Making Time for Training (and Sticking With It)

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Adhering to a workout program is a challenge all athletes face. They often have to choose between working out and socializing with friends—and socializing has more appeal. You can always work out tomorrow, right?

Wrong. If you're on a set schedule, your mindset about how you spend your time must be firm. Eric Lichter, director of performance for Ohio State football, says, "If you have the big picture of what you're trying to accomplish—when your rest periods are and so forth—then you can appropriately plan social events and other obligations that won't affect your training or your training gains."

With your workout "appointments" firmly scheduled, you can assess how to use your free time. Time spent away from your obligations cannot be recovered. But devoting all of your time to school and sports can be draining, leading to lapses in motivation. Balance is key.

Lichter recommends putting your workouts, work schedule, classes and downtime on a calendar. "Training with great pre-planning is always the most efficient," he says. A visible schedule discourages shirking your commitments, because you will take pride in achieving your weekly goals.

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