Running Life Hacks, Part Two

It’s time for the second installment of running life hacks (check the first installment from Chicory)! We (women runners) are a busy group, and the saltines are no exception. We have kids and full-time jobs, full-time jobs and second jobs, and busy lives. We can use all of the help we can get so we can still fit running in – somewhere, somehow. Which is why these life hacks can feel like a savior. Every minute saved is one more in the bank for my run.

Here are a few more life hacks we use to fit running into our schedules or give us more time for running (or, say, online shopping, happy hour drinks, or sleep)!

1. Wet hair, don’t care. About a month ago, I decided that I simply wasn’t going to blow dry and straighten my hair any more. It wasn’t, frankly, compatible with the Deep South humidity, and I was sick and tired of destroying my hair. I have the kind of hair that flat irons were made for – not ringlet curls, but wiry and thick enough to create a halo effect as it absorbs moisture. I’ve found that putting wet hair in a bun for day 1 leads to instacurls without heat damage on day 2 (and sweating is just extra moisture to seal it in)! I’m still adjusting, and I know this isn’t a rocket science discovery, but I’m loving the extra 15 minutes added to my morning.

2. Athleisure, ramped up. If you are like Chicory or me, we sometimes go straight from the office to teaching Pilates (Chicory) or yoga (Cilantro). Chicory’s idea for chic daytime fashion that easily transitions into Pilates teaching wear by night is to wear a body suit by day, which transforms easily into teaching wear by night without a major wardrobe change. Genius!

3. Chair yoga/strength training: Did you know you can do yoga and strength training from your desk? It’s possible, and keeps you active throughout a long day of sitting. I like to take mini chair yoga breaks for five minutes every hour when I’m writing, and a quick session of chair strength straining (I use a chair without wheels, for safety) every afternoon.

4. Running meetings. Do you work with runners? Walkers? Hold your next meeting on the track (or around campus)! When the weather gets nice, we like to take our meetings outside for an easy run while we make decisions. Endorphins help with stressful conversations, and we save our breath for the things that are most important to say. Or at least, that’s the theory.

5. Run-commute. Cinnamon’s the pro at running to work, arriving ready to go! It’s not possible for everyone, but if you live an appropriate distance from work, why not run there (or run home)? Research even suggests we might gain some competitive mental benefits by running at the end of the day to train our brain for longer races.

How do you do double-duty or save time in your day? Do you use any of the hacks above?

Ultrarunner, adventurer, academic, and feminist. Running Across the USA in 2021. I write about ultrarunning, adventuring, and the intersection of endurance athletics and life.

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  1. I’ve loved these posts- can we make it a series? One of my “run-hacks” is to schedule my social time with friends via exercise. That may seem obvious, but with kids, husband, job, etc. there isn’t always room for a mom’s night (that said, I’m doing one 1/month now)..but I’m a really social person. So I’ll try to meet up with friends for a walk, a run, yoga in my living room, etc. Good stuff!

  2. My number 1 hack is my husband. He gets the kids ready in the morning so I can get ready for work. This means I have to be home by 7am but worth it!
    Number 2 is dry shampoo. Blow dry the sweat, add some dry shampoo and style!

  3. I’m all about the run commute! When I’m really crunched for time, I actually combine in hack #1. I have a shower before I leave the house and run with my long hair in a wet braid. When I arrive at the office and don’t have time for a shower, I just brush my still wet hair up into a messy bun!

  4. When I have 2-a-days, I try to schedule a late lunch at work for my second run. I try to fit in some strength training at lunch too – I keep a kettle bell, resistance bands, and a foam roller in my office. If I’m not exercising I always work through lunch, eating at my desk, so this not only ensures I get the workouts in but also forces me to actually take a break from work 3 days a week or so! Running with friends is also my main social time.

    Big related time savers for me are doing weekend meal prep, and laying out 5 school and work outfits for my daughter and I on Sundays.