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Running on a busy schedule: 10 tips for time-strapped women


Balancing the demands of a career, family and a personal life can feel like a juggling act, leaving little room for your running shoes.

Finding time for running on a busy schedule may seem challenging, but with a bit of creativity and commitment, it’s absolutely achievable!

After all, your well-being deserves a spot on your priority list.

So, whether you’re a working professional, a dedicated mum, or both, these strategies will empower you to lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement.

Remember, every step you take on the pavement is not just a stride for your physical health but a powerful statement about the importance of self care.

In this guide, we’ll explore some practical tips to help you carve out time for running, even in the midst of a hectic schedule.


Let’s go!

running on a busy schedule

Running on a busy schedule: 10 tips for time-strapped women

#1 Embrace the power of short, intense workouts

When time is scarce, remember quality beats quantity!

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a game-changer for busy women.

In fact, countless studies have proven the benefits of HIIT to torch calories and improve cardiovascular fitness, to name but a few.

Consider incorporating these short, intense bursts of running into your routine, alternating with brief periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise.

This way, you can maximise the benefits of your workout in a fraction of the time.

Related: The best HIIT running workouts to do today to lose weight

#2 Schedule your runs like important meetings

Just as you wouldn’t skip an essential work meeting or your child’s play date, treat your runs with the same level of importance.

Schedule your running sessions into your calendar and stick to them as you would any other commitment.

This not only helps you prioritise your physical health but also sends a powerful message that your well-being is non-negotiable.

Related: Make time to run: How to fit a run into a busy schedule

#3 Turn your commutes into running opportunities

If your daily routine involves commuting, consider incorporating run commuting into the mix.

Whether it’s running to or from work, or even just part of the way, this can be an efficient way to sneak in some miles.

Pack your work essentials strategically, and you’ll find that combining your commute with your run is not only time-saving but also invigorating.

Related: What muscles does running work? An inside look at running performance

running on a busy schedule

Related: Fuelling your run: A female runner’s guide to nutrition and running performance

#4 Leverage lunch breaks

Lunch breaks are precious, and while many use them to catch up on emails or grab a quick bite, why not use this time to sneak in a run?

Consider keeping a spare set of running clothes at the office and scout nearby parks or trails for a quick midday escape.

Not only will this boost your energy for the afternoon, but it also provides a mental break, refreshing you for the tasks ahead.

Related: Your step-by-step guide to create the perfect training plan

#5 Involve the family

If you’re a mother with a bustling family schedule, involve your loved ones in your running journey.

Plan family runs or, if your children are old enough, encourage them to ride bikes alongside you while you run.

Not only does this create quality family time, but it also sets a positive example of an active and healthy lifestyle for your kids.

Related: 8 actionable tips to make running with a jogging stroller easier

#6 Prioritise self care

It’s easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own, but remember, self care is not selfish.

Taking care of yourself enables you to better care for others.

Consider your running time as a form of self care, an essential investment in your physical and mental well-being.

When you prioritise yourself, you become better equipped to handle the challenges of work and family life.

Related: 51 inspiring keep pushing quotes to keep you motivated

running on a busy schedule

#7 Make it a social affair

Combine socialising with running by joining a local running group or convincing a friend to be your running buddy.

This way, you can catch up on each other’s lives while getting your workout in.

Having a running companion can also provide an extra layer of accountability, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your running schedule.

Related: The power of a running community: How to find your tribe

#8 Efficient workouts at home

Investing in home workout equipment or utilising online resources can be a game-changer for time-strapped women.

From treadmill sessions to virtual running classes, you can fit in effective workouts without leaving the comfort of your home.

This flexibility allows you to integrate running into your routine without the time constraints of travelling to a gym or running outdoors.

Related: The ultimate guide to running on a treadmill + 5 treadmill workouts

running on a busy schedule

#9 Set realistic goals

Acknowledge that some days will be busier than others, and that’s okay!

Set realistic running goals that align with your schedule.

It’s better to have a short but consistent running routine than to feel overwhelmed by unattainable goals.

Celebrate the small victories and understand that consistency trumps intensity in the long run.

Related: The ultimate couch to half marathon training plan

#10 Multitask mindfully

While multitasking is often seen as a time-saving strategy, it’s essential to approach it mindfully.

Some activities, like listening to podcasts or audiobooks, can be combined with your run, enhancing both your physical and mental well-being simultaneously.

However, be cautious about multitasking in a way that detracts from the mindfulness and joy of running.

Related: How to practice mindful running: 6 top tips

Caroline Geoghegan