How to fit running around your family
When raising a family, it’s easy for activity to fall by the wayside. When you’re juggling childcare with a job and/or household tasks, as well as the daily distractions that life throws at you, making time to run can seem an impossibility. However, the key is not finding time by sleeping less or making sacrifices – it’s about finding ways to fit running into the routine you already have.
1. Get your family involved
You will find it much easier to fit running into family life if your family can realise the benefits of running! If you have children, introduce them to the fun that can be had from running kids-only races like junior parkrun, or get them started on The Daily Mile. There are numerous ways to get your kids excited by running [link to how to get kids into running feature] but the key is to keep it fun, varied and at a pace comfortable for them.
2. Run with a buggy
Scan the Start Line of any parkrun – or simply keep an eye out on your next run – and you’re bound to see a number of parents taking their children out for a spin. Buggy running has boomed in recent years, primarily because it allows you to combine fitness with childcare – the little ones get a taste of fresh air (and a slightly windswept look), while you get your exercise in.
3. Run during sports practice
If your child plays a sport, or does some sort of activity outside of school hours that you’re tasked with taxiing them to and from, why not use the hour that they’re there to go for a run? That could mean jogging around the playing fields, or if that’s too mortifying a proposition for your child (or yourself!), map out a circular 10K route from wherever you drop them off.
4. Train shorter and smarter
A slow two-hour run might be a lovely idea, but for many people, most of the time it’s simply not possible. The good news is that unless you’re in marathon training, shortening your runs and upping the intensity will give you all the fitness benefits of longer, slower outings. If you only have half an hour to spare, opt for intervals and tempo runs to maximise your training efficiency.
5. Run your commute
If you have a small child you take to nursery in the mornings, or you commute to work by car or public transport, is it possible to run there instead? Or, if it’s too far away, could you do half the journey by public transport and the other half by foot? Run commuting is an excellent way to use time that would otherwise be spent sitting down more productively.