It’s not always easy to balance running, work and family life! But some parents have used their creativity to integrate their favourite sport into their busy schedules. Here’s some of their advice.
- Run at lunch time
“When I’m at the office, I try to get out for a run once or twice a week at lunch time. I can run outdoors or work out in the gym at my workplace (when the weather’s less co-operative). There are also showers on the site, which makes things easier.”— Fanny, mother of Flavie (8) and Maèva (11), has been running 3 or 4 times a week for the better part of 4 years.
- Team up with your significant other
“On weekends, my boyfriend and I each have our own day for running. We share the family obligations: while one person runs, the other looks after the kids.”— Jasmine, mother of Léonie (9) and Loïc (11), has been jogging 1 to 3 times a week for about 4 years.
“During winter, I do more cross-country skiing than jogging. My partner and I alternate evenings so we can each enjoy our sport.”— Frédéric, father of Florence (6) and Oliver (9), has been running 3 or 4 times a week for the past 12 years.
“I run in the evening after 8 p.m., once the kids have gone to bed. I split the evenings with my boyfriend. On certain days, he’s the one who reads to the kids before putting them to bed, and on other days I look after them. Sometimes, I’m able to leave the house around 7:30 p.m., but because I tend to be the one preparing everything for the following day, it’s usually more like 8 p.m.!”— Amélie, mother of Henri (9 months), Éléonore (4) and Simone (7), has been running 2 or 3 times a week for the past 4 years.
- Work out while the children are in bed
“Even though my 14-year-old daughter doesn’t always need me around, the fact that I can run in the morning before she’s even up gives me options when it comes to organizing the rest of my day.”— Julie, mother of Marek (14), has been running 4 times a week for the past 5 years.
“Every Wednesday evening, from April to November, I train with my running club after my kids have gone to bed. I also run on Saturday mornings. I set my alarm clock to get up early. That way, I don’t disturb my boyfriend and daughters.”— Fanny
- Manage your working hours
“When I finish work a little earlier, and because my schedule is flexible, I take advantage of the fact that my kids are still at daycare to go for a run. I also try to bank some hours at work so I can free up my Friday afternoons to go running or cycling.”— Frédéric
- Get active during the children’s lessons or your travel time
“I jog to get to my child’s soccer game or during my youngest one’s trampoline lesson (rather than just waiting around). I try hard to coordinate my jogging with my daughters’ schedules.”— Fanny
“I run to get my kids at school or daycare. Our daycare is 2.5 km away, so there and back makes a good 5-km run.One great benefit of pulling or pushing them while training is that it adds a bit more resistance, so once you go for the big event, you’re even faster.”— Simon, father of Elliott (4) and Alex (7), has been jogging about 5 times a weeks for the past 3 years.
“My daughter does karate several times a week, so I take advantage of that time to go running!”— Julie
- Make the most of the return home
“The best way I’ve found to integrate jogging into my family routine is to run from the office to home at the end of the day, once a week. This amounts to a 7.5-km run, which is the perfect distance for me to train for a competition. This is what allowed me to do a half-marathon. First of all, you don’t have a choice: you need to get home. What’s more, when you arrive home, you have the energy for both the supper routine and getting the kids to bed. At the same time, your adrenaline level has time to taper off before you go to bed, which isn’t always the case if you run after supper.”— Amélie
- Run with your children
“I’ve jogged a few times with my youngest, who’s several months old. It can be done, but it’s obviously more difficult to exercise while pushing a carriage or stroller.”— Amélie
“My daughter sometimes comes running with me at my running club. I find it a great way to include her in my activities. It allows me to spend time with her and provide a good example by showing her that being active is fun.”— Julie
“When I’m training for either a long run or a long bike ride, I try to involve my kids as much as possible. For running, I take them with me in the chariot. For anything less than 10 km, I get the older one to ride his bike with me. His cycling speed is a bit faster than my running speed, so he’s a good training partner.”— Simon