Struggling to find the time to go for a run? You’re not alone.We all lead such hectic lives nowadays; how do you find the time to train when you have a full-time job, a couple of kids, or a partner who doesn’t share your passion for running? It may not seem possible to squeeze more time out of your frantic schedule, but by making a few relatively minor adjustments, you could have more free training time than you thought possible. Here’s six time-efficient ways to train when you’re short on time.
Train early. I must admit, not everybody wants to prise themselves out of a warm bed, but if you are a morning person you can fit in a run while everyone’s still in the land of nod. Get it out of the way early doors and it eliminate the risk of something derailing your run during the day.
Train smart. Make your workouts shorter but tougher. Try interval training or do hill reps – turn up the intensity and make yourself work harder. A shorter, tough workout can actually improve your running and endurance fitness more than your longer, slower runs.
Train indoors. If you have young children and can’t leave them to go out for a run then consider buying a piece of cardio exercise equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike. That way you can work out in the comfort of your own home when the kids are in bed or doing homework. Warning: try the equipment out before you buy, as some can be quite noisy and waking up the household can be very counterproductive!
Train with the family. Have a family or partner? Suggest walks or cycle rides together and make it fun. You may not be running but at least you are still getting out there and exercising, which will help your overall cardiovascular fitness. Teach your kids to be your training partners; they will enjoy cycling alongside you and cheering you on while you run, plus it’s a great way to encourage an active lifestyle.
Train at work. Most of us get a full hour lunch break at work but do you actually take it? If not, now’s the time to reclaim it. An hour is just long enough to fit in a quick gym workout or run, but if you don’t have access to a shower then a brisk walk can make all the difference. It’s a great way to avoid that mid-afternoon slump and help concentration.
Train when you can. I know that running is the best training for your next race, but every little helps and any exercise will go towards building overall fitness. Instead of ringing or emailing a colleague, can you walk over to them? Take a regular break from typing or staring at the computer screen and go for a brisk march around the car park. Use the stairs instead of the lift; an office where I used to work was accessed by four flights of stairs, and two to three times a day I used to leave my desk and walk to the bottom just so I could run all the way up. Try parking further away from work or the shops so you have to walk, or get off the bus a stop or two earlier. And, if you’re lucky enough to live close to work and have showers available, run to work!