Since having kids I’ve learned that sometimes it takes more imagination to figure out how to get my workouts and runs in. I’m pretty obsessive when it comes to my schedule, so if I have a run or a workout on my schedule, come hell or high water, I’m going to get it done. I am the first to admit that I probably err too far on the scheduled side of things, and let other things slide. I thought I’d document a few of the things I do to get my runs or workouts done… no excuses, right 😉
1. I have a treadmill, and over the winter a lot of my winter runs were done while my girls napped. I would work hard to get them napping at the same time so that I could have a half hour or hour to myself to run on the treadmill. I’d bring the baby monitor and sometimes wouldn’t finish the entire distance, especially when my youngest daughter was an infant, I also had a number of fast-finish runs, as I rushed to finish the mile I was in when she started to fuss or cry. I also would set my older daughter up with a show on our DVR or Netflix while Olivia napped.
2. I also have a double chariot running stroller. When my first daughter was a baby I logged many a mile pushing her in the stroller, she was born in April, so I spent that summer running with her. This time with my second being born in September, I have not run nearly as much with the stroller. I think I’m also a bit more afraid of the weight and effort that it requires to push the stroller. I have done a number of runs with both girls though, and it is totally a good option to get outside on a nice day. Last week there was a beautiful sunny day, I had a 10km run scheduled, and I just decided to suck it up and push them in the stroller. It wasn’t my fastest run, but I really enjoyed the time outside, and took my time getting the distance in.
3. Run-swapping with another mom friend. This is my most recent favorite method! My BRF (best-running-friend), Lori, has two kids that are almost the same age as mine. We swap houses back and forth and each Tuesday we each get a solo run in while the other watches all 4 kids. Today we even met at a playground, the toddlers played at the park, the babies mostly napped, and we each got a run in. It was a win-win-win for both of us and our kids!
4. Find someone to watch your kids. I am very very lucky to have an amazing mother-in-law live in the same city. She is very willing to come over and watch the kids for me. I use up a lot of these favors for appointments and such, but also will use this time for a solo run outside, especially if she is already over.
5. Run in the early morning or evening. I have to admit that I’m not much of an early morning runner. I’m up in the night with my youngest daughter and am still treasuring my sleep. A lot of my mom friends do this though, and if it were my only option, I’d totally set my alarm and get it done. I do have one night a week when I have a standing running date with my BRF. We meet up on Wed night and do a medium long run (8 k right now, but we’re planning to bump it up in the next few months). My hubby knows that Wed nights are his, he gives the baby a bottle and puts her to bed, and gets our oldest to bed also. He also has the freedom to run or have a night off also if he chooses.
6. Run from work, at lunch, before work, after work, etc. I am at home on mat leave right now, but last year before my second daughter was born, I ran from work at lunch 3 days a week. This was the easiest way for me to get my run in, it broke up my work day, and didn’t impact my childcare, family, etc.
7. Use the childcare at your gym. I just recently joined a gym that has childcare. Twice a week I head to the gym to do some strength training, I am usually there for an hour, so it doesn’t take long, but it is something I enjoy, and it helps to keep me injury free in my running. I don’t usually run at the gym because I do have a treadmill at home, but I totally would if it wasn’t for my home treadmill.
These are the tricks that I’ve used to get my runs in, what do you do? How to you make yourself a priority?