Here at Betsy Benn we’re a team of (mainly) working mums and we know how hard that is in itself, but we also know it’s so important to look after yourself at the same time (I know, you’re thinking “that’s impossible”). So, for a little bit of inspiration this spring, we had a chat with marathon runner Mel (also known as Mummy) to gain some insight into how to juggle family life, work and running.\n_______________________________________________________________________________________\nMarathon training is hard, I mean seriously hard, but training for a marathon as a working-mum, is Chuck Norris hard.\nHere are my tips for surviving marathon training with a job and a child...\nGet your family on board\nTraining for a marathon as a mum requires a whole team effort. It will take you out of the house for many hours a week and it’s much easier if you have the support of your family.\nPlan, plan and plan some more\nOrganisation is key! You are going to need to channel your inner Monica. Go through your calendar, buy those birthday gifts, make those appointments, fill that freezer. Make your life as easy as possible for the next 16 weeks.\nMake friends with your alarm clock\nTo ease my guilt and minimise family disruption, my alarm sounds at 5.30am several times a week. This means I am home before the family rises. It’s hellish at first but it gets easier.\nA family that trains together...\n\n \nThis top tip was given to me by none other than Super Mum Jo Pavey. Bring kids and partners along on bikes or scooters and do some of your shorter recovery runs together.\n \nBe a lady that runches\nSqueeze a run into your lunch break. If your work place doesn’t have shower facilities, then even a brisk walk is better than a missed session.\nTaking the term “School Run” literally\nTo get my miles in, I run down to school every day to pick my son up. Some days it’s the only way I can get any miles in, so I turn the short run into an interval session, sprinting\/jogging to each lamppost.\nCut yourself some slack.\nMaybe you haven’t dusted in a week (ok, 2 weeks); maybe you’re digging the school uniform out the ironing basket each morning; maybe you’ve missed three sessions this week, as your child has norovirus and you haven’t slept for 2 days; but, does it really matter? You are still doing an incredible job. Just making it to the start line of a marathon as a working mum, is a mammoth task.\nCelebrate your success\nRunning your very first race is a momentous occasion. You finish, and you’re presented with your medal, you are riding high on a wave of euphoria. You did it, you trained for it and you have the bling to prove it. Filled with pride, you take a medal selfie and post it to your Instagram.\nKeep going back and look at that medal again, YOU earned that, you got up when the rest of the world was sleeping, you missed after work drinks, bedtime stories, you said no to that extra glass of wine. You did it, it’s a huge achievement and you should feel very proud.\nPlease keep posting your progress and proud medal selfies. It’s people like YOU that inspire ME the most. The hardest steps you ever take in running, are the first few and I remember just how hard they were. I love to see new runners fall in love with my sport and remind me of the reasons I fell in love with it.\nFinally, be kind to yourself and most importantly, never forget who is watching.\n__________________________________________________________________________________\nWe hope you’re feeling a little more inspired to get your trainers on and hit the pavement (or the treadmill) now. Mel made some fantastic suggestions and we’re going to try them all out (especially leaving the dusting a week longer…). However, we think it’s especially important to take that time for yourself and reflect on your achievements. We get wrapped up in congratulating our children on their first recorder solo (hot cross buns, anyone?), their new painting and good school reports. These are all fantastic things that we should be proud of but, we should also take a step back and be proud of our own successes. Sometimes just putting your t-shirt on the right way around in the morning is hard enough.\nOur brand new London Marathon 2018 map prints are a fantastic way to commemorate your amazing achievement as they follow the route around London. It can be fully personalised to include your name, time and the date. Show it off to your friends and family, whether that’s in your living room or bathroom, be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and it might just encourage others to do the same. Completing a marathon, whether that’s a one-off lifetime achievement or whether you complete more than 1, deserves recognition. For even the most seasoned runners, they’re not an easy task. Perhaps you’re just focusing on getting yourself dressed today (and that’s absolutely fine). Maybe running is not your niche but if you know someone else attempting a marathon, our print makes a gorgeous gift for that special runner.