Home Run: Jenni Falconer on why running should be on everyone’s schedule

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Jenni Falconer

As the days get longer and the evenings get warmer, getting fitter seems to be a higher priority for most. However, managing to fit it in between work, family and a social life can be a minefield.

So, we tracked down Smooth Radio host and fitness fanatic, Jenni Falconer, to discuss all things health and fitness.

Catching Jenni after a skiing holiday, we spoke about juggling it all, her new running podcast and teaming up with Sir Mo Farah.

Take us through a typical day?

Well it usually starts when my alarm goes off at 4.15am. Then I get up, shower and head to work.

I’m on air at Smooth Radio from 6-10am every day so have a busy morning. Once I’m finished, unless I have another job straight after, I tend to run my commute home. It’s a great way to re-energise after an early start.

I feel like running the commute is a great option that works for me. It’s not any different to getting the train in terms of time, but I always feel so much better for doing it. It’s about seven miles and takes around an hour.

Then, once home, I shower and get ready for whatever is in store that afternoon. Often it is recording episodes of my podcast RunPod, which I do from home. After the school pick up at 3.30pm, I head to the golf course to play a round.

How do you juggle it all?

I like being busy as I get bored when it’s quiet! So I just plan my day, schedule everything, and make sure that I don’t double book anything. I love my job and some days are very busy but then there are other days when I get to go to run, play golf or go to a cross fit class!

April is National Stress Awareness month. What do you do to reduce stress?

I exercise. It is the key to relieving stress for me. Even though it can be physically exhausting, it makes me feel energised and puts me in a great positive mood.

news londonIs running your favourite way to keep fit?

I love exercise and keeping fit – I always have. I do run a lot, but I also love CrossFit and gym training, and really love golf, which I took up just more than three years ago. I have just been on a skiing trip too – first ski trip for 20 years – and I had forgotten how fun it is!

You have a running podcast. Can you tell us a bit about that?

I’m so proud of this podcast and the community that has grown around it. RunPod is a podcast all about feeling good; it’s the run club of the podcast world.

I was out running one day and listening to podcasts, but they didn’t motivate me nor encourage me to keep running, so that’s when I thought I might be onto something. – a podcast about running to make you feel good, with guests talking about the benefits. And so, RunPod was born.

It is now three years old and recent guests have included Sir Mo Farah, Joe Wicks and Ruth Langsford. There’s also now the actual RunPod run club Facebook group which is a brilliant community of supportive, friendly runners and it’s a joy to see everyone share tips and give words of encouragement to each other.

I have the first ever live episode of RunPod coming up at the National Running Show in May, with Paula Radcliffe as my guest. It’s very exciting!

What is your favourite route to run in London?

I love running along the river. It’s the closest us Londoners get to running along a promenade. On a sunny day it’s gorgeous and, even if it’s torrential rain, it’s impressive. I run through Central London regularly and love taking in the sights, whether it’s Big Ben, Buckingham Palace or St Paul’s, I never tire of seeing such incredible landmarks. I feel very lucky that they’re on my regular running route!

How long have you lived in London?

I’ve lived in London since 2001, when I started working for GMTV. I bought my first flat in Wimbledon.

When you have time to yourself, what do you do in London?

I love walking everywhere. Richmond park and Wimbledon common are favourite spots, especially with my dog who loves it there.

I love being able to go to the theatre. There are so many great shows back on now. I also love the cinema and we have plenty of them on offer, too. Of course, visiting nice bars and restaurants is lovely to do too. We went to the Ritz for my parents’ Golden Anniversary last year and it was an incredible evening.

Do you have any favourite things to do in the City of London?london magazine

Running, shopping, walking. Taking photos. I love the whole area around St Paul’s – it’s stunning. Every time I’m there I take photos, I can’t help myself. There’s a great half marathon which takes in the City, the London Landmarks Half and you learn so much on the route. I love spotting things like the Golden Grasshopper on the Royal Exchange. Always look up, there’s so much to see!

Where do you go to eat?

I love sushi, so Ivy Asia is great, Zuma, Sticks’n’Sushi. I also love 180 House at the top of 180 The Strand for drinks and nibbles – it has incredible views and, now the weather is improving, I’m becoming a regular!

What advice can you offer those looking to get back into health and fitness?

Well, the hardest thing is getting out the door. So, plan when you’re going to do it, lay your kit out the night before, wake up, put it on, get out the door. If you don’t want to do it, say you can stop after 10 minutes but you have to do that first 10 minutes. By which time you’ll feel amazing and won’t want to stop. You’ll never regret doing exercise, but you might regret not doing it.

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