I guess ideas of how to minimize our running impact on the rest of our lives aren’t bad things to throw around. The “get up earlier” idea is probably the most frequently mentioned one because it is so effective but it’s not all that works. In fact, it’s one that I personally don’t care for at all and only use on occasion.
Personally, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. First, I actually selected my job at least partly based on it being the most conducive to running job that I was offered. With a flexible lunch hour and locker rooms complete with showers available at work, as well as an unpaved rec. trail very close to work, it is easy for me to get in around 60 minutes of running on a 90 minute lunch hour. Since I am required to take at least 60 minutes for lunch, that’s an extra 30 minutes out of my day in order to get in around 60 minutes of running plus changing, stretching, and showering. When I get home from work, I change and head out the door right away. A trick that I infrequently use but has been mentioned to me as a potential time saver is to wear your running clothes under your work clothes. Saves some changing time and you can get out to run even faster, whether you are running at lunch or after work. After my run after work, I usually cook dinner at the same time as I stretch (after taking a shower, of course) so stretching doesn’t really cut into my time since I have to make dinner anyway. Doing things this way and multitasking as much as possible, I would say I can do well over 2 hours of running on 3 hours or less per day devoted to running. If I stuck with one run a day, I could easily limit my non-running time devoted to running to less than 30 minutes per day by doing things like multitasking while doing things like stretching and, if I were in a real time crunch, wearing my running clothes under my work clothes.