How to juggle being a runner and a mother

You know it in your mind, you want to be a better runner. You love running. Every time your feet hit the pavement you feel a great sense of achievement and you want to build on that, getting further, faster…..but let’s be honest, being a good runner takes time and commitment.

Time is something that as mothers we seem to lack. If your kids are older you probably feel like a human taxi flitting from this place to that, this sport to that, “pick me up here mum”, “drop me off there”, or there is the assignments, the cleaning, the buying of the endless food supply, and don’t get me started about the washing!

If your kids are young, well you feel like there is no time AT ALL EVER ON THIS EARTH, and “how did I get myself here?!!!There is snot, poo, crying, nap times, play dates, story reading, pram pushing and if you work, there is WORK ON TOP!….so HOW are we going to fit in this running caper? Well girls, it can be done and here is a few tips on how to do it…..

1. Get up early. Yes, you heard it; no more sleep-ins. If you are lucky enough to have hubby home early in the morning, or if your kids are old enough that you can leave them alone for an hour then set the alarm (I’m talking 5am) and get up and GO. Running early in the morning has it’s benefits….one, you are out to see the day break and it is a beautiful peaceful thing. It is quiet, there are less cars and it is cooler. It also means that when you return to the chaos you are probably going to deal with it better than if you tried to go after the chaos! Endorphins do amazing things to our bodies and you are going to feel them for the rest of the day!

2. Gather together. If your kids are young, gather together at a local oval or track and take turns running around it. Someone can watch the kids while someone does their few laps then swap. Use it as interval training even throwing in some body weighted exercise on your break. Or if the oval is gated and safe, let the kids have their own races and run along with you!

3. Phone a friend. Find a buddy that will take the load for you and you do the same in return. She minds the kids while you run, and visa versa. Help each other out!

4. If you have a baby and they are old enough, pop them in the pram and run! Find a safe, suitable track and watch your running improve two-fold by having to push a pram too! A great workout and imagine how fast you can go sans pram?!!

5. If your kids are older and have endless sporting events like mine, take them to their training and run around the area while they train. Don’t let things like that stop you…that is bound to be a good hour that you will have to yourself before your home and have to do a million things like cook dinner, clean up and get everyone else organised! You might even be able to grab some of the other parents to join you at the same time and make it a weekly social run.

6. Get the kids on their bikes. Being an a active family is so important, so if there is no other way, get the kids on their bikes and get them to ride along side you as you run!. This is also a very handy for you as they can carry the water AND be your pacer at the same time!

7. Go at night time. When your partner returns home from work head out that door. Note if you are going at night I suggest not going on a trail, and go somewhere well lit and safe, or take others. Always let your partner know where you are going and when you will return.

8. Use your street. If you live in a safe street there are many ways to use it. I have a gradual hill in mine so it’s a good place for some hill repeats knowing that my kids are safe inside the house!

Running doesn’t have to mean running kilometres far far away. It can be a quick 5k or even lots and lots of 500m loops just to get it in! Be creative. Don’t let being a busy mum get in the way of doing something you love! We can have it all and you will be able to give a lot more to your family if you are fit, active and happy doing what you love.


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