Why You Should Train Through Challenging Times

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Over the past few years, I’ve acquired a small gang of runners in my home town.

We meet at weekends, sometimes during the week for some recreational yogging and a bit of a chat about anything but Brexit. However, one of the group dropped off recently telling us he wouldn’t be back for a while, probably not until next summer. When he told me why, I struggled a little with the reasoning.

You see his wife is about to give birth to their second child and his business is going from strength to strength meaning heavy workloads and high levels of stress. He said he ‘simply won’t have the time or energy to train’.

I was honest and told him I thought it was a bad idea. This was for two main reasons:

  • If you stop training completely, you’re going to have less energy and be less effective elsewhere in your life. By looking after your health first, you’re in a far better position to help those around you.
  • By totally stopping now, you’ll lose most of the gains you’ve made over the past year of training. You’ll be back to square one if you do nothing until next summer so in reality you won’t be back to where you are currently until months after that!


I completely understand that life can become full on at times. I’ve certainly spun a few plates simultaneously and of course missed the odd session when other things have got in the way. But in my opinion, busy and challenging times in our lives are when we need to train the most.

For energy, for some much required ‘time out’ from other stresses and as we talked about in this past article, for good mental health. If you’re going through such a period, please be sure to do your best to carve out some training time.

I agree that sometimes priorities change and the amount of time we dedicate to our hobbies must change too. Some activities are definitely more important than others.

However, think about how you could scale down, rather than stopping altogether. For example:

  • Short intervals are time efficient and effective.
  • If you can’t fit in half marathon training, work towards a 10km or even 5km race.
  • Strength sessions could be 20 minutes twice per week instead of the usual hour or so.


It may be tough initially to get out the door but in the end you’ll be delighted you did! As ever, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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