“I Just Don’t Have The Time!” – Expedition Leader Asha’s Tips for Runners with Busy Schedules

How often do you set the intention to run, only for the time to dissolve in your formidable ‘to-do’ list of tasks?

If you lead a busy life, Expedition Leader Asha can relate. The entrepreneur started her own business in 2019, which demanded very long hours and travelling. It was also around this time that Asha started running again, to take care of her mental and physical health.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be busy; motherhood, full time jobs or simply keeping up with the demands of modern day life can be enough to make us time poor.


Asha answered some of our London Winter Run 2024 participants’ questions about running with a busy schedule – as well as sharing her top tips for making it work:

I don’t have time to make a healthy lunch from scratch every day.  What is an ideal shop-bought lunch to ensure I have energy to run straight after work?

Response: You want to be looking for something with a good mix of protein and complex, slow-energy releasing carbs. An example of this is a hearty salad with things like beans, brown rice, seasonal vegetables and tuna, followed by some fruit. Remember that you can always customise a shop-bought salad, e.g. throw in some falafels or hard-boiled eggs, to make them more filling.

My work has shower facilities and I am considering running to work to make sure I fit in some weekly mileage. Do you have any tips for making this routine ‘stick’?

Response: Look for ways to minimise complications and make life easier. Keep items like a towel and wash bag at work. Can you also leave your laptop overnight at the office (or choose a day that allows you to do so?) If not, can you invest in a quality bag that allows you to run with it? Learn from any mishaps and adjust.

I intend to run after work, but after a long day at work, I often find myself on the sofa! How do I motivate myself to get out there?

Response: Personally, tracking my progress on apps like Strava and doing things like run streaks really motivates me. It makes you want to be consistent and improve. Time blocking – scheduling your run like it is an appointment in your diary – also really helps.

By the time I get back from my running club, it’s 9pm and I don’t have time to cook. How can I make sure I am eating properly around my evening running sessions?

Response: I typically do pre-made protein shakes when I get back from evening sessions, as a heavy meal can disrupt sleep. This fast, no-prep option allows you to refuel quickly after the session, and gives you more time to digest before going to bed. If you wake up starving – prioritise a hearty and nutritious breakfast.

I travel a lot for work so my running is inconsistent. I can’t seem to organise myself so I run when I’m away – any tips?

Response: Subscribe to Strava Premium for your business trip to check out suggested routes in the area. Some companies may also allow you to opt in to a hotel with a gym – there’s no harm checking. If all else fails, shop around for class passes for local gyms, so you can keep up some level of fitness and feel good.

Do you have any advice for waking up early to fit in a run? It’s the only time I can run but the battle to press snooze is constant!

Response: The best way to get up early is to go to bed at a consistent time and get enough sleep. A wind-down routine can help here. It’s also incredibly motivating to have someone waiting on you – so open applications for a fellow early-bird running buddy!

I can’t commit to joining a club as I know they meet in the evening and I have other commitments then. I struggle to self-motivate – what can I do?

Response: Many clubs have Whatsapp groups for people to arrange group runs outside of official sessions. Ask the committee and they can help you join the right group. My tip is that if you’re suggesting an alternative external session, try to make this at a consistent time so that people show up.