When you’re too drained to train: Keys to finding time to run with a busy family!

TORONTO. May 28th. Here is our second “Road to #STWM” BLOG, from Christopher Doyle. Christopher is a Dad of four running his first marathon at #STWM. Follow his training stories on Titter @chrisdoyle. And, of course, on our @epilogger SOCIAL HUB.

When you’re too drained to train! Keys to finding time to run with a busy family. by Christopher Doyle.

Our lives are busy. Demands at work and home never seem to stop. So just how are you supposed to train for a marathon, especially with young children and a busy home life?

Here are some tips I’ve picked up during the past year or so of running.

1. Take your kids out with you for a short 1 or 2 k walk/jog. If you want to keep going, make sure your route has you dropping them back off at home so you can continue on and get your miles in. I’ve done this before with my 8 and 7-year-old daughters and they enjoyed it.

2. Tuck and run. This is what got me through training for a half marathon during summer months. I was the go-to guy for the bedtime routine, and made sure to hit the road after the kids were in dreamland. You also get the benefit of it be being a little cooler out. Downside is, finding it tough to wind down after a longer run when you’re back at 10 pm.

3. Update your passport, sneak away in the middle of the night and live in seclusion for 6 months, preferably somewhere cool during summer months. Continue training.*

4. Early bird gets the worm. Waking up early and hitting the road before work is another option. I find this one a bit tougher, especially when certain children won’t sleep all night in their own beds. On weekends though, always get out super early, giving me the rest of the day with the kids.

5. Jedi mind tricks. Often times it’s easy to skips runs when you’re wiped. The couch is tempting after a hard day at work and a couple of meltdowns from the little ones at home. I’ve found I can motivate myself with some sort of food reward at the end of a run (though nothing too bad), and telling myself that it won’t be a long, tough run. Once you get out there you often surprise yourself. Just getting out is half the battle sometimes.

6. Include the family in your long runs. Plan your run so that the family meets up with you at a favorite spot for brunch. This was my wife’s idea so have to give her full credit. Leads to, “Daddy can you go for a run tomorrow, I really want to have waffles.”

7. Wake up the kids at 5:30 am, tell them we’re going to Disney World and have to all jog to the “Mickey Shuttle” to get there. When they inevitably stop shrieking and ask where this “shuttle” is, you must smile and say only, “you’ll see.” Morning family run ensues. (Note: You’ll need an escape plan once run ends)*

8. Explain to your children that if you don’t train properly you won’t win the Olympic gold medal for a second time. My kids think I win every race because I get a medal. Somehow this means I’m an Olympic champion to them – and, at least in my house, no reason to change that perception anytime soon (until they are old enough to use Google!)

* Not an actual training tip. DO NOT USE. May result in bodily harm.

Christopher Doyle is a Digital Champion for #STWM, follow him @chrisdoyle

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