How do you parent and run Ultras? #UKultrachat #Running #Parenting

Ultra running and parenting are two things that require a genuine level of dedication where you must give your all if you are to get the rewards you desire. Now despite my best efforts I’m feeling the strain of that dedication at the moment – it didn’t go unnoticed in my dismantling of my failure at the CCC that it was not helped by the fact that the two weeks prior to the race had seen the baby more restless than normal and my (already limited) sleeping pattern further hindered.
UltraBaby is a genuinely good child when it comes to letting us rest and catch up but with teething now in full swing I’m starting to understand the struggles that runners have when young children are involved.

The Before Pre-UltraBaby it was easy to get home from work, change into running kit, kiss GingaNinja goodbye and then go running for several hours. Pre-UltraBaby it was easy to say ‘I’ll run home from work tonight – all 40odd kilometres.

The Now Now I spend most of my time wondering if I’ll get back in time to collect her from the childminders or get home in time to put her to bed so that gran doesn’t have to. By the time this is done, baby and work prep for the next day and well you don’t always feel like going and banging out 20km or more.

The Commute None of this is helped by (on average) my 2 hour commute (each way) from my Central London job to home in sunny Kent and it’s further compounded by my partners regular late finishes which simply make me feel like I’ve got to get home. Weekends are equally prone to fracture with the GingaNinjas work and a lack of family network close by that we can draw on for support – therefore running is now challenging.

I do as many of the right things as possible. I run pre and/or post work most days. I’ll parkrun, I’ll buggy run and I’ll race regularly so I’m still achieving bigger distances even when training isn’t going well. But there’s only so long you can keep going like this before the lack of coherent training, sleep and even eating cause some mischief.

I’m Lucky Really I shouldn’t complain, I have it relatively easy, I have a supportive partner, a baby that isn’t too demonic and a dedication to the medals – I just want my cake and to eat it too – and I mean the whole cake, not a slice! Running is my primary hobby but UltraBaby is my responsibility and so I need to learn a greater degree of balance to ensure that I can continue to successfully parent but without too much compromise in ultra running!

What about you? I’m curious to hear how other running mothers and fathers manage to get the ‘time on their feet’ in and what ‘little tricks’ they’ve developed to make running, especially ultra running possible in the face of full time work, children, commuting and the plethora of other things that seem to get priority over running!

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9 comments
  1. Miss Fanny P said:

    I don’t manage it. I have three now. I miss running so much.

    • ultraboycreates said:

      Are they old enough to run with you? I don’t think I could give up running, it’s one of the reasons I only want 1 child …

  2. Joey said:

    Maybe you could get a treadmill for your home?…

  3. I’m not an ultra runner by any stretch of the imagination but I do love running. I’m 8 months in to having baby number 2 knocking around and for the last few months have been able to get out with him in the running buggy (babytrend expedition) twice a week. Being able to take him in the pram means I have been able to stick to a training plan for my 10k on Sunday. I’m still on maternity leave just now but running in the morning means that the evenings don’t get rushed with getting child 1 from nursery, eating dinner and then bath and bedtimes.

    I am a bit worried about how i will be able to fit in running once I’m back to work! But as far as it goes just now, having the running buggy has been an absolute godsend in terms of regaining fitness, training for a race and also getting the baby to sleep on days when his teeth are at him!

    (I blog at both knittysewandsew and havekidswillrun)

    • ultraboycreates said:

      I hope you are able to keep running, I’m lucky only having the one and that’s challenging enough, I’m fortunate that my partner is very supportive of my running and without that I’d really struggle. I’ll be checking out your blogging shortly 😀

  4. cmmercer said:

    Marathon training for me over the summer has been a blast and I have managed to maintain some real consistency. But I don’t know how: my wife is supportive and I am lucky to be able to run almost whenever I can fit it in, but she REALLY doesn’t understand it (running or why I want to be away from my family) so I feel incredibly guilty almost the entire time I am out the house. I don’t have a running buggy, but mostly because I can’t justify the spend (especially having spent £600 on the buggy we do have), so sadly that just ain’t an option either.

    • ultraboycreates said:

      The only thing I can say is – don’t feel guilty – you’re on a hiding to nothing with that. I try to make it up to my partner and the baby by ensuring the time we do have together as a family is quality time. Keep up the good work and don’t stop running

  5. I have 4 children, two of them still toddlers. I used to run in the morning with my youngest one. We still own the very first and sadly only made Chariot running stroller. It is very light, even with my son, but I have decided to go running before the other children are out of the house as I find it easier to run on my own (I still can run with the buggy for extra training). At the present moment I am training for a marathon but my goal is a ultra- many of them!

    • ultraboycreates said:

      That’s incredibly inspiring to someone who occasionally struggles to get out with just the one daughter. Good luck with your marathon training and I hope you’ll be at an ultra soon 😀

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