As if returning to university to finish the final module of my part time degree wasn’t going to limit my training time enough, I start a new job in just over a week which will more than double my commute from around 25 minutes each way to around an hour.

Unfortunately I will also not have Friday afternoons to complete any sessions before the rest of the family return home for the weekend due to different working hours, which means maintaining 3 runs per week will result in having to complete one of those runs during time that I would otherwise be spending with my family.

Whilst this is not a problem for most families, with Sunday’s often being the day of choice for the weekly 3-hour marathon training run, for me it’s a little different. Take into account that Tuesday evenings I am (often) out at club training sessions and Thursdays I am out at university. On the other week nights, by the time I’ve collected the children from their respective nurseries, it’s 6 o’clock before we get home. Following that it’s the usual dinner (often for 6 mouths), tidying, baths, preparation for the next day and then almost time for their bed. My wife and I then get around an hour together before retiring ourselves. On those nights that I’m out, all of this is left to my wife to do. Bearing in mind that she runs her own business and a 70 hour working week for her is not uncommon. With longer commutes, I am also set to get home later in the evenings, with my wife already half way through the evening cycle.

At the weekends, Saturday is a study/work day for the two of us, whilst the children generally visit one of their grandparents. So that pretty much leaves Sunday as our ‘family day.’ I’m not sure how fair it would be to disappear again and go out for a run. So it’s going to be difficult, but I was aware that this would be the case if I accepted the new job. 

That being said, I’m still determined to maintain the 3 runs per week, although I am thankful that I haven’t committed myself to an autumn of racing. At least one day per week my alarm goes off at 5am and I am out of the house running by 5:10. Whilst fasted running is ok for easy paced runs, I don’t really think it’s a great idea to use this time for hard sessions. I’ve tried that a number of times, and whilst I have no problem with pushing myself that early in the morning, I always find that I can never perform quite as well as I would be able to later in the day. I’m not sure if that’s tiredness from just getting out of bed or lethargy from a lack of food but either way my splits are never what I would usually hope for. I did read somewhere recently however about fitting in early runs and, while they recommend getting up 45 minutes before the run to grab a bite to eat (4:15? I don’t think so) it did say that if needs must then taking in an energy gel before setting off might be a good idea. I may try that one.

An alternative to a second 5am run per week is to go out on a Saturday, using it as a bit of a study break. As a last resort, it will have to be on a Sunday, although early enough to not interrupt our only day together, which I genuinely treasure.

My wife often recites Karren Brady’s autobiography, which suggests that out of family, friends and a career, you can only maintain a good relationship with two. Add hobbies and education into the mix and you’re really in trouble. For me though, running is just as much of a necessity as it is a hobby, and not because I’m obsessed but because I find it great for the mind, a great meditator. My wife often comments on how ‘bouncy’ I am when returning from a run. Whilst I enjoy socialising at work, and even more so at club running sessions/events, it’s the friends category that I generally fail in.

For the time being though, that’s fine. Antisocial? Well, that is the name of the site…

Categories: Blog

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