Preparing for 26.2 doesn’t have to mean giving up all the other fun things you love. This guide is here to help show you how to have a social life while marathon training.
Welcome to another great Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up where Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, linking up and grab the button to proudly display on your blog/in your posts!
The first time I trained for a marathon, the training took over my life. Getting in my miles was all I could think about, and training runs came before pretty much everything. While I enjoyed the training, I sacrificed a lot for it. I didn’t see friends as often as I wanted. Date nights with Will took a back seat. I had to go to bed early to wake up early and spend the whole next day recovering.
I ran a few more marathons this way, but when it came time to train for the 2016 NYC Marathon, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to train hard and PR, but I also didn’t want training to be my entire life. I wanted to see my friends. I wanted to do other fun things. I wanted training to be a big part of my life but not my entire life, so I promised that this time around, my social life wouldn’t come second.
And it didn’t. The four months I trained for the NYC Marathon were some of my most social months ever. I know this can this be a hard thing for many runners to balance, so I put together this handy guide to help show you how to have a social life while marathon training.
1. Meet friends for long runs
This is the best way balance training with your social life, in my opinion. You get in your miles and get to catch up with friends all at once. I was fortunate to have a bunch of other running friends who were also training for the NYC Marathon. We met up for a number of long runs and used that time to log miles, explore different parts of the city and catch up on life.
2. Pick up friends along the way
If you don’t have friends that are also in marathon training mode, but you DO have friends that like to run, have them meet you for part of your run. There were quite a few times where I’d run 6 miles to go meet a friend, run three or four miles with him or her and then run 6 miles home. It takes some coordinating (one time I ran 2 miles to pick up Ashley, we ran one mile to get Zoe, the three of us ran 2 miles to get Katie, we ran 3 miles together, dropped Zoe off at the subway, ran another 2 miles to drop off Ashley and Katie and then I ran a few more miles home), but it’s always worth it.
3. Schedule post long run brunches
Brunch is the best meal to have after a run. Some eggs. A little sweet potato hash. Coffee. That’s a great recovery combo right there. Make plans to meet friends at your favorite brunch spot after your run. Better yet, end your run at brunch (if you and your buds don’t mind a little sweat).
4. Make weekday plans a thing
Being social isn’t reserved for the weekend. If you tend to log your weekday miles in the morning, make plans to meet up with friends after work for dinner, drinks or a recovery walk. If you log your miles at night, why not meet up with a friend for coffee or breakfast before work?
5. Cross-train with non-running friends
Odds are, you have some friends that aren’t runners, but do they like other types of workouts? Why not meet up with them for some of your non-running workous (because you are doing those, right?)? Hit up a spin class, a barre class or whatever your hearts desire.
6. Run less
Yep. I said it. My first few marathon training plans had me running five times a week. Some people thrive off that type of plan, but it felt like too much for me. I switched to a three-run-a-week plan and not only did I become a stronger runner, but I also had so much more time to do other types of workouts (see #5).
7. Forget about your training
Allow me to clarify. I don’t mean ditch your training plan. I mean that when you’re out socializing, try not to talk everyone’s ear off about marathon training. I know. It’s hard. It’s such a big part of your life, but odds are, your non-marathon-training friends probably don’t want to talk for an hour about running. If someone asks you about all your miles and routes and fuel and pace, by all means, chat away, but otherwise, try to focus on talking about all the other cool things going on in your life and their’s. Trust me, it’s nice to not think about training every now and then.
Got running tips, fun workouts, or other healthy living things to share? Join us for the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up (full rules here).
How do you balance your social life with your training?