Like lots of other people I spend a lot of time trying to work out how to juggle many balls in life to make sure things don’t get dropped. I have to do this around working full time and trying to fit in the many other commitments my husband and son have on. This is even more important when it comes to me taking on any kind of training plan which involves runs on a regular basis of more than an hour!

Things haven’t always been smooth sailing…

One thing I can say is that I’ve learned a few lessons along the way about how not to do things. In fact the first time I ran a marathon, I’d very badly underestimated just how much time it would take up, which given the fact that I was working full time, studying part time and our son was quite young, was a bit of a flaw. In fact you could probably say I was downright selfish – I left pretty much everything to my husband, and understandably it really didn’t go down very well. However what it did make me realise was that if I was going to take on anything over a 10k, I really needed to do so with his full support. Because there was no way it would ever work without it!

For me planning is key!

When I look at events now one of the first things I need to think about is can I really give this the time I need. My husband and son both play cricket, which takes up loads of time in the summer, and our son also plays rugby. Pre pandemic, that meant our son had training sessions and games at least twice a week, for pretty much the whole year. We also all belong to the same running club and are regular Parkrunners. Any training needs to fit around what they have on, as well as what is on the plan. Oh and that small thing called work, and anything going on at school!

I’ll often sit down on a Sunday and try to look at the week ahead. I’ll do this with my husband so that we can see what is coming up, so I can work out where to fit my runs in. I’m happy to admit that I am not a morning person. I am full of admiration for people who can get up early day in, day out! But sometimes I have to set that early alarm and get out to get a session done. Working from home for the last 12 months has helped in some respect – if my run is less than an hour then I’ll try and fit it around my lunch break. That was especially helpful in the winter as it meant I wasn’t out in the dark on my own.

The other thing we look at is where training can be done together. As Jack has gotten older and can be left for periods of time that has helped massively, as it means that child care isn’t always required. But Jack will also join me on interval or hill sessions where he can run at his pace after the warm up and I won’t slow him down! That also applies to Chris, though I do try and get him to time his easy runs with my interval sessions so he can help me hit my target paces!

When Chris and I have both been training for half marathons at the same time, we’ve done things like one of us run to Parkrun, whilst the other person drives there with Jack. Then we do a car key swap, and the person who ran there drives home afterwards. It’s become a very handy way of getting a 10 mile run in!

Be prepared to be flexible!

As you would expect, things don’t always go that smoothly because life just isn’t like that! Work gets in the way, children and adults get sick, life just happens sometimes! If I could offer any tip at all it would be that you have to prepare to be flexible! This might mean moving a session from one day to the next, or moving the time of day it happens. Training for an event can be something that takes up a lot of time. If Chris wasn’t able to take Jack to a training session then I can take him and try to do something while he’s there. It might mean doing an easy run instead of a tempo run, but that’s ok!

This is my perspective – I know this won’t always be the case

I have written this from my perspective. Which for me is having a husband who is supportive of my crazy running ideas, and understands the benefits that I get from running. He knows that it makes me a better person all round, so we work together to fit things in. Don’t get me wrong, it took a while for us to get to this place, and it definitely helps that our children are older (our daughter was often able to do some of the childcare if we were both out) but I couldn’t do it without his support. However I know this won’t be the case for everyone so appreciate other people will balance their training commitments differently.

written by

Vicky Ledbury

NHS Contract Manager from Bristol

Age group: FV45
Club: Active Soul UK
Coach: Marcus Sladden

My Disciplines
Ultra trail run 10 KM Half marathon Marathon Yoga / Pilates Trail run
Ultra marathon

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