When do you find is the best time to run?

I'm about to embark on the couch25k challenge, however I'm worried that I'll struggle to find time to squeeze it in - I know that's not an excuse.

I'm a very busy Primary school teacher and wake up from 5.45am and stay at work until 5.30pm. My partner doesnt cook so I cook as soon as I get home from work and then it's straight into marking and other school bits.

When would you recommend is the best time?

Kind regards,


18 Replies

  • Wow! I'm impressed that you're looking at taking on C25k with that schedule!

    Any chance you can turn your partner into a cook any time soon?!

    I'm currently on week 8 (and have been loitering there for sometime now!) and personally find my best runs are straight after I finish work at 5.30. I'm a childminder so can get straight into my running clothes and out the door by about 5.45 but that is dependant on my other half being home for my kids and getting the tea on! Morning runs just don't seem to work for me as well although I try to get one in at the weekends. With a busy work and family life it's taking me a lot longer than 9 weeks to get to the end but I'm still plugging away and enjoying it.

    You need to find a time that works best for you to make it work with your other commitments.

    Good luck x

  • 5.15AM? 7PM?

  • Hi again be_0193! You sound way too busy to run in the morning like I do, but maybe you could fit in an early morning run at the weekend/during school hols - I really recommend it, a great way to start the day. It sounds like your best time on weekdays will be straight after work. Make sure you have a snack mid-afternoon, e.g. a banana, but not too close to the time you'll be running, to make sure you don't get home too hungry and unmotivated to go straight back out again. Re cooking, get into batch cooking, things that can be put in the oven while you're out. I like putting a jacket potato into the oven while I'm out on the occasions I do run in the evening. Perhaps keep portions of daal, casserole etc in the freezer, maybe ask your husband to reheat things like that on your run days, put rice on while you're in the shower afterwards, etc. Hopefully you'll find that the post-run endorphins make you get through all the marking/admin more quickly too :)

  • I can really sympathise. I gave up full-time primary teaching at Christmas; I had no time to do exercise- I even gave up cycling to work as my panniers would not hold all the marking! I like Ruth's suggestions although I know it's even harder in the winter terms. How about buying a slow cooker- I found that invaluable. Perhaps do a Friday night and Sunday run, then be flexible with your third run when you have an early-ish finish. Keep looking for solutions. I wish I had, because it makes you feel so much better and more able to cope with the workload.

    Good luck with your running and the job.

  • Had the same idea about the slow cooker... :) or a Thermomix if you can afford it!!!

  • Your schedule doesn't interfere with weekends, so if you fit in a run every weekend (even if you end up doing Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, Monday back to back, sometimes) that reduces the tight time to two runs midweek to make room for.

    You might have to adapt the programme more radically than the rest of us have. First example was perhaps occasionally breaking the "rest day rule" (and hoping that the extra rest day elsewhere makes up for that). Then to get started maybe you should plan on having several "Week 1s" of your own type. You can actually get quite a lot of exercise on the Week 1 timings from what I've just recently being reading, just by increasing intensity. (Sorry, I forget the name of the thing I was reading about, but Wikipedia has something on "HIIT" that might turn out to be necessary for your circumstances. Basically with high intensity training, you work out really hard - with injury risk - for a short time, and get the same effect as those who are doing safer workouts in terms of fitness. The idea of repeating Week 1 is to try and build up the intensity more gradually, instead of duration, and I'm not aware of any podcasts for this more hardcore stuff.)

    OK, several Week 1's is an option probably in several ways, high intensity takes care of your time issues, what else? Maybe split your midweek workouts, or one of them? Maybe if you adapted just one workout to fit around the time available, you could ask for some time for the other? So maybe Tuesday lunch time, you go for a run, and Thursday is your highly adapted fit-it-in-somehow day? Splitting would be something like doing a bit of a workout at lunch, leaving enough time to change clothes (the training clothes will take away enough of the sweat), and then doing another mini workout before cooking, and then maybe yet another in the evening, not too close to bed time (otherwise you won't sleep).

    You could probably work something out by adapting.

    And here's one more cunning adaptation. How about introducing the programme to the kids? Maybe they're too young to do the whole 30 minutes, but maybe you can get your own exercise, leading some children into a happier exercise which can completely transform their entire lives. That ought to be a no-brainer, actually, but we all know how bureaucracy can kill off the best ideas.

  • Hi I am a primary school teacher too so I understand that term time is completely hectic. However, I fit in running on two evenings a week and one at the weekend. The only way I can do this is by leaving work at 4.15 to 4.30 (leave even earlier on a Friday which is a running day) to get home to run by about 5. That way I can fit in running, eat tea, then marking etc after that.Fortunately my hubby cooks on the nights I run or if he can't everyone just has to wait for their tea when I return. You can work all hours God sends in teaching but for me I have found for my own sanity ,I have had to establish a work life balance so running is a bit of 'me time' that gives me energy and stress relief. It sometimes feels like another thing to fit in but the benefits are worth it! 😊

  • Thank you so much for the advice :) I'm an NQT so it's really hectic at the moment but I feel like I need something to take my mind off the stress of work a few nights a week

  • Gosh you are doing well as an NQT. It is a really tough year so try not to wear yourself out! I'm sure running will help relief the stress but you don't want it to feel like it's another thing on the 'to do' list.hope you find time for yourself. X

  • I get up for work at 5 and get home about 5.45.

    The first thing I do on running days is go out as soon as I get in..

  • Early Christmas present for your partner: a cookery class :)

  • haha I wish! Even if i beg he refuses to cook

  • Hi, Early morning, after work, and weekends? Being a teacher you would have loads of discipline which you can use for c25k. It'll be tough to to start with, but you will reap the benefits of your efforts. Do you have somewhere you can run safely & easily, that would help a lot. Don't worry if you can't always do it exactly every other day, but asap after. It would be good to keep it to a strict regime though, as gets it over and done with for graduation.

    My friend also graduated from c25k a while back, and his wife is an academy high school teacher who is also very busy in her job as you are. She managed to complete c25k and didn't think she would run to 5km, but she did, only thing is, I don't think she gets out running now as much as she would like. Good luck!

  • I've recently moved house to a nice area with lots of joggers so hopefully that will keep me motivated as well :) I will try my best to put time aside to run and stick to 3 times a week initially :D wish me luck!

  • I would also suggest a slow cooker, and run as soon as you get in, before you get distracted. Or have beans on toast on run nights, quick, easy and tasty.

  • I usually run right after work - before I sit down. That way the lazies don't have time to strike. In your case, I'd say maybe after cooking. Or premake food for a few nights a week and let your partner heat it up in the oven. You won't be running every day anyway.

  • Sounds like brilliant advice! That's what gets me every night haha

  • I have the early end of your schedule too. I'm usually up a 4:45 to 5am. That's why I run in the evenings. Like I said, pre-made food should really help out.

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