If your ‘new start’ resolution is to get out running then take a leaf (literally) out of Julie Creffield’s book ’99 Ways to Run with a Baby’ (her latest title) aimed at busy mums trying to locate that pre-pregnancy body (it is under there somewhere, right?)
We caught up with mum, writer, campaigner and plus-sized runner Julie to find out what motivates her to pound the kerb and her advice for us all…
SM: If you could say one thing to a new mum on the sofa to hopefully inspire her to get her trainers on, what would it be?
Julie Creffield: When I became a mum I felt like I had lost my identity a bit, but actually my new role made it perfect timing to reinvent myself and forge the new lifestyle I wanted, so I started as I meant to go on and put my foot down around getting time for myself to exercise and do races (including the occasional weekend away) It’s really important that loved ones know that your health and wellbeing is just as important as baby’s. I think it must be a lot harder once the kids are a little bit older to introduce a whole new way of living.
SM: When in your day do you make time to run?
Julie Creffield: Whenever I can. I have a few key times, normally when I can run with others but seriously I run whenever I can squeeze it in. I sometimes run between meetings if that’s the only way it’s gonna happen. I have even run to go and pick up a coat from a shop 7 miles away. I did get the bus back though…
SM: Does your daughter have a favourite run route?
Julie Creffield: She loves to run, but at two and a half she only manages short distance before getting bored or tired. We have a pathway that leads to a nature reserve where I live and it’s like the only bit of nature for miles, we often just hang around on that path her with her scooter me doing interval training. I used to run with her in a pushchair but I then didn’t feel like I was getting a break, so I stopped it when she was about 8 months.
SM: We recently featured jogging strollers, do you have any wisdom regarding which buggy to jog with?
Julie Creffield: I think you need to really think about if you are going to get the use out of one. Ultimately you can run with any pushchair…we do when we have a bus to catch right? But if you want to run more seriously then perhaps test drive a few and don’t be afraid to buy second hand or even pool one with friends.
SM: What was it like doing This Morning? (Are you a morning person?)
Julie Creffield: I loved the thrill of doing the show, I had 3 ladies and just 5 weeks to help them become runners so it was highly pressured but in some ways that was good because I didn’t have time to stop and think. The hardest thing was juggling childcare because if filming over ran she still needed to be collected from nursery on time. I am a morning person if I have something exciting to get up for, otherwise I have been known to snooze quite a bit especially if Rose has jumped in for a cuddle.
SM: You obviously love East London, do you have any insider tips for child friendly post-run-refuelling?
Julie Creffield: There are so many hidden gems. All around the Olympic Park there are cute quite trendy places to go, and most seem child friendly. I love taking Rose for a picnic after a run or a race, I can lay around recovering and just watching her play and I don’t feel at all guilty for finishing off all the humous.
SM: What’s next for you, career wise?
Julie Creffield: I have massive plans for taking the Too Fat to Run? Brand global. Next year I will be training up an army of UK TFTR coaches and the following year hopefully this will grow into Europe and further afield. There is so much demand for good quality inclusive running clubs, and led by women that look like the majority of us. Nobody needs the hassle of having to wear coordinated kit and a full face of make up to work out and we are sick of being left at the back all the time, my Too Fat to Run? Groups will have a focus on friendship and fun…and there may even be cake at the finish line.
Julie’s books are available on Amazon.