can be a struggle to find time for all the things.

Sadly, adding more hours to the day isn’t an option at this point.

For some of us, that may mean that addition by subtraction becomes necessary.

But First…

One thing that I’m not getting into too much today is prioritization.

A lot of times when we say we don’t have enough time, what we are really saying is that we aren’t making our priorities important.

Or, at least, that’s what I usually mean when I say I don’t have enough time.

I’ve talked before about ways to “invent” more time in the day and also about prioritizing your priorities.

If you’re feeling like you don’t have enough time most days, I’d encourage you to take a hard look at how you’re spending the time you do have and see if maybe you could use your time a bit more strategically.


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Addition by Subtraction

Sometimes the only way to get more time in your day is to eliminate some of the things that eat up time in your regular routine.

Obviously, there are some things that are non-negotiables.

Work. Sleep. Eating. Family time.

These things need to be done, period.

Sure, you could potentially optimize things a little bit or make certain aspects a bit more efficient, but you still need to tick these boxes daily.

So then we need to look at the less-than-required aspects of your life, and see if there are things that could be pared back.

Somewhat regrettably, for us as runners, running is something that we can definitely pare back.

What

That’s fair…

Pare Back Your Running

Look, I get it.

So many of us run for so many important reasons, that deliberately pulling back our running routine is borderline sacrilegious.

Sometimes, however, needs must.

Depending on your situation will go a long way in determining what your pared-back running routine may look like.

And a pared-back routine may be a bit unconventional. But that doesn’t mean it won’t still work.

A few examples:

  • More weekend miles, possibly including consistent back-to-back long runs.
  • A rolling 10-14 day routine, instead of the more typical 7-day routine.
  • Running fewer times per week, but longer for each run.

There is also the very real possibility that you simply may need to cut your volume down a little bit.

If you’re running on fumes all the time because of work/life demands that are non-negotiable, you can’t keep trying to hold yourself to a standard of running all the miles.

Well, you can try to hold yourself to that standard but doing so is a dicey scenario.

Sick. Injury. Burnout. Stalled progress.

All of those outcomes are more likely if you’re forcing your runs when you’re running short on time.

Especially if you’re thinking about sacrificing sleep to get your miles in.

Keep Making Progress

But here’s the good news, or at least the less bad news.

Paring back your running doesn’t mean you won’t keep moving toward your goals.

Depending on what/how you pare back your running, it could make your progress a bit slower than it would be otherwise.

But slow progress is greater than no progress, right? And it’s certainly preferred to regression.

So if that’s what needs to be done, then that’s what needs to be done.

Ideal? Not hardly.

But if/when something has to give, it’s ok if your running has to get pared back.


Sometimes the best thing you can do is pare back your running. Sad, but true. #runchat Click To Tweet

What are Your Thoughts on Paring Back Your Running, If/When Needs Must?

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