There are so many reasons why “life can get in the way” of our own fitness/running goals. Have you heard these comments, or perhaps even said them yourself?
- I’m too busy, I just do not have time
- My kids are to young, it’s difficult with them around
- I can’t afford a gym membership
- my spouse/partner is not supportive of my goals
- I’m a single parent and do not have any support
As mentioned in my previous post, we all have 24hrs in a day. However, we all live very different lives mostly. So how can we balance our lives in order to achieve our goals. First up, know what your goal is. Do you want to workout 3x/week? Do you want to learn to run? Run a goal race? Know your goal and then write it down.
For myself, I tend to look at seasons and I’m about to enter a slightly more relaxed season but I do not want to lose my consistency with running, my base. However, I will be adding in home workouts for variety and strength training. I highlight any races coming up with purple, my running days get highlighted in orange and the rest just get marked on the calendar. This is my “plan”, but if I have to adjust I just change it on the calendar 🙂 We cannot always control our lives, but making “appointments” for ourselves helps us to intend to get them done!
As you can see, I have 3 races in October and two marathons! So I’m actually slowing down with my running to get ready for those bigger races. However, I still want to be working out, more yoga/piyo and some running.
There are a number of challenges we are faced with as mentioned above. I’ve chatted with a number of people about this topic. Some ride/run to work, others get it done over their lunch hour, or hit the gym on the way home from work. Some single parents put their heavy workout schedule on the week their ex has the children. The challenges are real, here are few more tips:
Ray shares: (Adventure Runner; both parents running long distances)
It’s about recognizing that you both have goals. Respecting each other and stepping in where you need to, in order to make it happen. Getting the runs in where ever they fit in for that day. Sometimes that means an exceptionally early run, running when the girls are at school or one parent prepping dinner, hanging with the girls while the other gets a run in. Whatever works! Working together as a team!
Find our more about Ray and follow his blog.
Noel writes: (new dad)
What I find tough is finding time to run and trying to adjust to à new way of life.
So far I have switched to running at lunch and after work (run home) so when I arrive at home I am ready for daddy duties. On the weekends I now run when I can, not always when I want to lol. Now that Morgane is 4-months old I have just started running with her in the stroller and this allows me to run with my daughter but also give mom à break at the same time.
As an uber new dad, I have been able to train and got quite fit but dad duties, family stress with new baby and adapting to everything made races almost impossible. I ran one 5k and had to bail on planned fall marathon. BUT happy, have great family and still running.
I think there is always a way to find time to run, but its about being flexible, adapting to à new lifestyle and defining your priorities and determining your goals and what is important to you.
Find out more about Noel and follow his blog
Brent writes: (Brent and his wife are new runners)
Having two boys 5 and 7 it’s a bit more of a challenge for us but a good jogging stroller and two tablets keep them happy for an hour or so. Most of the time my wife goes for a run at 6pm when I get home from work and I go at 9pm when the kids are asleep. We have had the luxury of my mother in law being available to watch the kids for us to do full day events.
Laurie Ann writes: (Author, Mom and Outdoor Adventurer)
Parenting and fitness is a tag-team, juggling event in our household. During the weekdays I am often like a single Mom with Bryan’s travel schedule. I have Fridays off so during the school year I am able to hit the gym with a friend and now that my son is old enough he can watch my daughter from time to time. Bryan and I also take turns plus we do fit things that include the kids. After all, they need to keep moving too. When my daughter was little we used the running stroller and a bike trailer. When our son was 11 or 12 he’d cycle back and forth on the trail while I ran or he’d run with one of us. When he wasn’t old enough to babysit on his own he’d watch a movie with my daughter in the same room as my treadmill and I’d run with them in view. When Bryan and I would run at the track I’d start my run and then he’d show up later with the kids. They’d run with us for a bit and then we’d walk while Bry finished his run.
Oh and with the stroller… a MEC Newt Suit is indispensable. Kaia would sit in her stroller and even in the worst weather that one piece rain suit would keep her toasty dry.
Find out more about Laurie and follow her blog
Liette writes: (both parents running)
Challenges? Getting homework done is my number one (why so much, whyyyy??!!). My number 2 would be getting the laundry, groceries and any other household task done that I can’t accomplish during the week. Especially when the Sunday distances are long. Sometimes, it’s 2 o’clock by the time I’m cleaned up and fed. That reduces my weekends to just under 1.5 days.
So how do we manage? Barely. LOL! I do the bulk of my running during the lunch hour. He runs after work while I get dinner on the table. He cleans up my mess while I do homework with the little one and make sure the teenager is on top of his workload. We tag team the chores on the weekend. And meal planning is key! If I’m lucky, I can get a pot of soup, sauce or chill on the go Sunday afternoon so weeknight dinners are easier.
Jennifer writes: (mom and business owner)
It is super hard to make time for fitness as a mom of little ones. I only started when my youngest was 2yrs old, prior to that I just couldn’t get it together! But once my little one was in daycare it gave me much more time freedom. As soon as I started I became happier and much more productive in all areas of life. I realized that fitness/running/being outdoors gave me time to be alone, focus on my dreams and goals and in turn be a better mom and wife. It really changed my life.
In terms of time management, I only work out Monday to Friday so that my weekends are free to spend time with the kids. School/daycare are my saviors!
Find out more about Jennifer and follower her blog.
Cathy writes: (mom of fur babies)
My hubby and I don’t have kids, but we are joint owners of a small business and our needy 3 dogs (one very senior, 2 rescues with separation anxiety). For me, I have a very understanding husband who knows how important running is to me. He is willing to ‘hold down the fort’ for my long run on Saturday. I do the same on Sunday but for him it is so he can work. During the week, I combine my run, walk or cycle with my commute to work. So I do arrive to work later than he does (he drives and brings the doggies) but again, he is very understanding and the amount of time for this varies depending on the season/closeness to a race.
Find out more about Cathy and follow her blog.
So as you can see, regardless of who you are, what challenges you have, what you do for a living or the goals you set for yourself, if you want something bad enough you’ll figure out a way to make it work. It’s often not easy, sacrifices often need to be made but you can figure out what can work for you. The key is to know what you want to accomplish, set a goal and then work towards achieving that goal.
my daughter keeping me company on the bike path
Getting fit can also be done with your family. Planned hikes, workouts at the park, kids riding alongside you as you run. Be creative, have fun and find what you love to do!
Lastly, for those that find that they cannot afford a gym membership or that they struggle with getting to the gym at the times available for group classes, here are a few of my favourite home workouts.
PiYo (great for body strength exercises and a fantastic workout compliment workout for runners).
21 Day Fix (focuses on portion control with your diet and has a great mix of workouts to jump start anyone looking for a great workout).
I have a ton of dvd’s I rotate through but I seem to come back to these two often.
Do you have a tip on how you fit in your workouts/running with a busy life? I’d love to hear about it!