What does 24hrs in the life of a runner look like and why? #UKRunChat #RunningLife
As I was stretching my calves yesterday within minutes of arriving home I realised for the first time in the near 5 years I’ve been running just how much time my favourite distraction takes up in my day.
And I began to wonder ‘is this normal?’
I started to look for research but most of it centres around what runners think about when they’re running. I’m interested in knowing if it’s healthy that I spend most of my day salivating at the prospect of running and looking through run related things.
My Daily Breakdown Let’s assume I get up around 5.30am and conclude my day around midnight – that’s a minimum of 18.5hrs per day to put running into.
So I wake up, showered, cup of tea, perhaps a yoghurt for breakfast and straight into my running kit. Place last few items of stuff into OMM 25 classic running bag. Spend at least a few minutes deciding which running shoes will cause me the least amount of aches on my RunCommute. I then begin the stretching that I need to do to make sure my glutes and calves don’t start firing the moment I leave the house and then at exactly 6.29am I leave the house for a couple of miles of running to the train station.
I usually arrive with seconds to spare, grab my seat and immediately reach for my phone to begin writing running blog posts, reading running blog posts or tweeting about running. That journey is about an hour and I usually get something out in the time, my only challenge being WordPress refusing to upload my photographs and a loss of signal as I enter Charing Cross.
As I leave Charing Cross I usually hit the afterburner and allow myself around 20-30 minutes of running through the backstreets of London, grabbing a snap or three of interesting buildings, sculptures or installations. Post run/pre work shower later I’m then usually hitting Instagram, replying to blog responses, etc – by 9am I’ve already done a reasonable amount of run related activities.
I’m lucky in my working life that my boss is also a runner and an extreme triathlete, this means much of the conversation during the day is about races, running, cycling and the Barkley. We supply each other with links to things such as stupid distance runs and ridiculously difficult OW swims.
If I ever got a lunch break then I’d be unlikely to run during it but I would (and on rare occasions do) go walking for an hour, this I feel helps keep my legs active despite having a sedentary desk job. However, when 5.30pm arrives I do my best to get out, get changed and hit the pavement – time and distance vary depending on running needs but I can be out for anything from 30 minutes to about 4 hours.
Once I arrive at a commuter train in the evening my time is usually spent doing one of a few things a) as tonight, blogging b) looking up races c) looking up kit d) looking up reviews for races or kit.
I might, if the fancy takes me, go for a bit more running (sometimes swimming) once I’m home but if not then it’s straight into foam rolling, stretching and preparing my running kit for the following day and so the cycle sets in again.
By the end of the day, if I’ve got either any energy or time left I’ll sometimes process race and running photographs for some slightly more creative, run related, projects I’ve been been working on but it amazes me how much of each and every day is spent revolving it’s way around my running endeavours.
It should be tiresome and dull, there shouldn’t be that much to blog about, there shouldn’t be that many races to look up or routes to run – but there is.
Do other aspects of my life suffer?
This I suppose is the real reason to ask the question. As a runner with a young family and a full time job both of these have been known to play second fiddle to my love of sport. However, I’ve never neglected either in favour of running, I think I’ve developed the art of multitasking and time management. I’ve let less important things slide in my life, things like peripheral friendships, days of hardcore nightclubbing, alcohol and working all the hours because these things were not improving either my life or aiding in the fulfilment of my running dreams. Obviously nothing’s perfect and sometimes I do misjudge the balance but I’ve come to understand how my own life works and I’m a better person for it.
Does running influence decision making?
Without a doubt running and the dominance of it in my life has a serious impact on decisions. The GingaNinja made certain choices about her new job because I wanted to ensure enough weekends were left free for me to be able to commit to racing. Running has been known to dictate holiday destinations, food choices and many other things. However, to me this doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, this feels like making the work/life balance right for me and the people around me.
However, I remember discovering the GingaNinja was pregnant. She told me from the shower cubicle and saying ‘Have you entered the CCC (2014)? Because you might want to rethink it as we’re probably having a baby that week’ – that’s the only time I’ve cancelled an entry and credit to the GingaNinja she provided a bloody good reason.
So does running dominate my life?
Yes probably, however, I’m happy about the impact it has and I’ve developed it in such a way that it doesn’t negatively impact everything else, in my opinion it improves the rest of my life – but then I would say that. The benefits of life that is dominated by running are too numerous to list but my physical and mental wellbeing are infinitely better for it.
How about your running life? Do you spend most of your day in run related thoughts and activities?
When I read this I almost thought I was reading a blog post that I didn’t remember writing. I am almost exactly the same. Up similar time. Train into chatting cross. Runcommute. Take photos along the way. Crazy. Wife even runs now. No baby yet though ha ha.
I found runcommute is a great way to get extra miles in during the week and stops running taking over quite so much in the evening or at weekends though I do quite a few ultras and social ultras.
Hi Phil, great blogging. I agree about the RunCommute, it’s an excellent way of putting time on your legs that don’t have a detrimental impact on relationships. Running can take over your life but I believe if we harness the positive concepts in running for our daily life then that’s a great thing – but being a runner gives me a biased perspective. Look forward to reading about more of your adventures
What’s your next event? I see you’ve done some traviss/Rachel stuff too. I’ve got LLCR130 in August. Apocalypse 50 in May. 12 labours of Hercules in August. Autumn 100 in October.
Well I’ll see you for LLCR130, I’m doing the Hillsborough to Anfield Run 80 next month then the week after the Skye Ultra Trail (74 miles), Brutal Enduro 18hr and then Haria Extreme (100km – I think). I’ll probably drop by Ranscombe again too as its my local and favourite SVN event. I hear good things about 12 Labours and wanted to do it this year but the timings weren’t quite right so possibly next year
Cool. Good ideas for new events for me there. Will google when I get to work! 🙂
What’s your latest shoes? I’ve been playing with more mile R66 for road and cheviot 3 for mud.
I use quite a few pairs of shoes but do have my favourites – Altra Lone Peak 2.0 and 2.5, Hoka Tor Speed, Pearl Izumi N1 Trail, Inov8 Race Ultra 270 and 290. For road I’m currently using On Cloudrunners which are excellent. I use others too but these are the main ones I go to. The R66 look interesting but my feet have been known to take a battering and I like to know what I’m wearing. I trust very much my Altra as a race shoe but I’d be willing to try the R66 as a destructible RunCommute shoe
They seem good so far. Not at all like running in sand like the sketched go run ride4. Comfy but still responsive.
Will check out the on cloud ones. Some of serpies run in them.
My husband and me went for a 20 miles trail run in the dales yesterday…
It was dark when we got back to the car…
And late when we arrived back home.
Usually after such a long run (I do them every weekend) in bed I already think about the next one but yesterday I was just tired and aching.
But I am the same. It is running this, running that, races, new kit etc.
It feels very normal to have a genuine obsession with running. I’m glad I’m not alone … and 20 miles sounds awesome 🙂