Tips for Time Management During the Peak Weeks

Marathon training can be time consuming in general, but the peak weeks can feel overwhelming as our mileage reaches a point that pushes most of us close to our limits. Besides the running alone we may also struggle to find the time to fit in our strength training/core work, foam rolling and other recovery activities, while trying to get enough sleep and eat well. Here are some tips to survive these weeks of training- and the good news is that the taper is right on the other side!

time management during the peak weeks

1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier: In order to be the most efficient during this time we can start our day out earlier. Even if you aren’t a morning runner you can get other things done during this extra time in the morning. However, we need to make sure we are getting enough sleep so go to bed earlier! I think most of us “waste” time at night by watching tv, browsing the internet, etc. Make the most of your day by getting enough hours of sleep but also eliminate the time you are awake that isn’t beneficial to your training and recovery.


2. Plan ahead: It can be really helpful to have a plan in place for each day or even the week. If you are getting up 30 minute earlier, how are you going to use that time effectively? Look at your training plan and prepare for the next day by setting out what you will wear, decide on your route, and make sure everything you need for your run is in plain sight. 

3. Stick with a schedule: I always find that when my schedule is consistent it saves me any questioning/worrying/stressing about what I need to do. it’s almost like you are on autopilot and things get done without as much thought beforehand. 

4. Cut back on other things: For these few weeks in training, it may be important to consider cutting back on some other things that may not be beneficial to your training. We can’t do it all! One thing that comes to mind for me is blogging- this can take alot of time and I may need to cut back during weeks when my mileage is higher. By removing one thing out of our day it automatically creates extra time!

5. Stay organized: I like to use Sundays (which are usually my rest days) to get myself organized for the week ahead. I plan my meals and prep what I can, look at my calendar and think about what I have going on during the upcoming week, do laundry, etc. It sets me up for success going into the new week!

meal prep

6. Remind yourself why you do it: The peak weeks can be tiring and stressful. We need to keep in mind that we are doing this because we enjoy it (it is a choice, after all!) and it won’t last forever. We can survive a few weeks of extra- early wake-ups and less time socializing for the sake of our races. The taper is right around the corner, and then we will have lots of time to recover after the race!

7. Take time to relax: Yes, we need to push ourselves during this time but it’s also important to take some time to relax! This can be the time when we are the most at risk for burnout. Take some time to check in with yourself, have a glass of wine, take a bath, etc. You can even schedule this into your week so you have something to look forward to!

wine compression

8. Take it one day at a time: Looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Take it one day at a time. Training may feel like it will last forever but it will end up flying by before you know it!

What are you tips for managing time during the peak weeks of training?

How do you make time to relax?

Is there anything you need to cut out when your mileage gets high?

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46 responses on Tips for Time Management During the Peak Weeks

  1. Great tips!

    My mileage never gets very high, but it can still feel overwhelming, especially having to be very diligent about prehab, foam rolling, etc.

    When I’m really busy a to do list helps calm me down. I know I should do them all the time; oh well.

  2. All great stuff, especially the bed/wakeup earlier. It just gives you SO MUCH more time in the day, or so it seems. When I first started going to november project before school, it amazed me that since I was home and showered and ready at 8am and didn’t have class until 10, I could get things done beforehand.
    Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Blended Berry MuffinsMy Profile

  3. I could probably answer these questions during all weeks of my training. In order to run, I have to cut out a lot of stuff. I don’t have much time to read and I never watch TV. Ever ever ever. I know that sounds extreme, but it’s just true. My life is so incredibly chalk full and running keeps me in check. I have to make a point of carving out time for myself each day and I know if I didn’t run (leave the house, sweat, run back home) then my “me” time would quickly get gobbled up by everyone else. So that’s what works for me!
    Suzy recently posted…Anxiety: Part Five of a ZillionMy Profile

  4. Great tips! I think its all about time management and that includes planned rest. I like to think ahead as well and plan how I will get my runs in along with the other important activities like strength training, stretching and foam rolling. I am known to get up extra early to get in a run so that I can have a total rest day. I think this has helped me stay injury free (so far!) and it also helps me mentally.
    Angie @ Pace with Grace recently posted…Madison Anniversary GetawayMy Profile

  5. There isn’t much on TV that I was at night, so I’ll turn it off and read a book in bed. That helps me relax and turn my attention to settling down for sleep.
    Lesley recently posted…Race WeekMy Profile

  6. During peak training weeks, I feel especially overwhelmed because I usually want to sleep more in addition to running more. To do this I really try to be focused while I’m working so that I can stop at a reasonable time and not feel guilty. I have a hard time forcing myself to relax because I’m always thinking about other things that I should be doing…it’s definitely something that I need to work on in order to achieve a well balanced life.
    Denise recently posted…A Case of the MondaysMy Profile

  7. You are always so well organized – there’s so much advice here that I could really learn from. Usually during peak weeks, I take some of the extra social time out – including blogging. But I always need to fit in a few nights of relaxation with that glass of wine too so as not to go insane 😉

  8. These are great tips, Lisa!! I definitely try to get everything ready that I need the night before and come up with a plan for my upcoming training week on Sundays; it really helps clear my mind of worry. I don’t know what I would do without a training plan; it’s nice to know what’s ahead and do some prep work on weeks when I know I’m going to spend more time running, exercising, etc. Thanks so much for sharing these!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Tuesday Intro – City on FireMy Profile

  9. I definitely agree that prepping food, clothing, etc. are very helpful. I am working on scheduling more relaxing time. I did extra yoga this week and just lit a candle to relax last night. I am working on going to bed earlier. Made it a whole thirty minutes earlier last night and was surprised how much of a difference it made. These peak weeks are intense!
    Amy recently posted…Goodbye Summer!My Profile

  10. I TOTALLY needed to read your blog today. I’m mid cycle in my marathon training for Dallas and didn’t realize I needed perspective. I do!!! You helped SOOOOOO much!!! Thank you. 😀

  11. Training for my first marathon will be unlike any task I’ve tried before. Yes I know there will be long hours running, scheduling conflicts and all this comes at the peak of the holidays when my family is crazy busy and on the road. My mindset is to plan ahead as much as possible, but try and keep a balance between my training and spending time with my family! Hopefully, I can succeed!
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…5 Year MilestoneMy Profile

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