Is anyone else feeling like they are busier than ever lately? Maybe it’s just this time of year, but it’s been a stressful few weeks. However, I almost always prioritize running even when life if super busy. It keeps me grounded and helps me to manage my stress. How how do we make time time for running when life is busy? It’s not always easy but there are some things that can help.
13 Ways to Make More Time For Running
- Prioritize your running
- Wake up a few minutes earlier to make more time for running
- Don’t snooze when you’re alarm goes off
- Go to bed a few minutes earlier
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Multi-task when you can
- Split up your runs
- Get in a runch
- Be a weekend warrior
- Plan for down weeks when you are trying to find time for running
- Come up with a long term goal and plan
- Ask for help when you don’t have enough time for running
- Be more efficient to make more time for running
Prioritize your running
Think about the things that you need to get done each day. Where does running fit on your list of priorities? It probably isn’t #1, but hopefully it is towards the top of your list. After considering how to get your top priorities accomplished, think about how you can cut out, or postpone, other things to make sure you have time to run.
Wake up a few minutes earlier to make more time for running
Maybe you’re not a morning runner, and that’s ok. But if you wake up a few minutes earlier you can get started on your to-do list and have more time to run later in the day. If you are a morning runner, then get your run started early so you can move on to other things!
Don’t snooze when you’re alarm goes off
We may have the best intentions when we set our alarm at night, but if you snooze through it then it won’t matter. Make it harder to turn off your alarm by putting it somewhere different, not right next to your bed, so you need to think a little bit in order to turn it off. That might give your brain a chance to wake up and realize it’s time to get up and start the day.
Go to bed a few minutes earlier
When I look at how I spend my time, my least productive time of day is the hour before bed. I usually scroll through Instagram even if there is nothing to see. I know many people fall victim to Netflix at that time of day. While it’s important to make time to relax and unwind, try to just watch one show or spend a limited amount of time on your phone, and get to bed a bit earlier so you can get up earlier the next day.
Focus on quality over quantity
You don’t need to run 60+ miles a week to be a successful runner. You also don’t need to run 7 days a week (and most of us shouldn’t!) You do need to be consistent, and make sure you are getting in the right workouts along with any prehab that our body requires. Consider how to make those things happen within your schedule. You can get in a long run, a speed workout, and 2 easy runs by running 4 days a week. That leaves 3 days to take rest days or strength train/cross-train.
Multi-task when you can
There are some instances when multi-tasking should be avoided. (Please don’t text and drive!) But there are other times when it can be useful. For example, while you’re cooking dinner can you also get in some core work? Or if you really want to catch up on your favorite shows, can you watch them on the treadmill or while you are strength training?
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Split up your runs
If you don’t have time to get in your full run all at once, you can split it up into two runs. I don’t typically do this because two runs usually means two showers. But for some people this might be a great solution!
Get in a runch
If you have a lunch break you can try getting in your miles at that time. This might work particularly well if you are working from home. Just make sure you actually have time to eat lunch too!
Be a weekend warrior
I’m not suggesting you only run on the weekends, but if you have more time on those days then make the most of them. Maybe you can do your long run on Saturday and an easy run and strength training on Sunday. That’s 3 workouts right there! Some people training for long distances might also want to do two back to back long runs. Obviously its best to do this on the days when you have the most time. Then you can make your busiest days of the week your rest days or short/easy days.
Check out this 4 Week Workout Routine With 3 Days a Week of Running
Plan for down weeks when you are trying to find time for running
You shouldn’t be training hard every single week, and a periodized plan would have you taking down weeks throughout your training. If you know certain weeks will be particularly busy for you, try to make a down week to fall on those weeks.
Come up with a long term goal and plan
Think about your long term goal and what steps you need to take to reach that goal. If you have a reasonable training plan, you can see how many runs you need to get in to reach your goal. This might help you to see how you can fit in your runs without feeling as overwhelmed. If you feel like you need to run everyday, it may feel unrealistic. But thinking about getting in 3-5 days of running a week may seem more doable.
Ask for help when you don’t have enough time for running
At times you may need to ask for help so that you can get in your runs. If you are a parent you may need childcare. If there are things to get done around the house, can you ask a family member to help you out? What are things you can delegate to someone else to take something off your plate?
Be more efficient to make more time for running
Really, when trying to manage our time it comes down to being efficient. When I am really busy I look at how I am spending my time and its usually easy to see the ways I waste time or spend too much time on a simple task. Little changes add up. Even by running in your neighborhood instead of driving to a trail you will save time throughout your day.
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Try to find balance
As I’ve said, it’s not always about getting in every single run. It’s more about being consistent and finding a lifestyle that includes running and is maintainable. Some days you may get in all your workouts, follow a meal plan, and get 8 hours of sleep. Other days you may skip your run and order take-out. That’s ok! Every day isn’t going to be perfect, but you just want to aim for achieving a balance that feels comfortable for you.
It isn’t always easy to make more time for running. And there may be days/weeks/months where you need to skip your runs or run less than usual. That’s ok! What’s important is trying to make sure that running can fit into your overall lifestyle. If you can fit it in most days, then you can be consistent. As hard as it may be, try to let go of an all or nothing mentality when it comes to running.
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How you do make time for running when you are busy?
Do you ever split up your runs?
Have there been times when running had to take a backseat to other priorities in your life?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs , and Laura Norris Running to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.