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50 ways to find time to run (well, almost)

Am I the only one still having a hard time finding time to run?  The holidays are over...way Run_sign over.  No excuse there anymore.  We have pushed past the really cold, really dark part of winter.  Can't count that as a reason.   But work and home is very busy.  Very, very busy.  Over-the-top crazy.   It always seem very difficult to squeeze one in.

But, still, come on Amy, enough.   The run isn't asking for hours a day.  30 minutes would do just fine.   Out of the 1440 minutes in a day, the run just needs 30 of them, which is a measly 2% sliver of your entire time for each God given day.   Certainly you can these few minutes.

As I was pondering the math and my dilemna, Paul Simon came on the radio singing "50 ways to leave your lover..."    And it that moment, I found myself singing along to one of my most favorite songs in the world, but with a renewed mission.   To leave the excuses and to find 50 ways to find time to run.

You know, good ole Paul had some of them already figured out with a few of the original lyrics with the classic Just slip out the back Jack , Make a new plan Stan, and Just get yourself free.

I think I will count them as three of my fifty ways, and here are a few I came up with:

4.   Cut back on a few of those long hour + meetings and take the time saved to run on the way home from work.

5.  Schedule, schedule, schedule.   A bit more mamba action in front of the family calendar to find the chunk of time.  It isn't going to happen if it isn't scheduled.

6.  Break down and get the babysitter.  Time to bring in the reinforcements again.  Babysitters aren't just for the few times we head out each year, they are just as useful in watching kids to go for a much needed run.

7.  The treadmill.   It's right there in the basement.  Safe, well lit, warm and always ready.  Time to break down and use it some more.  Only 5 weeks until the time change.

8.  Wake up call.  Set the alarm 32 minutes early, have your clothes ready and run downstairs to get in your run.   You will appreciate they day so much more if you have one under your belt.   And what is 32 minutes - its not going to be the difference of a good and bad nights sleep for you.

End of the day wrap up.  What a better way to have some time to pull together your thoughts than a nice gentle run at the end of the day.  Yes, I know you are tired and just want to sit, but a run can be more relaxing than couch time.

10.  Give yourself a reason.  Instead of treating it as a luxurious use of time, make it a requirement.   Call a few friends and commit to a time you will meet them to run and then follow through.

11.  Adjust, go with the flow.  On the days when 30 minutes won't work, then try for 25, 20, 15, heck - even 10.   It is better to get out and move a little than none at all. 

12.  Lunchtime.   With an hour lunch, you could do 30 minutes run and still be cleaned up and back at it in an hour.  Yes, it may be a pain - but which is more painful?

13.  Really desparate solution.  If you have a shorter lunch or find yourself with 30 minutes free at work, walk and work.   Do a walking meeting or a walk at lunch.  Just keep moving.

14.  Find a few more races.  Outside of the races you normally do, add a few more on your calendar.  Not only will you be more commited to train and stick to your runs, but on race day, you know you will show up and get some miles in. 

15.  Pay yourself to run.  Give yourself a dollar for every mile you run either literally or on paper.  Save the dollars for some running gadget or gear thing that you are really looking forward to.

Ok...by the time I got to 15 in my head, the song was over.   And so was my list.  Anyone have any really good ways they find time and motivate themselves to make time to run?

Photo on Flickr by Kris Kros


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Super great post, Amy! I put my running clothes on first thing in the morning. If I am still wearing them after I drop off my son at school and running errands. I will pass by a mirror and see that I am wearing running clothes with no running, and that is not kewl.


I totally agree with Viv. I feel super lame if I get all ready to run and then sit in my running clothes. 9 times out of 10, lame enough to get out the door regardless of how I feel.

#16: I know this is a tried and true, but: Make a date - run with a friend! Bailing on a planned run with someone else is even lamer than sitting around with running clothes on. Plus, you were probably going to spend at least 30 minutes chatting anyway. Multi-task ;)


#17: Keep a 50 idea list limited to 15, and let your friends finish it. Use the time to get some miles in, maybe you'll come up with a few new ideas on the run!


And I agree! Make a date with your spouse or significant other! And let him or her pick the place.

Hubby and I ran a 10 miler through town Saturday and went in a jewelry store at about mile 1.5 for me to leave some heavy hints! Had to go in early in the run so we didn't get chased out. What fun! Have never, ever done that before. Looking forward to a Valentine run with my sweetie, too!


What a great post! Unfortunately I pay myself in chocolate chip cookies. :)

Like most of you I work, I had to give myself permission to make running a priority. Eat, sleep, love kids, run, work.


LOL I like the last one! I think I need to implement that baby!


I've done the paying myself trick, and it really works.

Bob Gentile

Pay yourself to run.
I can't afford myself ---HAHA Might have to lower my miles :-)

Good Post . thanks!


# 15 - Maybe a Bank could sponsor us. LOL


don't worry about not coming up with 50 reasons. sir paul only lists 4 or 5 in the song.


How about make a date with crazy friends who run??

I'm down for the count for a couple days, but I'll be happy to oblige you as soon as I'm back at it. :D

How about run one for me? I could really use it.

Laura Catherine

Great post, Amy! This was just what I needed to kick off my semester with the intent of working out often. Today, I went for a run/walk at my school's new athletic center and am excited for more similiar occurences to come! Thanks for the inspiration!

new football boots

I will be using these shoes at work, where I'm on a concrete floor for 8 to 10 hours a day.
I prefer a trail shoes for better grip. These will be great for that purpose.

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