Running & Fitness

Making Life, Work, and Running Happen

Kelly Mitchell
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First things first, life is a roller coaster. Even if we planned every second of our day, life would still throw curve balls at us and we have to be ready! Though, balancing time doesn’t mean planning your life down to the second. Balancing time means knowing your priorities and being okay with things not going your way all the time. It can get hectic being a runner with work and life to balance. We want to run all the races, run all day, and get in more miles. While, work and life happening, too. It’s all about organizing priorities and knowing when it is okay to skip or shorten a run.

Scheduling your runs in is a great way to make sure it actually happens. We can get so caught up in daily life or work drama, that our runs just don’t cut it. Getting into a routine takes time, but eventually makes our lives easier. Plan out your day so you work during the same hours every weekday. This way you know when your lunch hour is and when you will get home to have dinner. Balancing your 40-hour work week with anything is always tricky, but making your run a priority throughout the day is a must. Put it on your schedule for the morning so it’s out-of-the-way or pack your gym bag for immediately after work. Find what works best for you. There will be trial and error period!

As runners, we sometimes get too serious with our training. This is because it matters to us. But, remember we like to run for fun. Be OK with skipping or shortening a run, if needed. It won’t be the end of the world. If you choose running over work and life all the time; that wouldn’t be balancing your time or life wisely. You want to enjoy life and your runs! You don’t want to force yourself to run everyday if you have other priorities, because then running starts to seem like a chore. Remember, sometimes a priority can be a rest day.

Here are a few important tips for finding balance:

  • Figure out and know your priorities on a day-to-day basis. What are your top 5 things you want to accomplish today? Is your run one of them?
  • Schedule and plan accordingly. Give yourself free time to make up anything or just relax, but schedule work, dinner plans, and work outs. When it’s on your schedule, you work around it.
  • Find out if mornings, day-time, or evenings work better for you to get your run in. If evenings work best, pack what you need for the gym/run, so right after work you can get started without getting comfortable at home!
  • Get ready for your day the night before. Pack what you need for the whole day so driving back and forth isn’t an option. This includes meals, clothes, running shoes, etc. Don’t over-stress your life just because you didn’t feel like packing for the gym!

Running shouldn’t take up your whole life (we wish), when we have jobs to work and life to live! Another option is you can run just for fun and never train for a race. Not racing doesn’t make you less of a runner. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to train for a race, then don’t register for one. Stressing our bodies to run when it’s tired from work and life may not be the best idea. The time will come when you have free weekend’s to get your runs in. Keep the run fun and relaxing!

Remember, balance is about time taking time for yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Running is a priority, but not the end all be all. If it feels like a chore, it takes away all the fun! Running can organize our life in more ways than one. Finding a routine and scheduling your day will make you feel at ease with all of the priorities to balance. With running being a priority, we can’t forget about other things that matter to us.