Don't make running a chore

Hailey Fletcher on how to keep your #Run1000Miles on track despite holidays and city breaks

This Easter has been particularly busy. I’ve had to balance running and cycling as I’ve been training for the Tour of Flanders. It’s been feast or famine and I’ve found it difficult to give time to both.

One of the tricky things is when you’re on holiday, particularly city breaks. It can be hard to know where to go in a new city to run, or perhaps more importantly where to perhaps avoid.

One way of getting around this is booking yourself a running tour. These are now available in most European cities and are easily found through social media and the internet. After our cycling sportive, we had booked a couple of nights in Bruges and so I arranged for us to have a running tour of the city.

These tours generally take place before the city comes to life. We started at 8am and were joined by a German couple. The tour was around five miles long, with various stops to hear about places of historical, religious or cultural significance. It’s a fantastic way to get the miles in and really get to grips with a city - all for around 25 euros per person.

If you take your GPS, you can also use your route to revisit areas that you’d like to explore in more detail later on. We used ours as a handy navigation tool for the rest of the day's sightseeing.

And it helped my mileage - five miles in the bag!

My other trick to keep the miles ticking over is to get myself booked on to an ultramarathon. This way, I can bank a few miles, have a great day on the trails and know that I can relax on the weekly target. 

And I think that is what is really important about #Run1000Miles- it’s about a year’s worth of work, not just one week. Part of this is recognising that you will have weeks when you’ll do very little - that’s okay! You should be enjoying running, not seeing it as a chore. So by doing things like running tours and ultras, you can get a great sense of variety and, before you know it, the miles are in the bag.

I ran the Kielder 50k the week after Flanders. I had planned to take it easy but felt good and pushed on (probably too much) and was surprised to finish as fourth female and that gave prizes down to fourth.

My furry running buddy Hadrian has also been helpful in motivating me to hit the trails. We’ve been carefully building him up now that he’s old enough to cope with short runs and he loves it. 

It has improved my flexibility and agility as I desperately try not to trip over him every time he smells something interesting!