"How do you do it?" Fitting it all in...

I feel like he most frequent question I get is “How do you do it?” This is often follow by some form of…”I can’t run because…I’m a mom, I don’t have time, my kids need me, etc.” Yes, I get it, everyone’s life is different but I always said that being a mom wouldn’t take away parts of me. I have run and trained through having a baby, motherhood, grad school and working multiple jobs. So, yes with planning and time management it can be done.

Get Up Early
For me early is 4am at times since I frequently worked at 7am or sooner, heck my sleeping in days were 5:30am spin class! It takes time to get in the habit but by adding a few minutes each day it gets easier. I used to hit the bike trainer for an easy workout, this transitioned to spin class or runs of hills or intervals. I feel so awake and refreshed by a morning workout. With “practice” I have even gotten my body used to 1 hour workouts without fuel in the morning.

Stay Up Late
While I am more of a morning person I have done a night workout. It helps that I meet a group of other running moms- MRTT. We meet after the kids are in bed and run, not only for the exercise but the social and stress relief.

Frequently I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store for a couple things, what better way to do it than run. I throw O in the BOB and we are off. Not only does it give me a run but it limits the extras I can come home with! We also bike to run errands, walk to the gym, run to/from the playground. Be prepared for comments; I don’t know how many times I have been asked if I need a ride home or If I really walked to the store (nope I ran)! Other options are to run while the kids are at an activity, all Fall I used dance class to get in speed intervals around a 1 mile loop nearby.

Take Advantage of Gym Child Care
Most gyms offer child care starting at 3 months, yes we have gone through phases where O hated it and we would back away for a time but now she loves it! Heck she requests to go play at the gym J Last week she was upset when we had to leave. Not only do I get in my workout but she gets to play, run around the gym or even do yoga class.

Schedule Workouts
Look at your schedule and figure out where you can fit things in and put them in your planner. Many of my friends do lunchtime workouts, something I’ve never been able to do with my work. There is always time to fit in a workout, I have been known to study on the elliptical or bike trainer.

Bring the Kids With
Since early on I have run many miles with O, it is normal to her. I know I have mentioned it many times but BOB was a guaranteed nap for the about a year (still is sometimes)! She accompanied me on many of my training runs, we’ve done hours together out on the trails. Now we bike, do yoga or just go for walks. Not only does this get in a workout but it teaches your kids healthy habits.

Supportive Family
I have to thank my husband and mom for their support too. It really helps that Matt runs too and we understand each other. We have split long runs with the BOB or weekend days, or workouts. We’ll go to the pool and take our turns swimming laps while the other plays with O in the kid’s pool. My mom is such a help for races we are both doing. While not everyone has family nearby it helps to connect with other moms. Share babysitting while you work out and help out each other.

I just hate when women say they can’t work out because they have kids. It frustrates me and while I know that most people don’t want to do frequent double days like I do or even train for a marathon I think we need to stop discouraging moms from taking a little time for themselves. Running makes me a better mom and I (we all) deserve time for ourselves J How do you fit in a workout in a busy schedule? 


  1. Definitely the supportive family is on my list. Thank goodness my husband is willing to support and encourage me on my running journey, I wouldn't be able to do it without him!

  2. Supportive family is up there on the list but I also know that I trade in lots of sleep to "fit it all in"! I always say...if it's important to you you'll find the time!!

  3. Great tips, Jen! You're so right about the comments... people do not understand why you would do errands on foot. :) Unfortunately, there aren't that many I can do on foot here with the hills but I would if I could!

  4. Good tips!
    I do the early morning thing a lot (4:30 is usually about as early as I can do) - not because I like mornings but it is the only way to make sure I can fit it in!!

  5. I'm still trying to find the balance and being ok with taking me time to get workouts in. If I don't get a quick walk in on my lunch break I usually dont and out of guilt that I will be taking time away from my kids.. I already work 2 jobs which takes me away a lot. I know there is a balance and love reading how others do it and I am trying new different ideas to make it work.

  6. Great tips and I totally agree! Having a support system and being flexible (and sometimes a little creative)are key!

  7. I love this and I also hate it when I hear moms say that. If you want it, you can do it. Just depends if you want to choose health over excuses.

  8. My husband always says that everyone has the same amount of time, it's just how we prioritize! My son is also well accustomed to logging a lot of miles in the jogging stroller. I'm also lucky that I have a super supportive family as well. And 5 AM often finds me at the gym, too :)

  9. These are great tips! I feel like you wrote about my life, ha! I run with our 8 month old in a jogging stroller, when my husband is home I run on my own (as does he) and we take our girls to our events to see what it's all about.
    I try really hard to make being active a priority over other things like watching hours of TV and sometimes even cleaning up the house.
    I shared this on twitter. Cheers, Anna from Piper's Run.

  10. Great advice. I need to use out BOB more....

  11. "i don't have time" is the adult version of "the dog ate my homework". Seriously we all have the same amount of time in the day, if it's important to you you find a way.
    And these are great tips. I'm a big believer in scheduling my workout. I also ask myself, is this important? no, then go get your workout done. Sometimes we phaff around on things don't have any importance and that eats up the time we could use to workout.

  12. Great tips Jen! I do a lot of these but wake up early is my number one tip tied with supportive family.


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