Posted 11th July 2017 by Ajay Khandelwal.

Lambeth and Southwark Minds' CEO and qualified psychotherapist, Ajay Khandelwal, explains how he manages to balance his work life and look after himself. 


The founders of psychotherapy liked to puff on a big cigar to wind down. I know famous psychoanalysts such as Winnicott used to stock his consulting rooms with ashtrays (one for his patients and one for himself), but if you open my office cabinets you’re more likely to find a stash of brightly coloured running shoes and vests.

Too much time in a consulting room makes me restless, and I need something completely different from therapy to really switch off.

Running is the perfect antidote to hours of talking and sitting. It scratches an itch that no psychotherapy publication can quite reach. During the dark wet winter months I usually complete lots of solitary long steady runs, and during the summer I focus on more social faster runs, including track sessions and doing Saturday morning park runs.

I’ve now completed seven marathons, and I somehow have managed to get quicker despite getting older and crankier. I think it’s something to do with training more consistently, and pacing my races better. I’m also extremely competitive with club mates at Dulwich Runners!

My ideal race has a negative split, where I run the second half faster than the first, overtaking a sea of slowing runners in the last sprint.

In October I will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon joined by fifty runners who are all raising funds to support Lambeth and Southwark Mind’s free psychotherapy service. For me, that will be a new runner’s high. I have a couple of places left, so if you fancy joining me, get in touch.

If you are running the Royal Parks Half or taking part in a different event to race funds for us, we would be delighted to help. Just complete the blog form with your story and a link to your fundraising page.

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