Quite often I am asked by random people how much I run every day. Many times the feedback I get is that they too would like to run but they just don’t have the time. This knee jerk response falls on my deaf ears much like similar non-runners saying how I’m going to destroy my knees if I don’t stop running.
Finding the time to run all boils down to how bad do you really want to run? How important is exercise in your life? Running is not always easy but it is one of the least expensive and most convenient sports, as you can run just about anywhere. Everyone has varying amounts of time needed at work, time for family and life in general. Not everyone has the time or desire to log fifteen hours a week for running but to simply say I wish I had time to run and use that as the excuse is too me, hogwash. I chalk that excuse up to not wanting to run and that is ok but spare me my life is just too crazy excuse. My life has had a full plate many times and somehow, someway I made it happen.
Running for me is like brushing my teeth. I’m used to doing it. I want to do it therefore it happens. Yes, some days my runs are shorter than I would like due to other commitments but I plan my day so I get a run in at some point. My wife and I have many times, especially when our daughter was younger, sat down and worked out our runs in advance for the next week or two. Our long runs and races on weekends are especially planned around family time. Week day runs as well are carefully planned around work schedules, family and errands. The key to making sure you get a daily run under your belt is the pre-planning part. If you do not set aside the time ahead, it is just too easy to let it slide.
I’ve been on work trips where I’m at a hotel with no treadmill and right next to a major interstate. I’ve run around the hotel parking lot one hundred times to get in my run. I’ve run in the grass median of a four lane highway with tons of motorists looking at me like I descended down from Mars. I’ve run the stairs in a hotel stairwell. This all may sound extreme but running is important for me. I’ve run in some strange and definitely quite inconvenient places over the years. I have heard from other runners who get up at 4 am and complete almost all their runs with headlamps or they run at 10 pm at night to avoid cutting into family time.
My favorite story of an inconvenient place to get in a run is from my friend Jason Bryant. While on a long layover in the Atlanta airport recently, Jason ran six miles in the “plane train” section of the airport. Jason ran from one concourse to the next in compression socks and no shirt. I can just picture the looks he got from wary travelers. Now that is some crazy dedication to running. However I would never vent to him about not having the time to run.