She’s got 4 children and despite only starting running just over 2 years ago, already she is breaking 3.30 in the marathon distance. This is the story of Supermom Colette. She is currently 34-years-old and started running back in March 2017 after having her 4th baby.
With so many runners I know always struggling for time pressures to fit in training, I wondered just how a mother of 4 does it.
Finding time to train.
When she first started running in 2017, only 2 of her children were in school, with one in nursery school and the youngest at home. This meant running at 4-5 AM in the pitch black to get her runs in before her husband left for work. She says, ‘I don’t have a lot of weekend time so I tend to do a shorter run early Saturday morning before football matches and then Sunday is always rest day unless I have a race.’ She goes on to say, ‘For anyone who is struggling with time restraints anything is possible. I think you need to look at your weekly schedule and find out what works for you. If you’re a morning person, get up early and get it done before work school etc. I know it’s hard in the winter but it’s actually pretty awesome being up before anyone and getting that run done. It sets you up for a great day. If you have little ones, they can go with you on a scooter or bike or can you push them in a buggy whilst running.’
Her 9-year-old signed up for Red January to help her raise money and he ran a mile a day for the whole of January. She says it was a great bonding experience for the both of them. According to Colette, ‘It’s tough running with kids but any time on your legs is better than nothing.’
During school holidays, she often finds herself putting her children on scooters and having a family day in the park where she’s able to run laps around the park whilst keeping an eye on her kids. She says, ‘I do most of my runs before school now while the kids play on the climbing frame, often cheering me on as I lap the playground or running track. They really enjoy joining me for the cool down mile and stretch routine after.’
She did Red January this year and pledged to run a minimum of 10kms a day to raise money for Phab Kids, raising an impressive £2,200. She says, ‘It was tricky as having my littlest at home still and lots of activities at the weekend, I resorted to running laps of the football pitch whilst the boys were playing a game so I could get my 10k done. I managed to find the breath to cheer at the same time and not miss any important goals.’
Marathon achievements to date.
She completed her first marathon in October 2017 (just 7 months after having her last child) and finished in a time of 4.04. She was happy with that time but she knew she could go faster. So she started doing some more research, trained a bit harder and just 4 weeks later she did break the 4 hour barrier, running the Kingston Meander marathon in a time of 3:51.
In 2018, the running bug had bitten Colette and she ran 3 marathons that year, completing all of these in and around 3h 50.
2019 was the year she decided to take marathon running more seriously. She made changes such as improving her nutrition and pushing herself harder than she had before. She says, ‘I didn’t follow a plan as such and was averaging 80 plus miles a week.’ It’s amazing to think how she could fit in the time to find the training to do this much mileage, but where there’s a will there’s a way.
She then managed to run London Marathon in 3:30:09 (I feel her pain after my 2:30:01). In both our cases this seemed to be the best thing in motivating us to break these barriers. Colette says, ‘I somehow messed the last bit up but I was really happy’.
Later this year she completed Frankfurt in a time of 3:29, making things right and cracking that sub 3.30 barrier she just missed at London Marathon. Even though she did a PB, the build-up wasn’t ideal with Colette picking up a hip flexor injury during her training for Frankfurt. This makes me wonder just how fast this super mum can go.
What does next year have in store for Colette?
ShShe’s really excited going into 2020 and has committed to 4 marathons so far – Manchester Marathon in early April, London Marathon later on in April, Berlin Marathon later on in September and Chicago Marathon in October. She’s planning on treating Manchester Marathon as her long run in preparation for her sub-3h 15 target at London Marathon. If all goes to plan, she would then further like to improve her time at Chicago Marathon.
I’m sure a lot of us, as runners, can learn a lot from this supermom in finding the time to train. Good luck for 2020, Colette. I cannot wait to see just how well this supermom does!