Tips for new parents keeping up training

Hi all,

As a father of a 6 month old I'm struggling to keep up a good frequency of training. With working in the day I want to ensure that o spend quality time with my daughter as soon as I get back meaning that my training has suffered.  

Do any other new dad's or parents have any tips to keep up fitness levels whilst still getting to spend plenty of quality time with their little one?  I was tempted to purchase a running buggy to spend time together,  or to buy a spin bike to get some cross training in before  i go to work in the morning. 

Thanks in advance! 


  • Running buggy and an alarm clock. Enjoy!
  • Yeah the running buggy was my first thought but it seems to divide family opinion whether it's safe or not and if it's just for my benefit.  With the spin bike I was planning to get a 30 minute pre work morning workout going whilst everyone is still asleep meaning more family time later.  
  • Chris2304Chris2304 ✭✭✭
    I’m in exactly the same situation.

    The best option would be to incorporate running into your working day (running part of your commute, perhaps?). That’s not feasible for me, so I tried running during lunchtime, but found it very inefficient with showering, etc. and as we’ve been laying off staff I didn’t think it was wise to be taking too many 90 min lunch breaks!

    For me that means I run in the evening after I’ve put the little one to bed. I use a treadmill and a baby monitor, so I can deal with him if he wakes. I don’t mind treadmills, so it works well for me.

    I aim for short but intense sessions, which leave time for a quick bite to eat and some time with the wife. It’s the best, most sustainable compromise for me.

    Finally, I know many people like running buggies, but (a) it’s time consuming getting the child ready to go out, and (b) guiding the buggy is terrible for your arm swing & upper body rotation. For these two reasons, I would happily use one for a long-slow run, but for a 30min run each morning it’s too much work for too low a quality workout for me.

    Thats just my view / experience.
  • Fully agree to the use of a spin bike. It is convenient and allows you to spend more time with your child.
  • @Chris2304 - it's difficult isn't it, I think I'm starting to learn that a lot of parenting is about compromise and fitting training in quickly and at pace! I think I'll end up going for a spin bike and trying to fit in a session prior to work. Our lunch break is only 30 mins so wouldn't be able to fit a run in. 
  • Can you run before work in the morning, while the family are still asleep? A quick 30min run is better than nothing. 

    I have 5 month old twins and have just gone back to work - I'm trying to fit my sessions in during lunchtime or after nursery drop off but before starting work on days I work from home (when I'd be commuting otherwise). I'll be taking them out in the double buggy on weekends once they're old enough, along with the husband. Healthy family time! 
  • jtfacejtface ✭✭
    I wanted to prioritise time with my family and like 'Just Coop Going' said... I run anyone else in the house wakes up. I'm up and out of the door by 5.10am!
  • espenhbespenhb ✭✭✭
    Been thinking about this myself lately as I'm becoming a father in april. The result of my planning? Running to work, and home again. If I get up at the same time as I would when driving or taking public transport, and spend the same amount of time getting back home as I would otherwise, I should be able to get in about about 10 to 13 km, or 6 to 8 miles, every day of the week. Combining that with an hour and a half long run saturday or sunday and taking at least one weekend day completely off should do the trick training wise, while still giving me a lot of time with the new born. That being said, I'm «only» training for a half.

    With the additional benefit of flexible hours I could always come in a bit late if I feel like a longer morning run, come in early and do a longer run straight after work, or work for an hour or two from home after the kid has gone to bed.

    With the luxury of an office to store things, a shower at work and a job where I can eat while working(saves valuable «prepare and eat breakfast»-time), this should do the trick. But even if you don't have those things running to or from work is still possible. Lots of resources out there on the topic, and many tips for doing it without having a shower or a place to store stuff.

    Good luck!
  • espenhbespenhb ✭✭✭
    Oh, and yeah! The running strollers. There is an age limit where this is considered safe, around six months. We will be getting one that can be used both while running and while cycling when the time comes, and I think that would be great for the long slow weekend-runs in areas with little traffic. Not something I would run with down town during rush hour, or plan any sort of intensity work with, but for slow and steady miles I think it would be great. At least as long as I manage to keep my mind with me as far as pacing goes.

    When it comes to wether or not it's safe I would argue that no manufacturer would make, sell and advertise these strollers if they weren't safe. The risk for lawsuits is to high, and stuff like this get's tested and tried out a million times before it get's approved for sale.
  • Thanks all. In the end I went for the spin bike, have used it a fair few times but am missing the feeling of just getting out and running. Starting to think about a run commute once a week, work is about 6 miles away so it would definitely help to get some miles in the bank!
  • My kids are older at 4 & 5 but I finish work at 5 and have an hour or 2 with them and they are in bed for 630-7. I then run/bike have tea and I'm done for 830ish.

    As i said though, mine are older so very rarely wake up needing me or the wife so when they have gone bed my wife watches her soaps etc and couldn't care less what I do with my time :smiley:

    She does tend to moan a bit if I run more than 4-5 times a week though...

    As a tip that might work for others... as i didn't enjoy doing my long run in the evenings when its cold and dark, me and my wife reached a compromise where she gets a lie in on Saturday and Sunday and i get up early when the kids do, then I get to do my 2 Hour run Sunday afternoon!
  • Hi guys, new to this forum today and just thought I share my experience of getting back to training. My wife and I had a baby boy 10 months ago and the I’ve only started to appreciate how much free time I used to have before we had him. I’m a Police Officer and I used to have a reasonable level of fitness and was quite into my running a few years ago but go distracted and just kinda stopped. I’ve decided that now that I’m nearly 14 and a half stone as opposed to the 12 stone I was when I was quite fit and looking to join the Royal Marines Reserves. I’ve only been back to running now for 6 full weeks running mostly 3 times a week and the odd week with a 4th. I live in the country and the block as I would call it is only 2.38 miles. 1st time I ran it was over 25 minutes which is prettt rubbish I know. 6 weeks in and I can do it in 19:55. I would like to get 3 miles down in less than 20 but have a good bit to go. The way I’ve been training is running at night when my wee boy is put to bed and my wife is still there if he needs anything. He’s going to full time nursery next month and I can’t wait which is awful to say I know, but I have a newfound motivation to get in good shape. There will be longer runs, swimming, cycling and weights added in when I’m off during the day thanks to shift work. Can’t wait to see where I’m at in June/July after 6 months or so of training.
  • As a recently new dad myself (little one is 13 months now) this is something I really struggled with at first myself. Like you said, finding the balance is really tough. I'm currently training for a marathon and I get up at 5:30am twice a week to fit a run in before work. Then I tend to fit one midweek evening run in and then my long run in on a Sunday. Getting up at that time is never easy, but it has just become a part of my routine now and it means I still get to spend plenty of time with my boy. 
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