Back to school: 7 essential tips for runner parents

It’s that time of year again: back-to-school season. If you’re a parent, it can be difficult to balance your kids’ schedules with your own running routine as the new school year begins. Juggling school routines and running schedules might seem daunting, but with a few strategic adjustments, you can seamlessly integrate your running regimen with the school year hustle. Here are seven essential tips to help runner parents make the most of this transitional period.

Morning magic

Shift your runs to early mornings to capitalize on the quiet hours before the school day begins. Not only will you relish the serene atmosphere, but you’ll also have your workout accomplished before the rest of your household wakes up.

mandy dreyer new balance
Mandy Dreyer running with her family. Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn

Flexible planning

Embrace flexibility in your running schedule. School calendars can be unpredictable, so have backup plans for the days when last-minute school events or unexpected pickups arise.

Family fitness fun

Incorporate fitness into family time by encouraging your kids to either join you on your run (within reason, of course!), or to ride their bikes alongside you. Getting them involved in your fitness routine sets a great example and makes physical activity a regular part of their day as well as yours.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Where to run when kids take back the track

Strategic lunch breaks

If your work allows, use lunch breaks for shorter runs. You could even break your run into two shorter sessions by doing a half hour in the morning and a half hour at lunch. This is a great way to get your mileage in on days when finding a full hour (or more) to fit your run in just isn’t possible.

overhead stretch office worker

Prep and pack

Streamline your mornings by prepping your running gear and your work outfit the night before. This saves time and minimizes the chances of skipping a run due to the morning rush.

Community support

Connect with fellow runner parents. Sharing experiences, advice and even babysitting duties can create a supportive network that understands the unique challenges you face.

Mindful recovery

As your schedule becomes more hectic, recognize the importance of recovery. Prioritize sleep, hydration and nutrition to ensure you’re energized for both your runs and your parental responsibilities.

In the whirlwind of school re-opening, remember that your dedication to running sets a fantastic example for your children. It showcases the value of commitment, discipline and healthy living. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you’re not just navigating the back-to-school period–you’re setting your family up to prioritize their fitness and health, even when life gets hectic.


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