No 29. Organise an after work running group to improve work-life balance at your school

running after work

One way of improving your work life balance at school is to start an after work staff sports club . A couple of years ago I started a beginners running group starting at 4.30 on a Wednesday evening. We are fortunate where the school is positioned to have some beautiful countryside so finding a routes was easy. I was surprised with the interest in the club. I aimed the club at total beginners as to be inclusive. We started off with running and walking and slowly built up the distance over the weeks. It’s now 2 years on and the after work running club is still going strong. We have built up from a distance of a mile with walks to a distance of 5 miles non stop with some pretty steep hills. After the run every one feels like they have had a tough workout and have forgotten about deadlines and school politics for a while.

The advantages of this type of staff activity as I see it is are as follows.

  • It’s free team bonding – better than any expensive course you can buy into.
  • It keeps your body and mind fit.
  • It helps to keep stress levels down and staff illness down.
  • It is regular and people will look forward to coming along. If it happens every week then people can dip in and out of it.
  • It is addictive – you will be surprised how many extra people come along once you start, especially if you pitch it at total beginners.
  • You get to talk to people that you don’t normally talk to from different curriculum areas. Our deputy head and assistant head have both come on runs.
  • It is an alternative from going to the pub straight after work. Exercise first and go to the pub afterwards if you must.
  • You may find that the club spills into the holidays. The running club is so successful at my school that runs are also planned during the holidays  – not from school but from different peoples houses and locations. Make friends as well.
  • Will look good in your performance review as a whole school activity  – work/life balance for staff is very important and if you can contribute to that then you are doing a good thing.

Depending on how keen you are you may want to enrol on an UK athletics leadership in running fitness course. These excellent courses teach you how to run a beginners running group.

run england

Also the website has got some excellent advice on running and walking for beginners.

This maybe a start of term activity but why don’t you send an e-mail around to all  staff with a time and a place and get running!

Please let us know how you get on.

The Classrooms and Staffrooms team

The images in this post are from here and here.

1 thought on “No 29. Organise an after work running group to improve work-life balance at your school

  1. ldeacon

    Totally! Last summer when I was recovering from knee surgery, I invited several staff members to join me once a week hiking up/down the Mt Tabor Stairs. I couldn’t believe how many people showed up (pretty regularly) all through summer. We totally kept in touch in a healthy way, and it continued on the weekends when the school year started again. Also, while some of us are regular runners, others are not so it allowed everyone to do things at their own pace.


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