Any Mum will confirm that we are constantly overloaded, run off our feet, and stretched thin. We are definitely multi-tasking marvels. Fitting in exercise and running sessions is an important aspect for a busy running mum. Not only is it important for physical health, but also for your mental health and general well-being.
Here are some tips for making sure you fit in your training and reach your running goals.
1. Form a routine and stick to it
You are much more likely to continue with something once it becomes habit. If you run first thing in the morning then stick to that routine, don’t put it off otherwise you won’t get it done.
2. Follow a training plan
It is much easier if you follow scheduled runs rather than winging it each day. You can find training plans online or coaches will do a specialised one for you. A training plan will help keep you accountable and give you more direction to reach your goal.
3. Schedule enjoyable sessions
Make sure you schedule lighter, more enjoyable sessions for a bit of ‘me time’. Do some easy paced runs listening to your favourite music, podcast or even an audio-book. Or just use the time to simply zone out. This will mean you stay motivated as some of your sessions will be a little more enjoyable than the hard ones.
4. Be organised
It seems so obvious, but make sure you organise everything and everyone so that you can have time for your training. If you run at your lunch time, then organise your gear the night before so you are prepared to take everything to work. Make sure you are also organised with food preparation and with staying hydrated too.
Make sure you delegate chores out to your partner and children. Even young children can help pack lunches or make their beds, which might make those hectic mornings run a little more smoothly. Mums are always time poor so by delegating even just a few things out, it might free up a bit more time for yourself.
6. Make good use of your time
Try to schedule training sessions in while the kids are doing their sport. If a child has soccer training, run around the oval or local area while you wait for them to finish. Other mums go for their run immediately after school drop off or you could even involve the kids by taking them for a bike ride as you run.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Although you shouldn’t miss a session just for the sake of it, sometimes you have to prioritise other things. We all know that sometimes things come up – sick kids, appointments and work commitments are all things that can throw your schedule out. Try to be flexible at those times, but if you just can’t fit that run in, then don’t be hard on yourself – we are not superheroes!
8. Don’t give up
Sometimes you have to work hard at things before you see a change. Keep going with your training, every single session will be improving your fitness so stick with it. Over time you will start to see results – you will be faster, stronger, fitter and also have improved well-being.
Ricci McGreevy – Runner and mum of 3 kids