Our blog today is from Fleur Runs, a Civil Liberties Solicitor in London who will be running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon with us.
Balancing your working life, running and staying healthy is a fine art. One which I continuously aspire to, but am yet to master.
I am not a morning person. I get up with 20 minutes to go before I need to leave the house and be on a train. I envy those who are but have come to accept I will never be a member of the 6am run club. If you are and can smash a workout before work, I’ve heard it’s the best time of day!
Conversely, during the week I am more than happy to run/exercise in the evenings. That said, if I have had a stressful day being pulled in all directions it takes a lot of mental energy to summonses the desire to go and also physically tire myself out. Most of the time a run is exactly what I need after such a day, particularly to rid myself of all the nervous energy and adrenaline!
What I struggle with the most is guilt. My job is very important to me. It is a career path I decided to focus on over ten years ago and most of my choices have been tailored towards getting to where I am today. On the other hand, I need the outlet of running to manage my stress levels and allow me to be the best possible version of myself at work. When I take on a challenge, like training for a marathon, I likely to fully commit myself. One of the mottos I live by is – If you are going to do something, no matter what, give it your all.
So when faced with a late night in the office or leaving at 6pm to go for a run, particularly when I am training for a marathon, a battle ensues in my mind. I feel guilty leaving work if there are outstanding tasks but on the other hand I feel guilty missing a training run. Ultimately my job will always come first. I am a lawyer not a professional athlete.
Whilst after a hectic day it’s nice to have a training plan telling me exactly what I need to do, with little creative input required from me, it is important to temper that a training plan is a guide, it’s flexible. If the plan says run for an hour on a Monday night but I only manage 40 minutes, I refuse to let myself get worked up about it, I will just try and make those 20 minutes up another day. A 40 minutes run is still better than no run. I find trying to incorporate a run into your commute on the way home is the perfect solution.
My take away message would be; if you run for your own personal enjoyment, do not allow this to be replaced by the stress and guilt of skipping a run because you are either working hard to further your career, resting because you are ill or you need to go and have a drink with your friends for your mental wellbeing.