March 9, 2018
As we continue our Too Fat to Run Clubhouse member blog takeover, todays post is one which I think is going to help a lot of runners out there. I am a massive fan of A-B runs, and when marathon training it is often the ONLY way I can fit in the longer runs. I think finding ways of integrating running into your life, rather than having to stop your life to make room for it is the single most effective way of maintaining a healthier and happier lifestyle.
I am Isabel, and I am a 41 year architect. I live in Madrid with my significant other and my two sons. I started running 3 years ago, to get better sleep-which I did, and kept going to get the runner high. I have run some 10ks, and would like to run my first half in 2018.
I’d like to share some views on my A-B runs (which are basically a run which takes you from one point to another, rather than in a circular route which brings you back to your original starting point)
-1. Think Logistics. In winter, there is an issue with coats and warm clothing. I run from work home, running backpacks are small and you want to run as light as possible, so at present, I store in my drawers and closet: a bulky sweater, a pair of boots and THREE coats.
Some weeks, I go there in my coat and leave at the office when I come back running, then I take it home the following day. Or I have gone to work in a sports jacket that I can tie around my waist, but it is an extra burden, what with the backpack and everything. I have recently bought a running belt to take just the keys, wallet and phone with me which means that I would have to take back all my regular clothes, shoes and coat the following day. I must sort it out, yet.
Anyway, this week none of these strategies have worked/been possible out of lack of proper planning, stuff that gets in the way, etc.
-2. They are great for forming relationships. You bond with unexpected people at work, like security staff (“off for a run again?”, or “ah, it’s been a while since I last saw you in kit”), or anyone else who runs who otherwise would just say hello/bye. You get surprised at how many people are running during lunch breaks, etc.
-3. They help you become more aware of things. You are told tips. An exciting one: there are actually showers somewhere in the building! Not just for people wearing uniforms, for everyone! That will be great when the heat comes and midday becomes bad time for running. I will run to work instead, then.
-4. You must remember to stretch. I get home, wolf my lunch, shower in a hurry and go to pick my kids at school, wet hair and all. Miss something? Sure, the stretching. Last week I managed some stretches at the park, in my regular clothes, after picking them. I have to find a way. My leg muscles are very short, and stretching is even more key to me.
-5. It might feel strange at first. The first time I got out the office all dressed in gear I felt a little self-conscious. The place is crowded with architects, and the etiquette is relaxed (you can wear jeans, I mean), but not sporty. But then I pictured in my head a typical gossipy conversation about it:
“-Do you know I saw Isabel yesterday going out all dressed in sport clothes?
-yes, apparently she runs home some times. She was looking funny.
-oh/those running people are mad/I didn´t know she was so crazy/I bet she is rubbish/If it suits her/…”. I mean, this conversation is rubbish. The gossip is self-extinguishing. Yeah, I run home sometimes. Big deal!
-6. You can adjust your workwear to make it easier. I wear black leggings and solid tops, so as not to look too alien. You know the thing with architects and black colour, I am sure. Wearing black leggings is some kind of a very private self-mocking joke, too. The nerdy bookworm that runs.
-7. You may find new running partners. I have made at least a friend at work through this. Now she runs home sometimes!
-8. Think about on the go storage. I don’t love running with the backpack. But it is worth it. I always repack the minute I get home: shoes and clean kit in the bag, and ready to go next time I feel like it -and I will not have to look for all the stuff first thing in the morning, which makes the whole thing more likely not to happen.
-9. Leave yourself enough time. You have to count on some time to change. I put on my kit in the (very clean) toilets, and it takes like 10 minutes to do so. If you have a tight schedule, as I do, with the picking the kids from school, you have to take it into account.
-10. Don’t forget to fuel. My typical working day is from 8:00 to 15:00 (plus some afternoons). If you don´t eat something, you are going to have a hard time. I try to remember to eat a banana or a small sandwich at 13:00 or so.
-11. This could increase your productivity. I get home as fast as if I had used the tube. My office is 3,5 km away from home, so if I go straight away, it is like a 25 minute run, tops. If I have some more time (if someone else is picking the kids from school) I just aim for a longer run and take my time around the park near my office.
So, I still have to figure somethings out, but as I have said recently via the Clubhouse facebook group, lately for me running has meant A-B runs or no runs at all.
If you would like to join our awesome community, get involved in our meetups and training days, and even become a Too Fat to Run coach or guest blogger why not consider joining The Clubhouse today. Memberships start at just £5 per month. Find out more here
The image for this blog was from my last significant A-B run as part of my London Marathon 2018 Training…I wrote a blog post called The Power of A-B runs, which talks more about how to make these a regular part of your running experience.