crossfit running

How do I find time to exercise?

Monday, 14 January 2013
Slightly blurry CrossFit action shot :)
Slightly blurry CrossFit action shot :)

Slightly blurry CrossFit action shot :)

I have two kids, I work 4 days a week and commute for 2 hours every day so more than one person has asked me how do I find the time to exercise.

The short answer: I don’t find the time.

The long answer: I make the time – I just shamelessly put myself first and schedule everything else around my running & CrossFit!

Of course it helps hugely that my mother lives with us so on weekend mornings the first thing I do is go for a run (these days often with the Mr as we’re both training for the Paris Marathon). By ‘first thing’ I mean 9 or 10 am, by the way :)

During the week I run on my day off from work (Wednesday) when both kids are at school/nursery and during one lunch time on a work day. The two days that I CrossFit I either get up at 5:40 for a 7am class or I do it at lunchtime and stay at work for 15-30 minutes later in the evening.

That’s the schedule that seems to work for everyone. The kids don’t mind when I’m not home in the mornings but they do mind when I’m not home by 6pm so I never run or CrossFit in the evenings. They moan a bit on weekend mornings when they see me in my running gear but I figure at best I run for 2 hours and the rest of the day I’m theirs so it’s not really a big deal.

I never schedule more than one activity for either day during the weekend (birthday parties, catching up with friends, etc.) to make sure I always get to run either in the morning or early afternoon – my diary first and foremost has my training sessions written in it and then the rest of the life has to fit around it (of course there are rare occasions when I have to skip a run but I won’t stress out if that happens due to circumstances that are totally out of my control).

Having exercise written down in my diary is also good for another thing – motivation. I often hear people saying that they thought about going to the gym but didn’t feel like it – I never question whether I feel like it or not, if it’s my running day – I run, if it’s CrossFit day – I go to CrossFit.  I have on few occasions felt like I’d rather have a nap but once I’m finished I never think “Oh, I should have had that nap instead!”.  Never. Nothing beats getting the adrenalin pumping.

Some work days I think it would be nice to always have long lunches with colleagues/friends like some of them do, but I know you can’t have it all – so I choose exercise and just catch up with colleagues/friends over quick afternoon coffee breaks.

And last but not least – I make the time because I LOVE it! :)

So that’s how I do it… but how do YOU do it? Do you wait for inspiration to strike you, to be in the right mood to exercise or are you nuts like me and schedule your work outs and Just Do It?

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  • Helen Thursday, 7 February 2013 at 21:10

    Yeah, well, having a live-in childminder kind of makes it easier to fit in language lessons and workout sessions… :-)
    Helen recently posted…MelodifestivalenMy Profile

    • MrsB Friday, 8 February 2013 at 15:15

      I never said I didn’t appreciate my live-in childminder :) If I didn’t have her I would not be working and then I’d be free to run every day from 9-14 when the kids are in nursery and school!

  • Erin Thursday, 17 January 2013 at 21:01

    Thanks! I’ll have to try those pancakes. It’s a little hot for porridge at the moment. 33 today :P

  • Erin Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 01:52

    Yep, no kids. Easy!

    I think you answered this a while back on your previous blog, but since this is your new blog…! When you say you run at 9-10am on the weekends, does this mean you have breakfast first? I know everyone is different, but I’d be interested to know what you eat, if anything, before a run, and how long that run is. Most of the time I prefer to run on an empty stomach and enjoy a proper breakfast afterwards, but once I’m doing over about 12km, I have to eat something. It’s probably not the best, but my breakfast before each fun run has been a latte and some sourdough!

    • MrsB Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 08:57

      I always have breakfast before I run, usually 30-45 min before. I either have plain porridge (oats + milk) or “pancakes” made with 2 eggs, chia seeds, protein powder, flaxseed meal, maca powder, etc. and a bit of sugar free jam on top :P I don’t usually run for less than 10km (only my lunchtime runs at work are 8km) so I find I really do need to eat something beforehand, little bit of porridge will do for 10km but when it’s 18km and up a nice protein pancake is perfect. And for the longer runs I always put en electrolyte tablet in my water bottle – if I don’t I’m always really nauseous afterwards.

  • illustr. Monday, 14 January 2013 at 23:01

    well I don’t have any kids, so I have more my-time on hand, but basically I’m the same as you. I’ve always written down my workouts (I love journalling and I’ve always used different colors for different workouts and university lectures and work etc) and my motto is JUST DO IT (even when feeling rather lazy and itching for chocolate chip cookies). If I skip a work-out I feel so so so bad. I have to confess – when I lived back home and went to uni I sometimes skipped lectures to go to my fav work out classes! Maybe that’s why I didn’t graduate cum laude :D

    • MrsB Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 08:52

      Who needs cum laude?! Does anyone ask anymore whether you graduated cum laude? :) Fitness is for life – cum laude is just for the one day you graduate!

      • illustr. Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 10:32

        oh no it happened again :( – i don’t care about cum laude, I just wanted to sound witty! :) (i have to do something with my sense of humor, I guess, since people always think I’m serious when I’m not)

  • Bari Monday, 14 January 2013 at 21:51

    I work out much better when I’m training for a race & I schedule the workouts.

    One of these days I might get brave & try crossfit.
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    • MrsB Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 08:51

      This marathon coming up is my first race where I’ve had a “training plan” written up, usually I am “in training” all the time :) – I know on what days I run and I just vary the distance randomly depending on time available / weather / etc. It does help though to have a few races lined up every year so that there is always an event on the horizon.

  • kathleen Monday, 14 January 2013 at 21:40

    Well when I’m no injured *ahem* I take the same approach as you. I make time, schedule it in. It becomes part of the family routine just like swimming lessons and play dates. This hasn’t stopped my eldest trying to tug on my mother’s guilt. He hated me going out for my long training runs.

    • MrsB Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 08:48

      So true – once it’s part of the family routine it just happens like everything else does. As for the kids – for me it’s the youngest who is a total drama queen some mornings but I think he’s getting more and more used to it.