Want to make running a daily habit but just can’t find the time? This article will show you that you can find the time and shows you 4 ways to fit in a 30-minute run every day.
I’ve been in the running game for almost 4 years now. I’ve completed over 25 half-marathons, ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 2 days straight for charity, completed a 5K in under 19 minutes. As tends to happen when you get a hobby, you start speaking a lot about it.
I’d speak to colleagues, family members, friends, and even fellow runners about the sport. We’d talk about why I love running, where I run, the benefits of running, amongst many other things.
However, I soon noticed that the people I spoke to about running kept saying the same thing repeatedly. Can you guess what they said? Something along the lines of:
‘I like the idea of running but I just don’t have the time’ or ‘my life’s too busy for running’ or even ‘I want to run every day but I just have so much on.’
Long story short, people either liked the idea of starting to run regularly or were wanting to cultivate a daily running habit. The obstacle that these people were presenting was that of time.
Our most precious resource: Time
‘Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.’– Theophrastus.
Type ‘time definition’ into Google and you will get ‘the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.’
Time is without a doubt the most precious resource in our lives. It reminds us of our finitude as human beings on this earth. Nothing is permanent. People change, they move on, we grow old and we die.
What makes a good life is how we decide to spend the time we have available from the moment we’re born to the moment we die.
Okay, deep section of the blog post finished!
Our time must be managed carefully to live a fulfilled life and achieve our goals (like in running)
point here is that our time is incredibly valuable. You can get more money, you can get another house, another job, another partner, and a new car, but you can never get more time in your life.
This means that, once time has been wasted on meaningless tasks, you do not get a second chance to use that time and it is gone forever. Therefore, managing available time you have is crucial for living a fulfilled life where your goals achieved.
We can use this simple fact and apply it to running. If you want to achieve your running goals with vigor and passion, it is necessary to allocate suitable time to the cause.
If you cannot find the time to run, for whatever reason (no matter how lame these reasons may be!) you will not achieve your running goals. End of.
We are full of excuses when it comes to time and prioritization of our goals
Think about people in your life who have told you about their goals but have routinely failed to take action and make them a reality.
How many times have you heard someone say ‘I’m gonna quit my job and get a better one soon’, only to watch them stay miserable at the same job for weeks, months and then years? What about the person who says they’re going to get an excellent grade in an exam but doesn’t put any effort in so they either fail or get poor results?
In fact, how many people have you heard say that they’re going to start running and get in shape but routinely fail to follow through on their promise? If I started to count the people I’ve met in my life who have said this to me, I’d lose count pretty quickly.
As the old saying goes ‘talk is cheap’ and it’s easy for us to say we’re going to achieve something rather than putting the work in.
Sure, we’d like a better life for ourselves via the achievement of goals but the idea of putting the work in doesn’t sound as sexy as sitting on the sofa watching Netflix, swiping on Tinder or mindlessly scrolling through social media.
The truth of the matter is that unless we are willing to stop making excuses and prioritize our goals, we will not achieve great things. Period.
For runners who want to achieve a goal, putting in time and effort into the process is mandatory.
Continue reading this post and you will find that there are many more opportunities to manage your time better and create opportunities in your daily routine for a 30-minute run.
Four ways you can fit a 30-minute run into every single day
1. Get up 45 minutes earlier
One of the easiest ways to ‘create’ more time in you daily routine, getting up 45 minutes earlier will grant you all the time needed for a 30-minute run. 15 minutes to wake up, get a small snack and get your gear on, 30 minutes to run. Simple.
Don’t cut down on your sleep. Go to bed earlier.
After reading Matthew Walker’s incredible book ‘why we sleep’ I strongly recommend that you do not shorten your existing sleep duration. Instead, go to bed 45 minutes earlier so you can continue to get the same amount of sleep.
Why? As Matthew Walker explains in his book, sufficient sleep (both in quality and quantity) is required for a decent quality of life. Everything from muscle growth and repair, preventing the likelihood of developing cancer and diabetes, having more energy, weight and overall mood is dependent on a good night’s sleep.
If you’re like me, going to bed 45 minutes earlier for an earlier start the next day shouldn’t be a problem as I am much less productive late at night than in the early morning.
However, if you find that you’re a night owl and prefer staying up later for a later start, perhaps you could try running 30 minutes at night and extend your alarm clock wake up time by 30 minutes instead.
2. Ditch (or at least cut down) on social media
If you are one of those people who want to find 30 minutes extra a day to run but are continually scrolling through social media without a specific objective in mind, it might be time reconsider your social media habits.
Apparently, the daily time of an average adult spent on social media is in the region of 2.5 hours. That’s a lot of time spent on social media.
Thinking about it, it’s relatively easy to spend this much time a day on social media. Many of us grab our phones upon waking up, on the way to work or to school, we use our phones when we have a potentially awkward situation to deal with like waiting in line, and we use them to fill the gap in between activities. In short, we use our phones (most likely for social media) a lot.
Not only do we spend lots of time on social media, but this time is also often spent without a particular objective or goal in mind. Instead, we scroll through our feeds mindlessly without giving (mostly) a thought to the time we’re spending. Time which could be better spent on accomplishment of our goals!
Imagine if you diverted some of this social media time towards a more productive effort, like your running goals. In fact, it’s pretty easy to cut down on social media use and find 30 minutes extra a day for running.
Some tips to limit your social media use are to disable notifications, create physical distance between you and your phone, delete social media apps and use apps to help you limit your social media time.
For me, the two best things I have done to limit my own social media time have been to delete social media apps from my phone and to remove notifications altogether. By managing your social media use, I’m confident that you’ll be able to find 30 minutes a day to fit in a run.
For more information, I’d highly recommend watching the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma which sheds light on the worrying nature of social media use.
3. Swap an episode of Netflix for a run
Ever started by watching the first five minutes of a show on Netflix (or any other platform), only to find that you’ve suddenly watched the entire series in one sitting having got through a large tub of Ben and Jerrys ice cream with no idea of where the time went? I have before.
This phenomenon is called ‘binge watching’ and it takes up huge amounts of our time. Time which, arguably, could be spent on more productive things like a daily running session!
I know what you’re thinking. ‘How am I going to stop binge-watching my favourite shows? I love them so much and it’s so much easier than going for a 30-minute run everyday!’ Sounds reasonable, right? What if I told you that binge watching TV shows is linked to depression and negative feelings about oneself?
a 2015 study from the University of Toledo found that binge-watchers reported higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. It turns out that binge-watching TV actually makes us stressed and depressed. Perhaps this is because we know subconsciously whilst watching our favourite show that we are not putting in hard work towards achieving our goals (like in running).
This isn’t a call to stop watching your favourite TV shows. Far from it. It’s merely a suggestion to add some moderation to your Netflix life. After all, we all love a good TV show, don’t we?
The key is to limit the daily consumption of TV, so we have enough time left to achieve what we want in life. Like running 30-minutes a day, for example.
4. Start a running group
It’s easier to let yourself down by breaking a personal commitment than it is to let others down. By starting a regular running group, you’ll set up a regular commitment to show up and put time into running.
Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a 30-minute daily running habit.
You can hold the running group as often as you like. Once or twice a week is a decent amount for beginner runners. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try upping the number of weekly runs to 3 or 4.
Sure, you won’t be meeting with a running group every single day to get those 30-minutes in. But, these regular runs will make a positive contribution towards achieving this daily running goal.
For example, you might have three runs a week with your running group and the other four runs may be solo efforts where you’ve made time for running (by reducing social media and binge-watching TV, for instance).
There we have it. 4 ways you can fit in a 30-minute run every single day. I hope you found these suggestions useful and are feeling excited to pursue the objective of cultivating a daily running habit.
Until the next time, happy running!