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The Road to the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc: Running in your lunch break

Gail Edmans
hyde park 300x225 The Road to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc: Running in your lunch break

Gail's lunchtime training ground Hyde Park (Getty Images)

Lunchtime running. Work takes up so much time that it can be difficult to fit in the training. One way round this that I’ve found is to run in my lunch break. If there’s time to go to the pub, there’s definitely time for a run.

The first rule of lunchtime run club is you do not talk about lunchtime run club – not unless you want to drive your sedentary, desk-bound colleagues mad. It’s bad enough that they have to sit next to you sensing the smugness without hearing about your virtuous endeavours.

Living and working in London, as I do, offers lots of opportunities. There are so many lovely open spaces to clock up some pre-sandwich miles, and I’m sure we’re more productive at work after a run.

My Lycra playground is Hyde Park. I share it with Kensington locals, tourists, dog walkers, in-line skaters and other runners. In bad weather the park empties, leaving just a few of us and the resident swans to enjoy The Serpentine. That’s when I enjoy it the most. You get to know routes and recognise faces, and a blast of one-till-two fresh air gives you enough endorphins to get through the afternoon at your desk.

The Independent and the Daily Mail are unlikely bedfellows, once described as the dolphin-lovers meets the Death Star but when my Mail friend Anita and I head out for our Thursday trot, not a bad word is ever exchanged. It’s a regular arrangement so it makes it harder to cancel or decide you can’t be bothered, and we push each other to keep up a reasonable pace for our 35-minute bonding.

You do need to be organised – kit ready and perhaps a packed lunch in your drawer when the 1 o’clock bell goes – but it’s totally doable. Of course you have to have access to a post-run shower if you don’t want to offend colleagues beyond having a pair of trainers kicking around your team space.

This weekend I’ve got my latest Ultra – the Cotswold Ultra Marathon, consisting of 57 miles over two days as I edge closer to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc start line in August. My lunchtime run today will be the last before heading down to Gloucestershire. I’d better make it count.

Follow me on Twitter @Norsemouse

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