Often times, when school comes to end so does our running and fitness. The truth is parents just don’t have the “kid free” time that they do during school months. Summer break does not mean you need to give up your training schedule. In fact, many are needing to ramp it up for their fall races. How do you make the time to train during summer? Here are a few tips to keep you on track:
1. Learn to love “dark o’ clock.” Set your alarm, put your running clothes out the night before, and be ready to roll before your spouse leaves for work. For those longer runs, consider breaking your run up into two parts. Splitting your run allows you to make the most of your time and it makes those long runs a little less daunting in those wee hours. Do the other half when your significant other returns from work that evening. If the full run is completed in less than 24 hours, your body has not had time to recover, so splitting your run up is completely legitimate. This also helps beat the heat in the dog days of summer.
2. Find a local gym that offers childcare. There are many, but one major chain that has multiple location across the country is Lifetime Fitness. They provide up to two hours of childcare a day. You could use this time as a cross train and strength day or hit the treadmill. If the mill is not your thing, tell the childcare center you will be running outside and will carry your phone so they can contact you. Run a route outside close to the gym.
3. Consider investing in a jogging stroller. Yes, investing… they are expensive but if this is important to you, than you’ll find a way. There are many great strollers out there, you can look right here…. but if can’t afford new, try used. My first jogging stroller was purchased on Craigslist for $75. Try posting a “want” for a gently used stroller on facebook and check garage sales as well. To find out more about stroller running, head over here to Mileposts. Dorothy is living proof that if you set your mind on a dream and you work hard anything is possible.
4. Find a neighbor or a friend to trade with. If you have a running buddy and they are training for a Fall race as well, think about trading childcare. A run usually only takes about an hour, it’s really not much to ask, and if you are trading it’s reciprocal – so everybody wins!
5. Hire a babysitter. Many high school and College kids are available during summer months and are happy to help out for a few hours. If you go on an hour run that costs on average between $10-20 dollars an hour, maybe even less in some areas. This method might be a bit too expensive for every day, but it will certainly work in those times when other options fail. Additionally, Sitter City and Care.com are two other great sources for finding a sitter.
6. Take the kids with you to the track. Once a week I do speed work at the local high school track. To my surprise, during my training last Fall I discovered that my kids absolutely love to go to the track. They play in the sand pit, explore under the bleacher’s, play kick ball and soccer with each other, bounce on the high jump pad and run my recovery laps with me. Not every kid or parent is going to love this option, but it’s worth a try – it certainly works for me.
It would be very easy to just tell yourself that running can wait or that you wished you had the time. Make the decision to change your life and have running or fitness become a part of it – other things can wait. When making your to-do list, put your fitness at the top of it. When you are healthy and fit you will be a happier, more well rounded person inside and out. And if you’re happy and in your center, you’ll become a better person to those around you. Don’t think of it as a chore but rather something you do for YOU, a necessity like brushing your teeth, or getting your hair cut. Sometimes it is tough to get out the door, but try to stop THINKing and start DOing. You will never regret that feeling of accomplishment.. a perfect way to kick off everyday.
How do you do to make time for your run during summer break?