The alarm goes off like a starting gun in the morning, and the rest of the day looks something like this: Wake kids up. Shower. Wake kids up – again. Breakfast. Schlepping to school. Work. Kids to music/sports practice. Grocery shopping. Pick kids up from practice. Home. Homework. Dinner. Kids ready for bed. Wash dishes. Clean kitchen. Glass of wine (seriously). So how do you fit a consistent running program into a schedule that busy? We’ll show you!
1. Workout Early
If you workout in the a.m., you’ll be far more likely to actually run because nothing else will have time to get in the way of your training session. So when your alarm goes off, pretend it actually is the starting gun. Grab a quick bite to eat (like a small banana with a smear of peanut butter, or half a bagel with a little cream cheese) if you feel like you need it, and then lace up and head out the door. Bonus? You’ll already be humming with that post-run glow before most people have even opened their eyes for the day.
2. Include Your Family
If you have children, try running with your kids. It will help you fit your workout in, model a healthy lifestyle and give you an opportunity for some quality family time. Running with little ones can be a great way to bond, and there’s a way to share running with children of all ages. If you don’t have kids, try running with roommates or your significant other. Combining workout time with quality time with loved ones can help you make the most of a busy schedule.
3. Mix Up Your Training
Don’t panic if there’s a day when you’re just too busy to fit in that long run you had planned. Use it as an opportunity to mix up your training program. Instead of a longer workout session, try a shorter sprint workout or even a core workout. Even if you can’t fit your full workout in, getting something in is better than nothing. A quick but intense weights session is a great workout to try when you’re short on time. It’ll help boost your metabolism and increase your strength.
4. Bounce Back from Setbacks
If you have to skip a workout entirely for some reason, don’t beat yourself up too much. Life happens. And if you’re already busy and overwhelmed, the last thing your body needs is the additional stress response caused by you agonizing over your missed workout. Just let it go, and pick up right where you left off tomorrow. If you’re consistent overall then a missed workout here and there won’t be the end of the world, and unless you miss more than a few days in a row, your fitness won’t even take a hit.
5. Take Advantage of Your Rest Day(s)
Your rest day(s) can be more than just a chance for your body to recover from the mileage you’ve been logging. Use the day or days that you take off to take care of all of those nagging little things that have been piling up on your to-do list. Write out an actual list of everything that you need to accomplish so that you’ll be more productive, and you’ll be able to help clear up your schedule for the rest of the week so that you have plenty of time to run.