1. Sleep in Your Running Clothes1 of 13
Sometimes the hardest part of a pre-dawn run is getting started. If you aren't comfortable sleeping in your gear, fold it up and slide it under your pillow. When the alarm goes off, you can get dressed without even getting out of bed. And while you're at it, place your alarm clock on the other side of the room to make that snooze button a little less convenient.
2. Experiment With Alternative Pre-Race Breakfasts2 of 13
Not a fan of bananas and oatmeal? If you're too nervous to stomach solid food before a big race, you might want to give popsicles, baby food (seriously!) or fruit snacks a try. These easy-to-digest foods provide simple carbohydrates and calories for runners with jittery stomachs.
3. Run to Work3 of 13
If you're ready to leave traffic hassles and public transportation delays behind, consider the run commute. Running to or from work is a great way to log miles while also doing something productive. If you live too far from the office, consider taking public transportation part of the way.
4. Read While You Run--Sort of4 of 13
Don't have time to finish this month's book club pick? Download the audio version and check off that best seller on your next long run. Not a book fan? Download an app and get caught up on the latest news or your favorite podcast. You'll finish your run feeling sweaty and smarter.
5. Set Calendar Alerts5 of 13
Set reminders to stand up, stretch and do simple strength exercises throughout the day. Even if you don't have time for a full strength training workout, every little bit counts. Try this daily routine: Spend a few minutes doing dynamic stretches when your morning alarm goes off, followed by three sets of 10 lunges at 9 a.m., three sets of 10 push-ups at noon, three sets of 10 squats at 3 p.m. and then some light stretches before you hit the sheets at night.
6. Suggest a Running Meeting6 of 13
If you work in a casual environment (or work from home) consider asking colleagues if they'd be willing to take the next brainstorming session on the run. If your co-workers are not athletically inclined, a walking meeting can be just as good. If you work from home, consider hopping on the treadmill for a slow walk during your next conference call.
7. Pair Family Time With Scheduled Miles7 of 13
If you've got little ones at home, there's nothing more efficient than knocking a run off your to-do list while your baby naps in the jogging stroller. Once your kids are a little older, have them bike alongside as you log miles. This strategy isn't ideal for tempos or 20-milers, but for an easy 2-3 mile jaunt, it's an efficient way to combine family and exercise.
8. Clean Yourself and Your Clothes in Your Post-Run Shower8 of 13
Try this hack for warm weather runs: Wear your sweaty gear for the first few minutes of your shower. Once they're reasonably clean, take them off, wring them out and hang up to dry. This is a great quick time saver--especially if you're traveling. Of course, you will probably want to do laundry eventually.
9. Solve the Key Conundrum Once and For All9 of 13
Wondering what to do with your keys while you run? Remove the car key fob from your key ring (and lock the rest of your keys in the car). It'll fit nicely in the side pocket of your shorts or pants. You can also stash your keys and phone in a FlipBelt—or, if you prefer to live life on the edge, you can stash your key under your car in a magnetic holder.
10. Put the Water Bottle Down10 of 13
Need to hydrate, but hate carrying a water bottle on the run? For long runs, run a loop and leave your water bottle on your front porch or in your car. You'll have a built in hydration station every few miles! Alternatively, you can bring a few dollars (preferably in a plastic bag to protect it from sweat) and stop at a grocery store or gas station to buy a drink part way through your run. If the bottle is too big to drink all at once, share it with a friend!
11. Win the Battle Versus Blisters11 of 13
If your heel slips in your shoe, try a different lacing system. And if you find yourself out on a long run with irritated skin or a burgeoning blister, you can use the wrapper from an energy gel or bar to act as a buffer. Slip it between your skin and sock as an emergency solution.
12. Simulate an Outdoor Run on the Treadmill12 of 13
Are conditions forcing you inside on the 'mill? Set the incline to 1 percent grade to simulate the resistance of running outdoors. To mix things up a little more, play with the incline and decline settings to prevent boredom--and mimic the terrain of your next race.