So this week heralded the first proper week in my new team based in Worcester. Now as I live in Derbyshire this has meant having to become a proper commuter on the train for the first time in my working life, and already I’ve got to say the people who do this everyday of their lives,and for longer distances have my respect! I’m struggling with tiredness and I’ve only gone into the office twice this week!
I’ve had a number of different jobs over the years, some involving different shift patterns, others involving working in extreme weather conditions (you’ve not lived until you’ve had to spend the day working outside in freezing cold snow or rain,to the extent you can’t feel your toes or fingers!). I got used to working with shift patterns,just finding them annoying as they played havoc with my eating habits and social time catching up with friends and family.
My latest job up until this week was perfect for me in that it affords a degree of flexibility not only in being able to work from home but also the hours you do. This means I am able to choose whether I want to work 7:30am to 3:30pm or 9:00am to 5:00pm. My office based in Nottingham is also just an hour away from my home. All this is therefore perfect for me when it comes to being a runner! It enables me to get home in time and have the right level of foods so I have the energy to attend running sessions with my club in the winter to the local trail/fell races in the summer.
However, as stated at the beginning of this blog I have recently changed role and teams who are based in Worcester which is now a 2.5half hour commute from home! Luckily I am still afforded a degree of flexibility in that I don’t have to go to the office every day but already I have noticed the effect on my running. On the Tuesday just gone I had a 5 hour training day and a total 5 hour commute and the time I got home meant I was unable to grab any proper food before having to get changed and head straight out to training. Even though I had been sat down all day, I felt exhausted and really didn’t want to go out running which is not like me! (Although with the onset of winter and cold and wet weather to look forward to I’ll probably be reluctant to go out running even though thanks to my ultra run next year I’m going to have to put the hard yards in!). I enjoyed the training as I always ultimately do, but I felt disappointed in myself as I was unable to put in the usual effort I would have done so normally. And I’m due to do some hill training,essential if you want to become a stronger runner overall, tonight but with another late finish and commute I’m not sure yet if I’ll make it. I’m not complaining even though it probably sounds it! After all it is part of my job now.
But it raises the point on the difficulty of training plans when your life is dictated by work (and family and other issues). I won’t be making excuses too much if I have to skip the odd day here and there, as I won’t be having to commute everyday but I will definitely be choosing carefully the days I will have to go in to try and avoid specific training days with my running club. The whole process of training is a key component on any formal long distance race you enter, without sufficient training you’re simply going to be unable to compete at a level in which you will be able to complete it. Most formal training plans out there do actually bring training time at the very start, stating that you really need to be sure you can commit before deciding whether to enter or not, trouble is most people don’t look at training plans until after they’ve paid the entrance fee (guilty) and then realise too late that there are going to be a lot of times where they’ll (me again for this ultra!) be running very late in the evenings in order to simply get the mileage under their belts. I’m lucky in that I’m a single guy who lives alone and although I try to see my family as often as possible, it does mean I am able to get lots of long distance running at the weekends without upsetting anyone! All this though means the elite athletes or those with families and difficult job situations who somehow still manage to fit training in their lives have my upmost respect, especially with many of them probably doing much better at the races than me!
For the future though I shall be more careful and more selective on what races I enter,ensuring that should I have to put up with sitting on the train like below, even though I’ll have nice views I will be able to actually get some proper training done!
For today though I shall try grab a substantial lunch in order to have enough energy to run later when I get home!
Happy running peeps and happy working!