There’s no such thing as having no time to run. You can find the time. All it takes is a little thought and planning. Here are some suggestions from us and from other readers.
Schedule it. Do it. That’s the number one message from runners who happen to be time-management experts. “Write your running time into your planner like any other appointment, and when the time arrives, go!“ says Drew Stevens.
- Cassandra Woodhouse sits down each week with her husband to schedule runs on the family calendar. “This way, I know I have his support to take care of the kids,” she says.
- Doctoral student in audiology, Briana Horgan, plots her school work and workouts on a whiteboard. “It’s in my kitchen and seeing it helps me stay organized and focused.” (If the thought of a whiteboard in your kitchen makes you cringe, we suggest buying blackboard paint and painting your own little blackboard in your kitchen for a more visually appealing training programme – and place to write down your grocery list!)
Get your run in – and get where you’re going.
- Jolene September sneaks in extra kays by running to and from the gym, while John Brookfield runs to work. “It’s about a 10-K, but I can take different routes to extend the length,” he says.
- Helene Janse van Rensburg, who takes the bus part way to work and runs the rest of way, says, “I bring extra food and clothes the day before.”
- Megan Williams runs errands with her kids. “I run to the shop, load up the baby jogger with my twins still in it, and slog home,” she says. “People look at my kids buried beneath the groceries strangely, but it’s a great workout and time-saver.”
- “I cook all my meals on Sunday,” says Roberta Johnson. These “One Pot Wonders” that are quick, easy and get more delicious with age.
- Grace Gills’s trick is the freezer. “I’ll make several large batches of pasta sauce, chili, stew, and freeze it, which gives me more time for running during the week,” says the mother of two always-hungry teenagers.
- “I start dinner in the slow cooker before I go to work,” says working-mom Carol Pretorius. “That gives me an extra hour in the evening for my run.”
- “My fit-it-in epiphany came one morning at 3:30,” says Nikki Taylor, a working mother of two young children. ” I had been reading Dean Karnazes’s book Ultramarathon Man [kalahari.net, R155], about his night-time runs. So I headed out.”
- Brett Amerine, who lives along the coast, hits the road during his lunch break. “Put in a solid 30-to 45-minute run, then eat at your desk,” says the contracting officer. “This gives you an extra hour to sleep or be with your family.”
- “I bought a treadmill during my pregnancy so I could continue ‘wogging’ (that’s pregnancy-speak for walking/jogging)” says Carrie Safford, Maryland.
- Nicole Webber picked up a jogging pram: “Hands down the best invention ever!”
- A BlackBerry is Sarah Buyny’s workout-saver: “I can stop to answer e-mails or calls while I’m on the road or the trail.”
- Laura Salmon stocked her closet: “I have enough gear to run in any weather that Mother Nature throws at me.”
- “A 30-minute run with fartlek intervals or strides is just as beneficial as 60 minutes easy,” says Lynne Tapper, a runner, time-management specialist, and triathlon coach. “Two 10-minute core routines per week can have a tremendous payoff.”
- Emma Diego does push-ups and core work between short hill repeats. “Four sets plus a warmup and cooldown makes for a tough 45-minute workout,” she says. “Some mornings, I cut my run short and do a 10-minute ab, yoga, or strength workout,” says Jeanette Olivier.
For parents, this means while the kids are otherwise engaged.
- “I do stretching, core work, or strength exercises after the kids are in bed,” says Shannon Metford. “I drop my kids off at Girl Scouts, religion class, or hockey and run wherever I am,” says Nina Smith.
- “I take advantage of TV time to do crunches, push-ups, or stretching,” says Sara Brians.
- “When I’m on call at the hospital, I run laps on the nearby track with a pager on one hip and a phone on the other,” says pediatrician, Erika Boyd.
- During seminars, Daphne Coetzee does calf raises. “I drive people who are sitting next to me crazy,” she says.
- “My wife and I alternate running at 4:30 a.m. on the weekdays,” says Mark Clothier. “On Saturday, she does her long run at 5 a.m. and I have coffee ready for her when she gets home, then I head out.”
- The Hutchinses juggle two careers, three children, and marathon training in similar fashion. “I coordinate time with my wife, and return the favour when she wants to work out,” says Chad.
- Jason J (who was too busy to give his last name) says, “On the days when it’s my wife’s ‘early shift’ with our two little boys, I’m out on the pavement no later than 5 a.m.”
- Mike Faith runs on the treadmill while reading his Kindle (large type, slow pace). “I study for exams, plan essays, brainstorm policy solutions, and listen to articles on my iPod when I run,” says Carolynn Breakey.
- John Brown combines workouts with chores. “I put laundry in the washer at night, and in the morning when I strength train, it goes into the dryer and I start a second load. After my workout, I switch the second load to the dryer.”
- Grace Gill hits the pavement with her teenage son and daughter. “They talk more while running than at the dinner table,” she says.
- Shirah Bass, a single mom with two jobs puts in time at the track while her daughter plays on the jungle gym.
- Lynn Tapper turns her strength workout into a game with her 8-year-old, Sofie: “We take half a deck of cards, she flips a card, and if it’s an eight of hearts, I do eight push-ups. It’s a great workout, and she has fun.”
What do you do to make time to run? Please tell us below!