Jo Pavey's top tips for balancing running with motherhood - Women's Running

Jo Pavey’s tips for juggling running and family life

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  September 22, 2015

jo pavey 1 hi res

This week we were lucky enough to catch up with supermum Jo Pavey at adidas HQ, where she was showing off the latest Ultra Boost trainers. The elite long-distance runner and mum-of-two won the European 10,000m Championships last year, when her youngest child, Emily, was just 11 months old. This year, Jo decided not to compete in this month’s World Championships in Beijing to not only focus her efforts on the Rio Olympic Games, but also to spend more time with her family. We asked Jo how she manages to juggle her intensive training and global competitions with family life and her best advice for juggling the two. Here’s her top tips:

Get the whole family involved

For Jo, involving the whole family in her training is an important aspect of striking the balance between her life as both mother and athlete.

Jo tells us that she often hits the forest for a training session with her little boy Jacob, who is five years-old, her daughter, Emily, 22 months, and her husband, Gavin, who is also her coach. “My little boys goes on the bike with me, and my husband goes on the bike with our little girl,” says Jo. “My little boy really enjoys going on the bike with me and he’s at a stage now where me and him can go for a run together, with him on the bike. I have to tell him to slow down!”

Jo explains that involving your family in your training sessions is a great way of transforming your running into quality family time. “It’s a good way of showing your kids that it’s fun to be fit and active,” she says.

Try out the treadmill

Jo advises that for mums with very small children, it’s well worth investing in a treadmill. For Jo, this has proven a great way of fitting in her run without the need of extra childcare. “You can even use a baby monitor when you’re on the treadmill,” explains Jo.

Find a routine

Supported by her husband, Gavin, Jo explains that childcare is very much a team effort at home. Jo recommends considering the routine of the whole family and working your training into this schedule. “You might have to get up before your partner goes to work to fit your run in,” says Jo.

Don’t stress!

Although routine is important, Jo highlights that it’s crucial to be flexible with your training plan. “Don’t stress if things change,” says Jo. “With children there is parties, play dates, and sometimes they’re ill – don’t panic if things change or make running a stress!”

Enjoy the best of both worlds

“Enjoy making your running part of family life,” advises Jo. In learning to balance her training around her family life over the years, Jo believes that her running has, in fact, benefited as a result: “Having that better balance in life has made me feel happier and more motivated with my running.”

Jo Pavey is an adidas athlete and is wearing the new Ultra Boost designed to provide energizing cushioning throughout your run. To join the conversation follow adidas running on Facebook.


Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

Meet the team

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it