Are you with us? Now you’ve made the decision to revive your lunch break, here’s a rundown of the basics to consider before you get going.
Nobody will applaud your new attitude to lunchtime fitness if you don’t have access to a shower back at the office. Make sure you’ve got somewhere to freshen up before you set off or you won’t be getting many high fives – regardless of your record time
Don’t forget your kit
You’re going running, not taking part in a fashion show. No matter how smart you start off, you’re guaranteed to look like you’ve done some exercise at the end so there’s no need to worry about sporting latest brands. And keep your kit in the car so you’re ready to go whenever you can find a spare half hour.
Don’t worry if the last time you ran was for the school bus. Resist the urge to bed down at your desk and give the #4miler a try. Once you’re involved, the pursuit to improve your health or climb the company leader board might just be enough to tempt you away from the treats trolley for good.
Great ways to warm up
We appreciate you’ve got work to do. But you can’t afford to take shortcuts with your training. So why not warm up before you go outside? From lunges at the whiteboard and waist bends by the water cooler to arm circles by the lockers and stretches up to the starting line, you’ll be ready to run without eating into too much more of your lunch time.
Don’t forget to stretch
Once you’ve clocked your four miles you must summon up the last of your strength to stretch. Fight the urge to slump back in your chair, or there’s a chance you won’t get up again! Stoop low for a water bottle, reach up high to point out your new position on the leader board and give yourself a big pat on the back to celebrate your efforts.
Encourage your colleagues
Just because you’ve got the 4 mile bug doesn’t mean the whole office will be quite so quick on the uptake. Spread the word by publishing your latest times on social networks, find a charity event you can all train for, throw an inter-departmental sports day or lend out your Forerunner and let them figure it out for themselves.
Got a Garmin?
If you start the challenge without a Forerunner but find yourself getting into your stride, why don’t you add GPS to your workouts? A Garmin sportswatch will give you real-time feedback on your run and help track your training progress. Plus you can use it to count down the minutes until you join the lunch queue.
Are your colleagues pretending to be engrossed in work so they don’t have to join the #4miler chat? Infiltrate their screen with a cheeky email invite to make sure they get the message.
“I don’t have any kit”
Set up a kit amnesty and invite the team to donate their old mismatched sweats. Keep it all in a lost property box and you’ll be amazed how soon they get themselves organised.
“I don’t have the time”
Monitor how they use their lunch hour and report back with helpful “efficiency savings”. They could ditch the internet shopping for a different kind of (trolley) dash, skip the coffee run and run off the pounds instead and swap phone calls to Wendy in accounts with the sound of victory ringing in their ears when they complete the course.
“I don’t want to get fit”
Point out that people have different reasons for running. Perhaps they use some thinking space? Maybe they’d like an insight into other parts of the business? Perhaps they want to make new friends in the office or embark on a new challenge?
“I’m not competitive”
Just because you’re joining an office challenge doesn’t mean want to win. There’s a real sense of triumph in realising a personal goal – whether you’re working towards a time, weight or fitness level or just finally making time for exercise.
“I’m not fit enough”
You might not be fit enough to top the leaderboard but use your first #4miler as a benchmark and watch your improvements on Garmin Connect. Remember the first person you’re competing against is yourself. Beating the boss’s efforts is a bonus
“I don’t want to”
Seeing others getting fit or talking about a common interest might be enough to tempt them out of their tizzy. Alternatively some strategic incentives might do the trick. Choccy bar for the best improvement? Leave early on a Friday for the biggest (weight) loser? Failing that, put them in charge of the leaderboard and finish line drinks and they’ll soon want to join in.
“I don’t like to socialise with colleagues”
Even the most standoffish member of the office can’t pull off this excuse. Let them run on their own and share their results if, when and how they want. The #4miler is as much about the individual as the team effort. If they’re running, they’re a part of it.