This is the first post in a series of interviews I’m hosting, with the focus being on business owners who run and why they do.

Meet Lesley Waldron, co-owner of Fit 4 Tots in Bristol http://www.fit4tots.com/ @Fit4Tots

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When did you start running and why?

In my mid- twenties I was in a job which involved a lot of travel. Being away often meant I was unable to make use of my gym membership. So I started to run wherever my job took me. From then, I entered running events and found that my performance began to improve. In myself I feel I ‘got better’, the more I ran.

Run solo or with a club/group? Prefer to listen to music on your run or listen to the sounds of nature?

Music-free. I like to run with my thoughts. My running covers a variety of forms. As a solo runner I enjoy taking part in Park Runs to keep improving my performance. With a running partner, who I find stretches me and off whom I can bounce ideas, I am pushed to run harder and faster. As well I lead a running group for Mums in my local area on a Monday evening.

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What are the top 3 reasons why you love to run?

Fitness. Fresh air thinking. Clarity I can achieve.

What effect does running have on your performance as a business owner?

As my business offers a mixture of activities, from fitness for children, as a personal trainer, group classes for adults and my running club, running provides an opportunity to relieve stress, to gain clarity, and to work through new ideas. Being outside in the fresh air allows me to ‘run’ through my challenges in my mind and often helps me realise the right decisions. As well running is very meditative and I find I can get right to the nub of any issues I am facing.

Why would you recommend the activity of running to other business owners?

When I’m working from home, I simply put my trainers on, get out the door and go for a run. It’s a great way to lose the four walls and to clear your mind. Running gives me a different and fresh perspective.

Improve Performance in Business

If you are someone who needs motivation to keep running, there are plenty of apps to help you such as Nike+ Running or Runtastic. Alternatively to keep an eye on your distances to improve your performance use Runkeeper or Map My Run.

Running suits my budget and my time. It’s an affordable option and the outdoors is free.

A sense of community is built with my links to both my running club and running group. For me these provide a chance to gain perspective and to make connections. Running is a great way to network with likeminded people.