Super Fit at 50: an autumn training update

Training has been going well, albeit pretty light on running this past week. I have to adapt my training around work commitments – something I’m sure most runners can relate to.

Running for life, not living to run

I love running, but it’s not the whole story. It has to fit around my other responsibilities. When I can, I train more. But when other things need to take over, running has to get minimal. The trick is in finding the right balance so you’re still progressing towards the next big event or goal.

This last week, I had a series of early starts and cripplingly long days (19-hour work day, anyone?), so it’s had to be a light week, training-wise. And that’s OK. It means I’m building in lots of recovery in between training sessions. On the plus-side, my two 4.5-milers this week have been faster as I’ve tried to inject more speed in to any shorter runs. The focus has necessarily switched from quantity to quality.

Tips for balancing life with ultra-training:

  • Be firm with your goals, but flexible in your schedule. Do what you can, when you can. If you can aim for less runs, go longer. If you can only fit in short ones, set progress milestones for speed or elevation.
  • Let your ‘supporters’ in. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your running goals. By letting them share some of it with you, they’ll probably feel better about releasing you from other things to train, and they’ll feel part of your successes.
  • Set milestones. Measure where you are against your goals, and don’t be afraid to switch things up if you aren’t where you thought you’d be.
  • Be disciplined, but don’t let it steal the ‘joy’. I run because I love running. I love achieving huge goals, pushing myself to test my limits, and focusing my efforts on something big. Training gets hard – it has to, to get you ready for those big goals. But I’m mindful of when it’s consistently becoming something I dread. That’s when it’s time to take a break and reassess your ‘why’: why you run, and why you’re setting goals.

Let me know how you’re getting on in the comments below, including any tips for how to strike the right balance. Or drop me a line on

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