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Running can often feel like a very odd past time especially while you are out the pounding the streets while other people are doing “normal” activities, and let’s not ignore the fact that many folk believe we are rather strange for participating in this sport all together.

Whats the point?
Oh I couldn’t run just for the sake of it

But its never just for the sake of it really is it?

Even when you are not training for anything in particular running still serves a purpose, whether that is for stress relief, thinking time, spending time with others, and maybe even as a mode of transport.

Yep I said it.

Some people use running as a way of literally getting around.

Getting from A-B…I call these runs…strangely enough…my A-B runs, and boy are they a powerful tool to have in your running arsenal, especially when you have just found out that you have a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018...which is basically 20 weeks away.

What is an A-B run?

It’s a predetermined route which is designed to encourage you to run from one location to another by means of transport. It can be of any distance and for any purpose but is useful as a way of fitting running into a busy week.

Some examples of an A-B run are

Running to or from work
Running to or from a work meeting
Running to or from meeting friends
Running to or from the school gate (if you have kids)
Running to or from doing an errand
Running to pick something up
Running to the shops

So, after finding out on Friday that I have a place for London (and then crapping my pants for a bit) I looked at my weekend schedule and realised the only way I was going to get any miles in was by doing an A-B run.

Saturday morning I had driven to my sister and dropped my daughter off for the day as I had a meeting to attend and then afterwards a xmas do. I left my car in Woodford, knowing that the following morning I would run the 6 miles back to collect it.

I got up Saturday morning at 8am (hangover free I might add) and although a little tired I knew what my task for the morning was. Go pick up my car and my child.

It was raining which didn’t help with motivation, but once I got started it was fine. I knew where I was heading, I had some tunes playing, and I simply made my way to my final destination.

It wasn’t fast and it was a bit stop start due to the roads, but for me this was about getting some distance in my legs. I haven’t run more than 3 miles in months as I didn’t have any races coming up.

I managed the just short of 6 miles with relative ease, and this morning my legs feel fine so I know I could have gone further. But I am happy with that as run 1 of my plan.

So what exactly do you have to do to make this work for you?

1. Think about your weekly schedule and your to do list
2. Write down a list of possible routes and opportunities
3. Schedule an A-B route into your training plan
4. Make any logistical preparations required
5. Have a contingency plan for if things go wrong
6. Make a note of how you felt completing your run and how it impacts on your life

Also…if it’s raining, think about how you are going to keep warm on the way home…I din’t think this through yesterday and was freezing by time I drove home and could get in the bath.

Anything else to think about?

Yes, this run is perfect for all levels of ability because even you sloggers can integrate power walking A-B runs into your schedule, and power walkers probably do quite a bit of this anyway.

You may think that integrating this into your day might take up too much time, but it is the ultimate multitasking tool, and also it shows people around you that running or walking is a perfect travel method. Just think about the distance and the terrain, and preplan all of the logistics like the route and leaving the car or organising the kids etc

Other people may think that running places is slightly strange, or they may welcome it…the point is it will open up a debate about how to avoid the sedentary lifestyles we often find ourselves in whilst ticking off your mileage goals too, so it’s a win win.

Be honest and upfront about what you need from people and let people know what you are unto so they are not completely surprised by you turning up a bit red faced….especially if you are meeting them for the first time.

For lots of other advice on how to run a marathon and the kind of run sessions which can help make your marathon training more bearable. Check out my book The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback.

If you are running a spring marathon and would like some additional support, I am offering 50% off my training programme. We have 33 women training in our group at the moment. You can find out more here.

Each year we have a marathon cheering station for our Too Fat to Run women at mile 10 of the London Marathon led by our Clubhouse members, look out on our Facebook page for more details closer to the time for how you can get involved.

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