Trying not to drop the training baton when the pesky kids are around…



  1. An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling


  1. An extended period of time when you’re with the kids and they’re getting REALLY bored and you’re REALLY skint and everyone is getting REALLY frustrated and September seems a REALLY long way away

So, how does one survive the summer and still keep on top of the training when you know that the children have definitely agreed a plan with the sole intention of sabotaging your training and ruining your summer…and probably life!

In order to survive, it’s important to have some strategies stashed in your bikini to ensure your training doesn’t get derailed completely, so here’s my top tips!

Include the children in your scheduled training where you can:

Check to see if they can come and be a part of your training session. If this isn’t possible, then see if there’s a quiet area that they can sit and read a book…ok, maybe sit and play on your phone (check your photo gallery and search history before allowing this…)

For the sessions I coach at The Olney Way to Run, I actively promote that the children get involved if they can. Some may call it child labour, but I’m of the opinion that they do love to help out with setting up equipment and clearing up at the end and it’s a Billy Bonus to see the look on a parent’s face as they see their child willingly tidy up for me yet their bedrooms are a complete tip!

A real bonus to having the kids involved in training is that it gives us the green light to be a kid too! I recently set up a course for the ‘kids’ to time themselves around, it included a succession of different type of jumps, kind of like a horse trials course; it even had a water jump and I got two clear rounds!! The kids loved it although I might have got a little bit distracted and left their mums to run around and around the football pitches a few too many times…

Create your own ‘Class’ at home:

Set yourself a circuit that you can do with the children a couple of times a week, this might only last 20 minutes, but could include some core, glute, hamstring and upper body workouts. Using household items can make it fun too, a can of beans (any variety will do!) in each hand for bicep curls, use a chair (shoes off of course!) to do glute bridges or hamstring work, skipping ropes for plyometrics (maybe do this outside so as not to create a wet floor) or just use the stairs for calf raises, I know, so much fun right!

You can put them in charge of the stop-watch and if you’re really brave, give them a whistle! Let them set you a circuit, let them be the coach and see how they do!

Take them with you on a run…to the ice-cream shop perhaps?:

They don’t have to run, they could bike with you. Manage your expectations before you leave the house as they will inevitably sprint or cycle off, then stop, then sprint off again. So, make this an interval session for yourself, accept the fact it’s going to be stop start and just go with it! Interval training is an important part of your run training and just because it’s not a structured session doesn’t mean you won’t benefit.  My bet is you’ll end up working really hard as they speed off!

Every day is a school day:

Teach the kids about what it is you do when you train, show them the exercises you do to warm up and the stretches you do to cool down; play a game with naming the main muscle groups (might be worth visiting The Google before-hand!).  Children get bored quickly and of course they won’t necessarily do things properly, so ask them to be ‘teacher’, ask them to demonstrate or ‘take the class’ and see how much they’ve learnt!

Cross training:

It’s not all about the running that you do that keeps you fit, so why not ask the kids what would be their exercise of choice and then give that a go. There’s all kinds of fun ways to exercise and probably use muscles you’ve not used for a while. If you’re on holiday, then Pool Olympics is always a winner, it’s incredible how many muscles you engage trying to cling onto a lilo! A family picnic out with a game of rounders thrown in with friends is a great way to tick boxes for all involved; a picnic is not complete without wine, right?

Recovery and Planning Sessions:

We all know how important having recovery time is, your body and mind needs time to repair. So, cut the kids some slack, let them tuck into their favourite treat while playing on the X-box and get yourself logged onto The Google, pen and paper in hand and find yourself some running goals to focus on in the lead up to Christ…(nope, I can’t bring myself to say the ‘C’ word!)

Win, win for everyone (not that it’s about the winning of course!)

Hopefully I’ve given you some helpful tips for trying to keep the training ticking along over the summer. Basically, cut yourself some slack, try to enjoy the (somewhat extended!) time you have with the kids and be proud of the fact that you’re making exercise a positive part of their lives.

September will soon be here, you’ll be child-free, slightly deranged but ready to re-focus and put your newly found lilo-mounting skills to good use!


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