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Have you ever heard someone say, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way to do it?” Everyone can relate this to any aspect in their life, either in their homes, at their jobs or even goals they have set for themselves. A lot of us can relate it to exercise. Sometimes it’s hard to find time in your day to get a workout in, especially if you work full time and have children to take care of. Because of this, a lot of people have to plan exercise into their day. Some people do many different types or exercise (cross training) so that they have different activities to participate in. Sometimes trying to fit in everything you want to do is next to impossible.

over training

Running is pretty important to me; I always try to find a way to fit it in. It is the one thing I really, really enjoy, though I also love my exercise classes at the YMCA. With my children’s school and activities, it’s hard to fit both running and exercise classes into my day. When I’m training for a race (I’m currently training for a full marathon), I have to make sure that I really focus on getting the running done.

>> Read more: Running: A Quest for Control in Child-Rearing Chaos

For me, creating a running schedule worked best. If I’m training for a race, I print out a blank calendar and mark down all my run days for the 2-3 months that I am training in. Most of my runs I do early in the morning before my husband leaves for work. My long run days I do on the weekends.

My schedule when training for a race is typically about 4-5 days a week. Currently in my training for a full, I’m running Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday in addition to a long run on Saturday. Sometimes because of weather or other commitments, I’ll run four days a week but other times my body just needs a rest! I usually try to fit in a strength training session on Wednesdays and Fridays.

running outside

Monday, Thursday and Friday runs are usually anywhere between 2-3 miles each. Tuesdays I usually do about 4-6 miles and Saturdays I’ll do my distance run, which is currently up to 14 miles. Each week I add 1.4 miles on to my longest time.

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If I’m not training for a race and I’m just running for exercise, it’s not so demanding. I can run whenever I have time and I don’t have to run a certain number of days a week. Typically when I’m not training I’ll get 2-3 runs in a week. I also can take my daughters with me when not training for a race much more often than while I’m training. Adding the weight of a jogging stroller and two preschoolers makes for a heavy run. I prefer to do my training runs without pushing my jogging stroller.

So, maybe you want to start running, but you really aren’t sure where you can fit it in. It’s pretty simple to come up with a running schedule. First, pick how many days you want to run. Choose your days and stick to those days. Tell your family that Tuesday (or your day of choice) is your run day. Pick how many miles and how long it will take you to do those miles. Make sure you always give yourself enough time to get your runs in! If you make the commitment with yourself and your family, you are more likely to stick with a schedule! Plus, you’ll kind of just fall into a schedule!