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Surviving the Office as an Athlete – Training Time Management

By Jiri Kaloc

Having an office job and training for a race can be challenging. Especially if you also have a family, friends, and other obligations. There are a lot of opportunities for training if you know where to look for them and are ready to take advantage. This article will be all about ways to fit training sessions into a busy working day.

Take a change of clothes to work

The trouble with staying active in an office job is that you always have more work to do right where you are, but if you want to exercise, you have to make an effort. Reducing the transition time between work and exercise is key. One thing you can do is to keep a change of clothes at work to be ready to exercise whenever the opportunity arises.

The Kosciuszko Bridge is connecting Queens and Brooklyn in New York. © Profimedia

Make your exercise times public

Another thing that helps is to have a regular set time for exercise. For example, if your group ride starts at 18:00 on Thursdays, you have to leave work at a certain time no matter what. But if you go alone, it’s too easy to keep postponing until you cancel your ride altogether. Don’t hesitate to make your exercise schedule public to your boss and co-workers, it will make it that much easier for you to leave on time.

Commute on your bike

Probably the biggest time saver for office athletes is using the daily commute as training time. Having 10 guaranteed rides to and from work every week is simply too good to miss out on! You can do an easy ride in the morning so you don’t sweat too much, unless your workplace has showers. And then plan a harder or longer route on the way home. If you’ve never commuted by bike before, check out a few tips on how to start in our article.

A participant of Winter bicycle parade named “Let’s bike it!” cycles along an embankment in Moscow. The air temperature dropped down to -27 degrees Celsius in the Moscow area. © Profimedia, AFP

And before you start making up excuses why you can’t do it in winter, in rain or when it’s too hot, make sure to read our article on winter cycling. It’s possible and many people commute every day of the year. It’s a good way to practice discipline, mental toughness, and overcoming discomfort.

Use your lunch breaks

One last thing that can make a difference is your lunch break. If you bring your own lunch, as we discussed in the previous article, you don’t have to waste an hour by going to a restaurant. You can eat your lunch while working and use this precious midday time to squeeze in some exercise. It’s the best time for cross training. If you have a pool close to your work, you might be able to fit in a 30-minute swim. If you have a park nearby and showers at work, you might use your change of clothes and do a short run. Or you can simply find a quiet place at the office to do some mobility exercises, stretching, or plyometrics. Give it a try and you might discover that it makes you more productive and optimistic in the second half of the work day.

Next up in Surviving the Office as an Athlete series