How to entertain a toddler while you workout


Wednesday- 5 miles, 9:24 pace on the treadmill + shoulder workout/abs

Arm workout streak day 3/6-half way there!

I tried to stay at a slower pace so that I could count this as a recovery run. I don’t want to go crazy with speed this week because I’m trying to build my mileage. The more comfortable I get with the mileage and see how my body reacts, then I’ll feel better about adding speed in. What are your thoughts on that, long/speed runners? Should I not worry and just add speed in the mix?


How to Entertain a Toddler While you Workout

When J was a baby and up until he was about 15 months I always ran during his morning nap around 9am.  When he stopped taking those morning naps I had to figure out how to workout if he was awake. *Some days I get up early and run outside before he wakes up and before Josh goes to work. Erin, asked me how I entertain him while I run on the treadmill, so here are a few of my tips.

1. Purchase a gate or pack n’ play. I used to have a giant gate set up for him to play in(shown below), but it took up a lot of the room. I tried the pack n’ play and worried that he wouldn’t like it because it was significantly smaller but he actually loved the change. He’s too young to just roam while I’m running because he’d try to touch or get on the treadmill.  This option is great.

J inside the gate with a fun 'new' box=)

J inside the gate with a fun ‘new’ box=)

inside the pack n' play shirtless

inside the pack n’ play shirtless

2. Be prepared with snacks. I always grab a few of his favorite and his water cup. I don’t give them to him all at once, I’ll keep a few up by me and then when he starts throwing toys at me and yelling, “Nack, Nack!” I know he wants another snack.

photo(606)3. Let him watch his favorite shows. Yes, he watches TV and I’m so grateful he enjoys a few shows that I find tolerable as well.  One of his current favs, Bubble Guppies. Sometimes I turn on music too, he loves dancing.




4. If you don’t have a TV near your treadmill, or if you don’t want them to watch TV bring their favorite toy in the room. J always has a few favorite books or toys that he’s loving that week so I make sure to bring them in the workout room. I’ll even save a few back that he hasn’t seen in awhile and bring them out if he’s yelling or just sick of being in his play pen.

so happy to have his new lawn mower to play with

so happy to have his new lawn mower to play with

I never mention this in my workout recaps, but most of my treadmill runs include a couple of breaks. I usually have to stop to give him more snacks, change a diaper, or give him another toy. Sometimes I can just toss it to him, but sometimes my aim is off and it’s easier to just stop for a sec;)

I hope these help, and moms tell me more tricks or tips that I missed!


We walked to the park with some family yesterday to eat our lunch.  J loved when I would push him really high in the swing. Him and his second cousin were having a great time together. He can’t wait till she can walk and they can run around together.

photo(608) photo(607)

Then, after a quick dinner we headed to the indoor soccer center. Some of my friends are on a coed soccer team together and wanted me to come play last night. It was so much fun. I loved playing soccer in high school, just wish I was better at it ha!


What’s your favorite workout lately?

Any great post workout snacks you’re loving?

About Sugar Plum Runner

Welcome to the Sugar Plum Runner! I grew up in WA state, but currently reside in UT with my husband Josh, son Jackson, and 2 daughters Lily and Claire. I love running, but I have never been so inspired to run, race, and blog about it since 4 years ago after I had Jackson. I grew up playing soccer and cheered in high school. My favorite part of both sports(and yes I consider cheer leading a sport) was the conditioning. I found myself running after practice was over on my own. That's when I realized that running may be the sport I really loved.
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21 Responses to How to entertain a toddler while you workout

  1. megbek says:

    Woo hoo on getting your arm workout in three days in a row! That’s amazing. 🙂 You go girl! I think you’re doing the right thing by increasing mileage first, but I’m far from expert. I’m just excited about your mileage, you’re killing it! Great tips, LOL, I’m sure I’ll need to reference these eventually. J is absolutely so wonderful! And loving the soccer! Cute shin guards. My favorite workout right now is anything cardio, and this week, I’m loving cycling. Have a gorgeous day!

  2. jumpeatrun says:

    eggs eggs and more eggs after working out. plus avocado of course 🙂
    I don’t have any great tips about speedwork. I tend to just randomly run faster based on my mood, weather, length of the run etc…haha

  3. I love all these tips! I used to run when my little man was napping too but then when I had to go back to work full-time I just started running after he went to bed at night, since he’s usually in bed by 8pm. Your J-man is so cute!

  4. Caitlyn says:

    Favorite workout would have to be BodyPump. I can’t believe how much I like it! I’m considering going twice a week. Awesome you got to jump in the soccer game!

  5. Runner Girl Eats says:

    Until you mentioned the treadmill breaks I was giggling imagining you heaving snacks at J lol great job with the arm workouts! When I up my mileage I tend to slow the pace. It helps me avoid burnout/injury.

  6. Erin says:

    Love this, thanks again for all the tips girl!

  7. I really like lifting weights, although I’m so weak. I guess you have to start somewhere. I also have a love-hate relationship with the stair climber. It’s such a killer workout, but it’s boring, and I wish I was moving faster. I’ve been snacking on those homemade larabars for pre and post workout snacks!

    J seems to be such a good toddler! Soon enough he’ll be running with you!

  8. I have an 18 month old little boy so I know the feeling 🙂 When I get on the floor to do push ups he crawls on my back. Constant battle! I usually have my husband on duty in the late afternoon so I can get a workout in.

  9. I just started back to BodyPump last week – and I am really enjoy doing that 3 mornings a week…now to find a spin class to start going to!

  10. My friend who has a two year old says she actually really enjoys “Bubble Guppies.” I feel so out of the loop not knowing what this show is!

    My favorite workout lately is BodyPump. It’s a love/hate relationship but I mostly love it.

  11. I am so amazed you are able to do it all! You rock lady

  12. AHH! I miss playing indoor soccer (I always called it “mom soccer”).
    Your tips are great… I’ve heard that rotating toys is a good idea. The kids almost think they’re new!
    I love J’s photo on the swing!! 🙂

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