Getting Started Running Tips from a Busy Mom

Getting Started Running Tips from a Busy Mom

I am not a runner. period. I played soccer in high school and HATED running.  As far back as I can remember I have had no interested in it.  However it seems like lately more and more of my mom friends have been getting into it and they have inspired me.  I have watched from a far as they have been running their 5Ks and 10Ks and half marathons and wondering how they do it.  Where the heck do they find time to train with kids at home?  Simultaneously I have watched myself become a middle aged mom with seemingly less and less athletic ability every day.  So I decided to give it a try and I really feel that I am on my way to becoming a runner.  SHOCKING.  Here are my getting started running tips that I think are especially helpful for those who (like me) don’t have time to run.

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Tip #1: Run Early

Because I don’t have the time to run during the day I made the decision that I was going to start getting up a half hour earlier than usual to do my workout.  I know this is not a new idea – many moms I know work out at this time of day however I was unaware of the impact this would have on the rest of my day.  When I wake early to run before most of the world is up and at ’em it gives me time to process my life and the day ahead in a way that is peaceful and serene.  I have the time to think about what the day has in store and what I want out of the day in an environment that is quiet and relaxed.  It is not the normal run around chaos that typically envelops my house in the morning when I rise shortly before my family.  I am able to start the day with a new perspective and a great sense of clarity.

I have also found that when I start the day with a run followed by a hot shower, my energy level goes through the roof and I am awake and ready to take on the day with a different kind of confidence.  Typically it carries through the whole day, surprisingly.  I went from thinking I didn’t have the time and energy to run to having way more energy because I run. (still don’t have too much time though!)

Tip #2: Use a walk/run model

A big part of the reason that I’ve always hated running is because I hate that huffing and puffing feeling I get when I’ve pushed myself to my limits.  Just not enjoyable for me.  I’ve found success using a walk/run model where a very short run is followed by a short walk on a continuous cycle.  The first couple weeks I would run for a minute or two and then walk for a minute or two and repeat 8-10 times to complete my workout.  I found this to be very managable and overtime realized the walking breaks were not nearly as necessary.  For a great schedule to follow check out this post with information about going from couch to running a 10K.

Tip #3: Write Down Your Schedule

I have a big calendar on my deks at work that stares me in the face.  The best thing I ever did to motivate myself is to write down my running schedule on that calendar a few months in advance.  Not only does it help to remind me how far I should be running and on what days but it totally makes me feel guilty if I don’t.  (Guilty in a good way)  I have said this before on this site about other topics, there is something about writing something down that always inspires me to actually get it done!  I have found that looking at this calendar actually makes me look forward to the run I have coming up next.

Other benefits

I didn’t start out on this journey to lose weight.  If that happened I wouldn’t complain, but this has always been about feeling good to me and it is certainly working.  One unexpected bonus I have found however is that I am eating better.  I am not eating better because I am trying to, I’m eating because who wants to go out and exercise and feel great about yourself and then get weighed down by crappy food?! I’ve found that when my body is energized it craves healthy nutrients.  When my body is not energized I want to sit on the couch and eat ice cream—- totally wasn’t expecting this to change the way I eat!

Do you have a fitness story?

Do you have an inspiring story about fitness that you would like to share?  I would LOVE to hear it!  It will help me to continue to be motivated in this new-found hobby of mine!  Tell me about it in the comments!



5 thoughts on “Getting Started Running Tips from a Busy Mom”

  • Hi Jen,
    Loved your article on getting started running. Even though I am a dad instead of a mom I tend to have the same obstacles in regards to staying in shape.
    Like you, I am not a runner. I think some people’s bodies are made for running. Others, like my own, are not. I have run from time to time but employ the walk and run technique you describe here.
    Something I can get behind 100% that you speak to is doing it early. I get up at 5:45AM each morning (skip sometimes on the weekends) and ride my stationary bike. It get’s my day off on the right foot and it’s before anyone else in my house is awake.
    Cheers!
    Mat A.

  • Hi Jen,
    I think it is wonderful that you are running! I agree that it truly gives you more energy! I would like to add that it is wonderful to share your news with your family and friends. They will encourage you and help you keep your drive. I’m reminded of when I announced that I was going to run a half marathon. Everyone doubted me, but I think that is what drove me to succeed. Crossing that finish line was a true feeling of success. Whether your goal is to finish a race or just to make you feel a little healthier physically and psychologically, YOU GO GIRL!!!

  • Great tips for anyone that want to start running again. I have actually started running again myself, and I am using a app called C25K (couch to 5k mile run).

    It makes you start off slow and easy with a walk / run workout — then within 9 weeks your running a 5k without stopping.

    Have you used this app before?

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