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4 Ways I improve my running when I am very busy

I am really busy. I’m not going to compete with you over who is more busy, and it’s not the point. Maybe you are more busy than me – but I am still really busy.

When I am training for the marathon, quite often I just do NOT have time to do all the exercises I should to keep me strong and injury proof. I definitely don’t have time to dedicate half hour sessions to rehab, prehab stuff like I used to. I can be spending that time doing something much more important, reading with my kids, or sleeping.

So, instead, over the last few years, I have incorporated exercises into my day. I have boiled them down to four. Four little exercises that help directly with running, take hardly any time at all, and I can do simultaneously with daily tasks.


I used to be able to wake up in the morning, roll out of bed, put on my trainers, and go straight out the door for a run. I can’t do that anymore. I need coffee in the morning, I have very tight ankles, calves and achilles. So every morning I wake up, and walk around abit barefoot. I make myself a coffee and, whilst drinking, do little knee bends forward, and then forward and to the sides. Also I roll my feet to the sides, in and out. This is a really gentle stretch in the mornings and strengthens my feet (I try and walk around barefoot as much as I can in general).


Blind Balance is a pilates exercise. Whilst barefoot, I stand nice and straight, take one foot off the ground slightly and balance on one leg – easy. Then I close my eyes – a lot harder. My proprioceptors are having to work like crazy to tell me where I am in space. My ankle and foot twitch non-stop to compensate for lack of vision. This is a fantastic exercise to strengthen feet and lower limbs, improve balance and proprioception. All of which really helps running.

I do a minute on each leg while brushing my teeth in the morning (I can’t be bothered in the evenings). Thinking about an iron rod running from the top of head to the bottom of of heel.


Instead of hopping around like a fool in the dark, trying to put on my socks every morning; I throw a bucket of Dandayama Janushiransa (the correct yoga name) over it. I lock out standing knee, carefully lean torso forward while lifting opposite knee into chest, then put sock on deliberately and elegantly.

This pose is not a joke. It really strengthens my whole leg, whilst improving balance, hip flexor mobility, and core strength.


Really simple one. Rather than putting my shoes on while sitting down, I stand up and do it. It results in a nice, gentle hamstring stretch. I find tying shoelaces boring and often question why I still have to bother with it here in 2018. I enjoy it a lot more (perversely) when I allow myself time to do laces slowly and get a longer stretch.

30 seconds on each leg twice a day, is 14 minutes of pure hamstring stretching a week, which I would definitely not otherwise do.

So there it is, 4 really simple and time saving excersises that help keep me running 100 miles every week.

Best non-running related highlight of the week

My dad, sister and nephew came to stay for the week. It was really nice having them around the dinner table and talking about Russian poisonings etc

Best thing on the internet this week:

New web browser, Brave, faster than Chrome with automatic pop up blocker. It is really good.

Thing I’m digging this week:

The fight between Hulk and Thor in Latest Marvel Film Thor Ragnorok


12/3/2018 AM PM
Monday REST 6tm
 really tired after race yest, but feel surprisingly ok on run
Tuesday 5tm 7x800m (2min rest) in 2.24, last rep in 2.15. 2x200m (30sec rest) 31, 30. 8 miles total
nap 30min after work, feel like death after. Session goes brill, great training group
Wednesday 6tm 8tm
Thursday 5tm 5
nap 30min after work. Enjoy running outside
Friday 9tm  6tm
beautiful sunny day, hungry all day. Pub lunch with dad
Saturday 7am – 6tm

11am – 10 @ 6min miling

REST. Take kids swimming
 really tired, but steady 10 goes well
Sunday 15tm quite fast  11tm
 Race cancelled. Tired, nap 1hr. Struggle with run later, finish 9.30pm
TOTAL: 100 miles  tm = treadmill
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Russell Bentley
Russell Bentley
Track runner. Trained in Kenya, Won the Snowdonia Marathon 2018, PB Berlin Marathon 2:20:20

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