Running has taught me how to set (and meet) professional goals. Thankfully, remote work has returned the favor, enabling me to travel to places like Russia and Cyprus for major races.
Whether you’re into triathlons, marathons, ultramarathons, or Ironmans, it goes without being said that you’ll need to set aside a significant amount of your free time to properly condition your body. When factoring in commuting and other work-related prep, this means that most office-bound professionals have fewer than a couple of hours daily in which they must tackle household chores, cook and eat meals, care for family members, and (yes) try to relax before heading to bed.
Where is exercise—let alone strenuous exercise—supposed to fit in?
There are many ways in which remote work can accommodate seasoned pros (the elites, in most competitions) and aspiring athletes alike. It provides the kind of flexibility needed for a grueling training program of any kind—as well as the ability to pursue an athletic event in a dream destination.
Here are some tips that allow for combining remote work and your athletic bucket list:
Fitting in the Necessary Training Time
As mentioned, these endurance events require a major time investment, often for a period of months to nearly a year in advance. What begins with a lighter three-hour weekly regimen can culminate in 10-12 hours (and up!) spent on your feet. I’ve always loved that working remotely literally gives me more time in my day; when it came to training for my very first marathon this past fall, it meant that I was able to build those efforts into my daily routine without causing any major disruptions.
Using Location-Independence to Your Advantage
This is another major advantage to working remotely: you have the freedom to choose an event irrespective of location. Seeking a race in a European capital? It’s a lot easier when you don’t have to use up tons of vacation days and can work on flights. Or maybe you’re planning to compete in an event at a higher elevation and you need to get some training done in a place where you can better acclimate. As a remote worker, you can accomplish what you need to anywhere—all it requires is some planning and saving for travel costs.
Overcoming Inevitable Physical Setbacks
Whether they arise from falls, overuse, or improper training, injuries can and do happen to us all. While this typically means that you’ll need to take time off from training, as a remote worker you have the added advantage of additional rest and recuperation. You won’t jeopardize the healing process by having to climb stairs or stand for long periods right away, and you won’t fall behind in your work.
Establishing Your Ideal Schedule
Some folks thrive in workouts during the wee hours of the morning, while others would rather run after the sun sets. No matter your preference, having a remote job gives you flexibility to train during the times of day that suit you (and your circadian rhythm) best. If your energy tends to peak in the afternoon, it’s possible to schedule all your meetings ahead of time so that you’ll be lacing up your sneakers by 3 p.m. The downside? There’ll be no excuses for missing a workout!
Ensuring Effective Post-Event Recovery
Ah, that period of time where the worst feeling in the world just might be the angle between sitting and standing. Don’t kid yourself: recovery takes time. After you’ve rolled out your muscles, you don’t want to remain still for long; at the same time, you likely won’t feel up to walking for miles or climbing many flights of stairs for the first several days. Take heart, remote worker: you can have a midday bath (provided you’ve got a tub!), catch a much-needed nap, and knock out that deadline comfortably from the couch.
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