If you are like me, you have a busy life filled with other busy people that keep you busy, pretty much all the time.
Everyone has varying levels of responsibility and accountability in their daily life. Personally, I have 5 (in a month it will be 6) children, I’m a Lecturer 4 days per week, I’m a health practitioner 2 full days and 4 evenings per week, I run an online business with face to face coaching and consulting time and I deliver about 20-30 seminars each year. Alongside these other things, I maintain my running and my passion for the sport.
I am by no means the busiest person you will come across. There are always people that have got more hectic lives than us, yet it often seems that it is the busiest people are able to accomplish the most with their time.
I love the saying “If you want to get something done, give it to the busy man to do”.
There is truth in this. I know for me that when I’m under pressure and know that I have got a lot on my plate, that if I have my head in the right space, I’m able to achieve a lot more with my time.
When it comes to a busy person fitting their running into their schedule, I believe there are two things that are the key to success in this area.
1) Create the rule – It may be Saturday mornings before breakfast, it may be Wednesday nights on the way home from work, whatever it is, schedule your run(s) into a specific block of time and make that as important as any other appointment you have. I’m sure you will agree that your health, fitness and the joy that you get from running are just as important (if not more) than the hour you would have spent reading the paper on Saturday for example. For this rule to work, especially for people that have a family, you need to make your scheduled running time a priority and let your family know that this time is set aside for you. Yes this may sound easier said than done for some, particularly if you have young children. There is always a way however, and that way may mean running at times you would rather be asleep. Big deal, it is a small price to pay for the benefits of your efforts.
2) Be creative – When you actually start looking, there are lots of little pockets of time in each day where you are idle. With the right amount of preparation and forward planning, you can potentially use that time to sneak in that extra run you always want to tick off each week, or perhaps the speed session you know you should be doing.
Some examples of this that might work for you are; get off the train a number of stops earlier than you need to or park your car a few kms away on your way to work and run in. If you pick your kids up from school, drive to the school half an hour earlier and go for a run. Put the dinner in the oven, throw the running shoes on and head out the door. Eat your lunch at your desk and use your lunch break to run the stairwell in your building. There are literally hundreds of ways that you can find a spare hour, half hour or even a few minutes to accumulate more weekly kms in your training.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous (I’m speaking to the ultra-runners out there), you can plan ahead to your Friday evening and run home from work. If you live close to your work, then this may not apply, but if you are like me 85kms would make for a more than interesting run home. You only need to tackle one of these “adventurous” runs every so often and at a distance that is suitable to you, and it can add so much excitement to your training and spur you on to do more.
Now, think about your week so far. I bet you can find at least 3 times during the week where you could have slotted in a run. The trick it is to be prepared and to have your eyes open and ready for the opportunity.
Leave us a comment below about how you squeeze your running into your busy life. Perhaps you will inspire someone to find that time for them and get more out of this thing we love so much.