First, let's just get this confession out of the way: I mentally mock other unemployed moms who just smugly smile and say they don't have time to run because they have young kids. "Don't have time" is code for "Don't fucking want to run" as far as I'm concerned because I'm living proof that if you want to run, then you will find time for it.
Please note this doesn't include working moms because I have no idea when I'd run if I had to work 40+ hours a week in addition to being a parent.
So Step 1 in running when you have small kids is: You have to really want it. If you don't actually like running then it's going to be really easy to come up with reasons why you can't fit it in.
Example: I put Faith down for her nap today after her lunch and I was trying to eat my lunch with one hand and rock the baby in her swing with the other. I had every intention of picking her up and soothing her as soon as I ate a little, but then she passed out in the swing. As soon as I saw her eyes close, I abandoned my lunch and dashed for the treadmill to get as much done as possible during her nap. I can eat and hold a baby at the same time but not run, so running gets top billing. Also, running is way more fun than last night's leftovers.
Step 2 is to have a high tolerance for being disgusting. When I'm the only adult here, I have no idea when I can shower so I spend a lot of time in dirty workout clothes. Also, I almost always run two separate times in a day, so I just put on a dry shirt and wipe down with baby wipes instead of showering in between.
|Oh honey, do you go OUT smelling like that?|
Step 3 is to be willing to adapt. Consider your day like a sonnet. There are strict rules (14 lines and a specific rhyme pattern) but you still have a great deal of freedom within those parameters. My husband gets up early to work, so running before he goes is difficult (and he hates when I do that because the dog is so loud) so I can't run before he goes to work. I don't want to run after work because I kinda like my husband and want to hang out with him, so that pretty much leaves me with the daytime to get my run done. In theory, you should do your whole run all at once. Screw that theory.
If I want to be sure I can run more than 4-5 miles, I need to plan to run twice in a day. Normally I run with the stroller and dog for 4 miles and then run more on the treadmill during nap time (up to 3 hours later). Faith won't really tolerate a longer run than 4 miles, unless I can run faster. Her patience is time dependent, not distance dependent. Unfortunately when I'm pushing a 90lb stroller, I'm not fast.
With the new baby, I have no idea when she will nap or how long she'll sleep so I literally sprint to the treadmill as soon as she closes her eyes (I take a monitor with me). Once she is old enough to be more predictable, I won't have to pounce on every opportunity to run like it may be my last.
Training-wise it doesn't seem to matter that I split up my mileage. I trained for a 50 mile race and PR-ed at the marathon this way and as long as I get my long runs on the weekend done all at once, I think I'm OK.
The last step, Step 4, is to be willing to accept defeat. Some days (like yesterday) it just doesn't work. If the baby won't nap well or someone is sick, or it's too cold/rainy/whatever to run with the stroller, then you might not get the mileage you want for that day.
I normally call it a day when I feel like I'm getting irritated about not being able to run. This usually happens after the 3rd or 4th time my run is interrupted. At that point, I'm usually like "Fuck this, I'll try again tomorrow" and that's usually for the best.
See? Now it's totally clear how I get my miles done during the week. No magic involved.
Oh, I forgot Step 5. You need to be a little nuts. But if you're the kind of person who thinks running over 30 miles in the woods is fun, this is right up your alley.
How do you fit your workout into your day? I used to get up at 4:30am everyday to workout, so I'm just glad that now I get to run when I'm fully awake.