Often people want to do something different with their life. However, all of us meet one common constrain- time. A busy schedule is what keeps us from taking a step towards our goals, and often we start lacking motivation as a result.
When I began running, I was a student. I also have many friends in the running community who are either studying, working, parenting, or a combination of all of the above. But they still have so much fun and run great times. Although I have to be honest, sometimes is quite hard to find time to run when you have a tight schedule, it is definitely not impossible to achieve it. I want to share my personal experience, and help you finding time to run and the motivation to go for it.
1. Know your "why"
In order to create a habit, we have to have a deep reason to repeat some action over and over again. This comes to the phrase ” Know your why”. What is it that you are trying to achieve and why does it matter? If your goal is finding time to run, you likely love running or the benefits that you will get from doing it. However, we all find a different purpose in running.
For me, it is a way to express myself, a way to find a balance between my emotions, and to prove to myself that I CAN. For you, it might be to release the stress from your life, to live a healthier lifestyle, to maintain good body composition and weight, or because you love competing and beating your old PRs. Whatever your WHY is, do not forget it.
Remind yourself why you get involved with running and think about the ways it makes you feel when you are done. After all, you would rarely hear runners that regretted if they have gone for a run but often you will hear how they regret it if they didn’t.
2. Do not use excuses to comfort yourself
The most common mistake we used to do when it comes to finding time to run is to say we don’t have any. It is funny because we spent so much time doing other things during the 24-hour window but we cannot find even twenty minutes to go for a quick run? If you disagree just try to check how much screen time you spend on your phone every day.
It is about what we really prioritize during your day, even that we hate to admit it. I had time in my running career where I had to wake up between 3-4 AM every morning so I can be able to complete my half-marathon training before I start working at 6:30 AM and then spending all day studying in the university.
As surprisingly as it may sound, I make it work, and it wasn’t even bad at all. Because I knew my WHY and I had no excuses. In the meantime, I was surprised by how many people I actually met every morning pursing the same goal- doing what they love for the benefit they believe.
Regardless of age, gender, job, interests – there are people out there who will prioritize their goals and chase them. Be that person. Be a better you. Be proud of who are you becoming. Let yourself grow and thrive.
3. Find the best schedule that suits you
I will give you my personal advice on this here. Finding time to run in the morning is the easiest way to go around. This is possibly the only time that you wake up and you feel as fresh as possible because you just have reset your system through the sleeping cycle.
Of course, you will feel fresh only if you had a decent amount of sleep, so you have to get at least around 7 hours of that.
Obviously, not everybody is a morning person. But at least, give it a try for a couple of weeks and if it did not work, find a better time that suits your lifestyle.
For some, night runs are more enjoyable and if this is you- go for it. However, keep in mind that this is the time when your body often feels really tired because you have been doing things all day. If you are running late during the day, try to take a nap beforehand, if possible.
4. Do your best to make it enjoyable
I often refer to my running as my “me time”. Before my runs, I like to have a sweet snack and a coffee to give me a good start. While I run, I personally love to listen to podcasts and music. It allows my mind to learn something new or relax.
But I also like having company on my runs, so if there is any friend available, I am more than happy to chat with someone during my easy running days. I believe that creating a routine around your running will help you to stay motivated to do it.
Find what makes you feel good before, during, and after the run. Use it as a stimulus to find time to run. An example of a cool running routine could be going to a new brunch place after your long run every week. Or having your favorite late before you go for training. Those little details will make running more exciting and it will be easier for you to find both motivation and time to run.
Don’t forget, however, that running should bring you happiness. If you do not feel up to running, just find another activity that will spark joy.
Some days our body or mind just need rest and we have to listen to it. But more than often, I promise you, you will be so proud of yourself, once you are done with your running, and you will feel that all the dedication and time you devoted has been absolutely worth it.
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