Back to School Training Tips

13 Back-to-School Hacks for Teachers who Run

It’s the end of August and for most of the Northeast, that means it is back to school time! The beginning of the school year is shockingly tough on teachers because we’ve just gotten used to July and August – where we get to recharge our batteries – and it’s already time to get get back in front of our students again!

13 hacks for teachers who run
13 hacks for teachers who run

If you’ve never been in front of students, you may not know this, but it’s actually quite tiring. After a summer away from kids, you forget what it’s like to be talking non-stop for 7 hours, standing on your feet for much longer than you’re used to, and having to get up early.

Luckily, I put out a call to action to find out what other teachers who are runners did to get back into the swing of a new school year and below, you’ll find their great responses.

13 tips to start the new school year
13 tips to start the new school year

Here are some of the best tips to manage the start of the school year for teachers who run:

From Brittany:

1. Be flexible with your training plan. Know that you will have workouts that go poorly, runs that you miss, and a week or two that mileage is off where it should be.

2. Plan for sleep. Know that you may be off your usual amount. Set a timer for bedtime and work to get back into a healthy sleep routine.

3. Lower your expectations, but only temporarily. Your legs will feel like jelly from extra standing, you may be tired from longer work hours, and times for workouts and races will be off. Knew that will be the case for a few weeks, but do not allow this to be your permanent norm.

4. Plan for recovery. Foam roll and stretch, make sure to get extra fluids in, eat well. Those consistencies need to be present to allow training to stay as close to normal and for you to recover properly.

From Jon Anderson:

5. Get out early! Do lesson plans at night so you can run before school. Bring lots of water to drink during class.

13 tips to start the new school year
13 tips to start the new school year

From Rob Alfano:

6. Morning shakeout runs. 2-3 miles very easy as soon as you wake up, then shower/breakfast and out the door. If life throws you a curveball and you can’t get in the afternoon run, at least you got a few miles in!

From Dora:

7. I can usually squeeze in 5k during lunch, so it’s for my short/easy days. Then I eat at my desk while doing other work. I truly think it makes me a better teacher when I can clear my head and do something I love. Getting some fresh air and sunshine midday improves my day. And I do some of my best lesson planning and reflecting while on a run! Another thing I love about it is that my students see me coming and going and ask me a lot of questions about running. I think it’s good for them to see their teachers following their passions.

From Kelly Condon:

8. I love to workout in the morning and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Sets me straight and gets me going! Teachers who Run

From Julia K:

9. Find a route around school, bring clothes, change and run before you head home for the day. (If you’re inclined, running with a sports team can be a great way to meet more students!)

From Rob DeCarlo:

10. Be flexible. Any run is better than no run!

From Marc:

11. Start off small and remember that something is better than nothing.

12. Find a running buddy to help keep you accountable.

13. Start a routine that you know is manageable over the long run


The beginning of the school year is tough for all teachers, but for teachers who also happen to be runners, it can be as easy or tough as you want to make it. Above, some really cool teachers voiced what they think are the 13 hacks to having a smooth transition back to being a teacher.


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Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach
Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach

I am a USATF Track and Field & Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT O2 certified running coach. I have more than 19 years of experience running and more than 10 years of experience coaching runners. Click for more information!

7 thoughts on “Back to School Training Tips

  1. deborahbrooks14 August 29, 2018 — 8:29 AM

    I am sure getting back onto a schedule for running after having the summer off is tough!


  2. Great tips! I so admire teachers. After coaching 20 K-5 students for two hours per week, I’m EXHAUSTED. There’s no way I could do it all day long, all week long.


  3. Great tips. You show a lot of insight. Even though I don’t teach anymore (I retired after 30+ years), I had to check there out!


  4. Debbie Woodruff August 29, 2018 — 5:28 PM

    I’m not a teacher, but I also have most of the summer off and have to get into the swing of things when my personal training clients all get back in October and November. These are great tips! I also second running with the sports teams if you teach at high school level. I coached cross country for 12 years and we were always open to having a teacher join us!


  5. I’m instructing a freshman engineering lab for the first time this year. I had my first 3 sections yesterday and, wow, I hope it gets at least a little less exhausting as the semester goes on!


  6. I wish I had seen more of my teachers running at school – I think it would have inspired my running passion a lot earlier in life. These are great pointers and well done to all teachers for getting it done, especially those who end up inspiring students in the long run. In any job also, flexibility is so key and not beating yourself up when you can’t get it all done.


  7. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets August 31, 2018 — 2:40 PM

    Really great advice for teachers who run! A lot of these would work for people in other careers as well!


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