McCourty_Twins_Tackle_Sicle_Cell_5K........16Words by David Allison

The guy my wife was dating before we met didn’t make an impact on her at all. At the time, as she recounts the story to me, she didn’t realize that there were seemingly, legitimate excuses for why she couldn’t meet up with him. She was in fact a full-time nursing student and was holding down a steady job. Moreover, Mrs. Allison was taking care of her mother with two sisters, so indeed she was busy. However, when she and I met (still having all the same responsibilities), we managed to go out 7 days in row. How was she now able to make time for a new man in her life? Simple, she wanted to dedicate this energy to something special (and I with her). It had become a fun priority for both of us!

My point in sharing this is that when we want to do something important we find slots to make it happen. There are always periods to fit your scheduled run or workout into the day. But you have to be honest with yourself – are you finding more excuses not to be active, or figuring out creative ways to get moving during the week? Let me share a few simple strategies to make sure you can keep to your fitness schedule.

Wake up a little earlier: Rising even 15-20 minutes earlier will allow you to enjoy your run without rushing on busy mornings when the kids need to be dropped off at school or you have to get into work for a meeting.

Break your runs up during the day: Maybe you truly can’t fit in a 3-mile run before work. So run 1 mile that morning and after work or later in the evening put in a nice and easy 2 miles.

Run on your lunch break: This won’t work for all of us. But if your place of business has a shower or gym facilities, then this could be a great time to sneak in a run.

Schedule a running date: If you have a friend or colleague you can run with, then setting a time and place to meet basically obligates you to making this a “run date.” You don’t want to be the person who stood up your running partner – that’s just not cool!

Join a running group: If you don’t know anyone who runs, then find a running group in your area and run with them. You may even have a couple of running clubs/groups in the area to run with throughout the week. This is a great way to meet people, find new running buddies and keep yourself on track.

Treadmills are your friends: If you travel often for business, or it’s really just too early or too late to put in runs on some days, then maybe a treadmill would be a good investment.

Get a gym membership: If it’s a bit too cost prohibitive to invest in a treadmill, then purchasing a gym membership will give you access to treadmills (as well as all other fitness equipment) nearly any part of the day. No matter what time of day it is, increment weather won’t affect your running routine.

Run while your child is practicing: Do you usually just sit there and watch your kids play soccer for his/her entire hour of practice? Why not run around the field while they are practicing? Afterwards, you both will deserve a well-earned, nutritious fruit smoothie.

Schedule your runs:  You wouldn’t forget to input an important work meeting, your child’s recital or grandma’s birthday into your weekly calendar right?  So why not schedule your runs as well? Fitness should be of paramount importance to you and the entire family, so make sure you treat it as you would any other important happening during the week.

There you have it. Hopefully these are a few good ideas to ascertain you get those runs in. Happy running!

David Allison has been a runner for over 35 years and has coached age-group, high school, collegiate as well as everyday adults for over 12 years. He lives in Phoenix, Ariz. and is the owner/coach of Marathon Coaching Consultants as well as the co-founder/coach of Phoenix Flyers Track Club. He’s been quoted in Runner’s World Magazine and writes a monthly running column in his local paper (Ahwatukee Foothills News) in Phoenix, Ariz.