If you run and work a full time job during the day then you’ll know how fucking difficult it is to motivate yourself into running in your precious free time.
Here are 10 ideas to help inspire you into running more around your job!
- Only run or commute to work if you have a shower available in the office – Otherwise you will make your colleagues lives hell and you will be rightly be dismissed for smelling like a funky badger (especially if your groin smells like a stale bag of Corn Flakes after 5 miles).
- For morning runs wake up half an hour earlier than you plan to start your run – You will need time to wake up properly and to prepare for your exercise. If you wake up and have no time to brace yourself for the run, then you’ll find it easier to put the duvet back over your head.
- Don’t limit your exercise to just a single time of the work day – In order to give yourself more opportunities to run, you need to identify times where you’re free in your schedule. This might be before work, after work, during lunch or commuting to/from work. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only running in the morning or evening. It’s important to give yourself as many opportunities to run as possible. Some times are better for certain types of running too. I find that the lunch hour is a great time for a short speed run, whereas after work runs are great for distance as a stress reliever. That leads nicely onto the next point.
- Stressful days in work can be the perfect fodder for evening runs – Instead of opening up a bottle of wine to ease your frustration, put on your running shoes and go outside and pound the pavement.
- Plan out your work day runs by focusing on what you’ll be able to do on the weekend and working back from there – If you’re aiming for a set weekly mileage, count how much you can realistically run on your day’s off and work back from there. For instance at the moment I’m aiming for 40 miles per week. I can run 20 miles over 2 runs on Saturday & Sunday. This leaves 2 runs of 10 or 3 runs of 7 over the remainder of the week. If I go for the first option I can reward myself with an additional rest day and not wake up for work until around 8am.
- Don’t force yourself into running in the morning if you’re exhausted – There’s nothing worse than going into work having had little to no sleep. If you haven’t had any rest and it’s now time for your scheduled run, turn it off and go back to sleep and resolve to run after work or tomorrow. Insomnia and fatigue coupled together will make your work day a living hell.
- Commute to or from work by running – This is ideal if your office is around the same distance away as your average run distance. Unfortunately I am close to 13 miles from my place of work. Running that distance first thing in the morning would leave me as a zombie. As an alternative I will run to my train after work once a week. It’s only a few miles but it counts.
- Pack a running bag and bring it with you to work – You never know when the inspiration will hit to run. There have been too many occasions where I’ve suddenly fancied a jog but had no suitable gear with me to go out on one. Now I just leave my kit under my desk until I use it.
- Go easy on the morning run – In the past 6 months I’ve learned a valuable lesson about pre-work morning runs. Don’t run yourself into the ground otherwise the rest of your day won’t be pretty. The worst time for me is the shower directly after a tough morning run. I leave myself 10 minutes for my shower usually and if I’ve ran quite a distance I’ll end up scrubbing my fucking skin off which will make putting my clothes on agony. I always end up late for work if I put too much into the jog. That’s why I go easier now.
- Only eat when you’re hungry before/after your run – You don’t have to eat before your morning run, nor do you have to eat anything after an evening run. If I’m up at 5am for my morning run the last thing I want to worry about is getting my nutrition right. It’s just another meaningless thing that makes running more complicated than it needs to be. Eat before your pre-work run or after your post-work run if you’re hungry. There’s plenty of time during the rest of your working day for food.