Finding the Time to Run

Most people I know of complain they can’t exercise because they simply do not have the time to exercise.

Running is my main form of exercise. So I thought the other day how much time I was spending on running.

Since I run about 10 or 12 miles a week, and it usually takes me a comfortable 45 minutes to run 3 miles, I figure I must be spending four 45 minutes, or 180 minutes – 3 hours a week running. Add to this the occasional 6 milers I try to squeeze in to my running schedule and I’d be up to 4 hours a week.

4 hours a week. That does not sound much, does it?

This is my rule of thumb for runners – you have to run TWICE your RACING DISTANCE in a week.

If for example you are racing 5K or classify yourself as a “5K runner” then I figure you should be running a minimum of 10K in a week, or 6.2 miles.

If you think you are a 10K runner or getting ready for a 10K footrace, then you should be running twice that distance, or about 12 miles a week.

Things get really though for really long distance runners.

Imagine getting ready for a marathon, for example, 26 miles roughly. Then you should be running like 52 miles a week! If you run a mile at 8 minutes on the average, that translates to 416 minutes, or almost 7 hours a week!

If you are running at 10 minutes a mile pace, you would need to run over 8 hours per week. Since you cannot run every single day, this would mean that you have to run over 2 hours on some days. That sounds a little bit too much for my old aching knees.

So if you’re getting ready for a marathon or half-marathon I understand how you might run into a time scarcity problem.

But if you are running a couple of slow miles a week, you shouldn’t have any difficulty squeezing that into your daily schedule comfortably. The fact that your “wear and tear” would be at a minimum means you won’t need a long recuperation period either.

Long distance runners have that problem as well. Not only they need long hours to train but they need equally long ours to recuperate as well and heal those burning muscles and ligaments.

Creating the time for exercise requires CONSCIOUS CHOICES between different alternatives competing for your limited time.

For me, this is how the decision making goes:

Running or washing the car? (Running.)
Running or mowing the lawn? (Running.)
Running or breakfast (if I’m late for work)? (Running.)
Running or shopping? (Running.)
Running or watching the NBA finals? (Well …)
Running or visiting our friends? (Visiting the friends.)
Running or watching a movie? (Depends. 50-50.)

So as long as you can make a little sacrifice from your regular routine and as long as car washing and grass cutting can wait for another few hours, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a few hours a week to maintain your health and enjoy yourself.

Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases, movie reviews and hi-tech documentation. He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years.

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