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3 Simple Steps: How to Fit Running into a Busy Day

When I signed up for my first running race several years ago, I searched for a training plan to get me ready for race day. The generic cookie-cutter plans I found online had me running seven days a week alongside cross-training and other activities. And this was for the beginner plan! I started and stopped several times and couldn’t maintain consistency. My understanding was that for me to train properly, I had to spend a ton of my time running and cross-training which did not fit into my life naturally.

After years of training, learning, and coaching, I can confidently tell you that you do NOT have to spend all your free time on your training plan. To incorporate running into your life, it’s important to do it in a way that fits your lifestyle and schedule.

Here are three simple tips to guide you on fitting running into your busy day:


Spending a few minutes at the start of your week to review your schedule allows you to consider when would be the best days and times for you to fit in a run. Keep in mind your work schedule, meetings and appointments, personal obligations, social events, and anything else that takes your time. From here, pencil in the blocks of time that you’re committing to run.

Doing this ahead of time (at the start of your week) versus day-by-day will increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to accomplish your running goals each week.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Benjamin Franklin


Time-based runs can be extremely helpful whether you are training for a race or simply trying to incorporate running into a busy schedule. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays you set a goal that you’ll run for 30 minutes. This allows you to schedule the exact amount of time you’ll need (remember to include warm up/cool down time as well as drive time, if applicable).

A well-rounded training plan should include both time-based and distance-based runs. However, time-based runs are often overlooked. These runs can be beneficial when trying to figure out how to fit running into a busy day.

It’s also beneficial to include individualized heart rate zones into time-based runs to ensure you’re training optimally. If you’re looking for a training plan that is customized to your specific schedule, needs and heart rate zones, learn more about the customized training plan I offer that can help you crush your goals.


It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of wanting to do everything; run, strength train, stretch and cross-train. All these activities are beneficial and have a place in a well-rounded training plan, but it can feel overwhelming trying to find a place for these and running in your busy day. Some pre-made training plans ask you to spend hours at the gym each week, focusing on different muscle groups each day. Pre-formatted programs ultimately do not adjust for a runner’s specific needs and don’t take into account anything regarding your time for training or your goals.

You do NOT have to commit tons of time to reap the benefits of other types of training. Simply spending 5-10 minutes stretching after your runs can help improve flexibility and accelerate recovery. The same goes for strength training. Setting aside time for strength training one to two times a week will maintain lean muscle mass and increase power output according to the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy.

This 24-minute video takes you through body weight only exercises that target and strengthen the major muscle groups that runners need to focus on for performance and mobility. Best part? You can do this in the comfort of your own home: no trip to the gym and no equipment needed!

When starting to run or looking into training programs, it’s easy to think you don’t have enough time. The internet searches and pre-formatted training programs will often show you what appears to be a professional runner’s schedule and plan – not a plan for a working human with other priorities that take your time. Which is why the work I do with my clients is to help you find balance and joy in running, because it doesn’t have to be all that complicated!

Being realistic with your time and ability to fit in running will enable you to be successful and ultimately crush your goals.

If you plan your runs, run based on time vs. distance and start small, you’ll find yourself easily fitting your run into your busy day in a way that feels natural.

If you’re struggling to fit running into your busy schedule and want the accountability and community of like-minded runners on the same journey as you, join the Joyful Running Challenge where we find joy in running so that you can create the consistency you’re looking for!

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