Jo Pavey, four time Olympic runner and mum of two, recently qualified for the Rio 2016 Games at the age of 42. In her new book, This Mum Runs, Jo shares her inspirational story of a runner and mum heading to a record-breaking fifth Olympic Games and some top tips on becoming a running mum.
'Come-back races? I've had more than a few, the night of 10 May 2014 was the ultimate long shot. I was a forty-year-old mother of two who had given birth eight months before. I trained on a treadmill in a cupboard by the back door and I was wearing a running vest older than most of the girls I was competing against. Was I crazy?'
Keeping on top of your game as a professional athlete is no mean feat and when you add a young family into the mix, fitting a rigorous training schedule around busy family life must be a challenge in itself.
As a full time athlete, juggling the demands of motherhood, Jo has always tried to make her training programmes inclusive for her family. She is often seen out training with her children in tow, picnicking at the side of the racetrack or coming along for the ride in the Thule Glide Jogging Stroller she uses on training runs.
‘We use a Thule Glide buggy, which is the best to run behind – we tried a lot. Bike seats enable a partner or friend to join you on runs with young ones attached too. It’s about making it a fun, inclusive family activity.’
Jay Williams, via The Telegraph
With two young children, one just two years old, Jo had to grab every opportunity she could to train for the Rio 2016 Games. When she was at home, she even ran on a treadmill in a small closet full of coats and shoes. A far cry from the high-tech gyms most top athletes are used to but it gave her the flexibility to run day and night, while her children were napping.
“Getting the treadmill really boosted my training. I could get on it and not worry about running through a forest or on a track where you need a window of opportunity with the baby."
(via The Express)
Thule Glide, rated best running stroller amongst top athletes
Sports and running strollers have become increasingly popular over recent years, giving parents with young children the opportunity to keep active. In 2016 the Thule Glide won iF Design and Red Dot awards for it's exceptional performance and aerodynamic design, making it the number one choice amongst professional athletes like Jo and parents who enjoy keeping fit.
Lightweight, strong and built to last, this high performance sports stroller is ideal for all terrains, whether road running or off roading. The ergonomic handle bar allows you to adjust it to a height that suits you and the excellent rear suspension and larger rear tyres also make it easier for you to push.
The Thule Glide is available to order from our website and includes FREE delivery and a FREE Rain or Mesh Cover - see more details
Jo Pavey’s Top tips on becoming a running mum: (extracts taken from This Mum Runs) via The Telegraph
You don’t need racing flats or spikes. I started my career on Green Flash. Just ensure you buy a decent trainer that is not too stiff so you can bend your foot naturally. Watch out for overpronation – feet that roll inwards – or supination – feet that roll outwards. If you have either, you’ll need specialist advice on shoes.
I have a tuna roll three to four hours before a big race to help sustain me. Power bars are useful too and timing is important – refuel with something small within 20 minutes after running then eat a good meal after 90 minutes to give your body the best chance of recovery.
Keep a set of running gear in the car (I do!). If you’re out during the day you can sneak in runs without having to drag the family home early. Be ready for all weathers with shorts, leggings, waterproofs and trainers you don’t mind on muddy tracks, beaches or roads.
Stretch all your muscle groups including quadriceps, triceps, calves and hamstrings before bed. It takes me two minutes and it helps my body condition to the running.
Couch to 5k is a good running plan that is free to download via the NHS. Otherwise, anything you can do in the house will help you exercise more often. Invest in a treadmill, cross trainer, exercise bike or even a good fitness DVD.
We use a Thule Glide buggy, which is the best to run behind – we tried a lot. Bike seats enable a partner or friend to join you on runs with young ones attached too. It’s about making it a fun, inclusive family activity.
Mass participation races have gone from strength to strength. Since I first started big road races they’ve grown more frequent, bigger and more family-orientated. Look up your local Parkrun which is open to everyone and a great experience.
When training as a family it is particularly important not to think about miles. If you aim to do 5km, 10km or half marathons you have to fit in what you can when you can. Be flexible and don’t get over-faced or demotivated.