Running is something that I love to do, if I go two days without running I start to feel myself getting agitated and restless. However, running does take up a lot of time and people often say that they are too busy to run regularly. Luckily running is something that you can do virtually anywhere and at any time. Here are some thoughts on how you could find the time to run:
Use your commute: If you have showers in your office then running to work can make a lot of sense. You might have to invest in a bag which can carry neatly folded shirts, or take shirts to the office on Monday that will last you the week, but it can certainly be done. Currently I live 11km from my office and frequently run to work, it takes me only about 15 minutes longer than taking public transport, I’ve got 11km under my belt before 9am, I feel good for the day and it saves me a lot of money. If you don’t have showers then consider running home from work instead, depending on your transport options you might find that it doesn’t actually take up much of your time.
Pack your running gear: wherever you’re going there’s likely to be an opportunity to fit in a run. Going on holiday? Perfect time to get up early and do a jog before breakfast. Going to visit relatives? Take the opportunity to get out of their way and explore where they live. All you have to do is pack your running kit and you’ll never miss an opportunity to do this.
Cut down on something that you won’t miss: I must admit, I often claim that I don’t have time to do anything and then I spend an hour watching a TV show that I’m not really interested in, just because it’s easy. I often find that if I eat dinner in the evening then that’s it, I want to sit down and relax. When I change this though, exercise before dinner, eat a bit later and have slightly less time watching TV, I normally feel a lot better in my self and finish the day with a sense of achievement, as well as having a better quality sleep.
Use your lunch time: If you are someone who has a lunch hour, spends it at their desk reading the news on the internet – could you put this time to better use for a quick run? Again, this relies on you having shower facilities at your place of work, but it could be a great use of time. When I train for a marathon I will dedicate one lunch time a week to a run and make sure that my colleagues know in advance, I find that everyone is very supportive.
Run somewhere that you are going to anyway: This is a fairly obvious point, but one that’s worth a constant reminder to yourself. If you’re heading to the shops – could you run there and walk back? Could you run to a friend’s house if you’re visiting them? If you need to take the dog for a walk, why not take the dog for a run instead?
You’ll find some other tips in our section on motivation here. However, the one thing that you should not cut down on to fit in running is your sleep. Sleeping helps your body recover from your workouts so if anything, when you start a running program, you should ensure that you get more sleep.