Couch to 5K
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Job should not jeopardise my healthy choices

Hi Everybody

I need your help as I cannot make my mind up.

After graduating fro Cto5K i started training for the next year marathon. In the main time I found a job, a 3 months contract renewable job and that was the end of it. Since I got the job I had not been able to do my 3 times weekly 30 minutes running training. I have been working 10 hours a day and some hours during the week end. At 5:00 am when the alarm goes off for my daily running I am still exausted and cannot wake up. At 7:00 pm when i come back from work I am too tired to go for a run as I still have to prepare the dinner and lunch box for the following day.

Although I like the job, I must recognise that I do not have a life anymore and I had to give away the only important thing for me at the moment... my run and my marathon training.

What shall I do ? Any suggestion is welcomed !


6 Replies

How many hours a week are you actually working ? It sounds as if you are exceeding the 48hour working week. Although you CAN choose to opt out of the 48 hour week restriction, it should be your choice - your employer can't insist that you work so many hours. There's more information here, in case it helps:

Would you be able to fit in a short run in your lunch hour ? It wouldn't work for me but it might be worth considering. I've read that a lot of people do - I can only say they must have good wash facilities at work !

It sounds quite a dilemma - I hope you find a solution.


I completely get where you are coming from and sometimes strangely it takes something seemingly unrelated like taking up running to realise where you have got to. I have periodically been in exactly the same place, which has in many ways been part of my periodic "issues" with life in general.

I have also in the past left jobs because of it however..........

Before you do anything dramatic, to what extent is the long working self-inflicted? After a period of doing the same sort of hours with my current employer I finally got to the point where I said enough is enough I am not doing it any more to which they said........"OK, good. So long as you understand we have never suggested or required you do it" and hand on heart they really hadn't - no underlying threats or tone or anything just truth - I was really doing it all myself because I thought I should and that the world would think better of me because of it. Now I did plenty of work, my billing was high and it was appreciated and my bonuses were commensurately better but it was a completely self-inflicted wound. I racked it back and you know what, no one really noticed, except that I was less stressy around the office and smiled sometimes!

Depends how you are with your employer, mine is particularly cool (when I let it be so), and I don't know if contracting changes the dynamic but is it possible you could just not do the hours and keep the job you like? Or somedays just say I was here late yesterday and today I am off for a run? They might say "OK ......I think your mad but more power to your trainers.....see you in the morning"


I quite often get back from work around 7pm but really force myself to go out at least once or twice a week when I get in. I always feel invigorated afterwards and raring to go. I also have the dinner & lunchboxes to deal with as well so know how your feel about that. Do you have a partner who could maybe get the dinner started or do the lunchboxes a couple of times a week? Alternatively if you've got a slow cooker you could perhaps prepare something the night before. I've cooked a whole chicken and veg in mine before and then just crisped it off in the oven - and I have to say it was delicious.


Work to live, don't live to work, that's my Dad always told me, however life is shite, jobs are few and far between & I now find myself working on average 60 to 70 hrs a week & spending my evenings & weekends playing taxi driver for my 2 kids.

I'm on week 3 and it is hard to fit it all in, but I do cos it makes me feel great. in the current climate I'd advise you to think long & hard before jacking a job. There is usually a way round work & home conflicts, find that solution & enjoy both.


It's not just a question of heathy choices is it - do you feel like running is enjoyable 'you' time? So you would rather do it than watch TV for example? If so you will find a way to do it. I find exercising puts me in a better mood and makes me a nicer human being for colleagues and staff to be around (plus I love running). It's worth making the effort to fit it in. Sometimes when we work long days we're not being as productive in those hours as we could be. Humans aren't designed to work solidly for that many hours! So as Greg_M says have a look at whether you really need to be in work for that long and put yourself and your needs first. Good luck, I hope you find the answer.


Graduating from C25K and the next step being a marathon, getting a job and doing 10 hour days every day plus some weekend working.... there may be a theme here....

But please don't think I am being unsympathetic because I am struggling to get my runs in at the moment and I don't do paid work (admittedly due to ill health and I am finding the current weather difficult) and although my children are off school, they are old enough to be left.

It is quite normal to be knocked for six by a new job but I think you've been going this for more than a few weeks now? Giving up the job is unlikely to to be the answer. My husband changed job from one with a long and more to the point gruelling commute and thought he would be able to get much more done around the house and have more room in his life for exercise. Apart from a short lunchtime walk every day, there has been no improvement whatsoever.

At one time he was doing a longer commute but one which was a) potentially less hassly and b) involved a decent amount of walking anyway (not enough on its own though). He gave up on the idea of eating normal meals at home during the week and had a canteen lunch (decent canteen) and sandwiches on the way home - so he arrived home tired but crucially not hungry. Perhaps you could tweak that kind of concept (certainly it is timing eating and running that can make things difficult for me)

What are you doing with your evening when you get in apart from making an evening meal and your packed lunch? Unless the job you are doing is manual labour, if you are not falling into bed immediately and going to sleep, you would probably do just as well (almost certainly better) from going for a run rather than watching TV etc. And going to bed early enough.... I am amazed by the number of people who complain about being tired and struggling to get up in the morning but who simply will not countenance going to bed earlier - the notion that an early bedtime is some kind of admission of defeat runs deep.


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