Pick up the pace whilst sticking to the rules
With the lockdown easing in England this week, expect the running community to be out in force even more so than usual given unlimited exercise is now permitted.
Moving from one piece of daily outdoor exercise to enjoying as much of it as you wish is a huge sea change from what we have become accustomed to and is, of course, a welcome return to what life was like pre-Covid-19. Indeed, remember that?
Still, whether you’re on your progressive journey from Couch to 5km or about to hit the accelerator peddle so far as your autumn marathon plans are concerned, there are still plenty of things to think about as a runner.
Stay alert, follow the Government’s guidance and take on board the following tips:
Maintain social distancing
It is the term we’ve all become massively familiar with over the past couple of months and there is no doubt the two-metre rule will have a huge impact on the way we lead our lives for some time yet.
Keep that distance from fellow runners at all times and whilst it is nice to enjoy (Strava) flybys with other people, it’s a good idea to continue to mix-up your routes and avoid busy parks and commons.
Congested paths and having to weave in and out of walkers and dog walkers can be far from ideal, so it might be a nice time to discover some new places to run or travel a short distance to a different location.
Say hello to your running friends and family
Given the new guidance also states that you’re able to meet, from Wednesday 13th, one other person who you do not live within an outdoor setting – so long as social distancing is observed – it’s a prime opportunity to say hi to your running mates.
Plan your routes tactically and try and cross paths during your runs but without breaking the rules.
The temptation now that restrictions have been lifted might be to quickly double-up and go out for a couple of runs each day.
With a disciplined training programme in motion, this is obviously do-able but it’s also advisable to not over-train and re-build your workload gradually.
The last thing you want is to be injured and not able to run, especially if the weather is lovely outside.
Think about the big picture
With uncertainty surrounding events across all sectors for the foreseeable future, it is more difficult to plan and train with conviction.
The effect of Covid-19 has meant we are all having to adapt, juggle and approach aspects of our lives in a totally different way. The stresses and strains of the pandemic may have an impact on how you’re feeling so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel in your best physical or running condition at the moment.
Instead, set short-term goals, focus on the now and don’t try and look too far ahead. It’s also really important to consider your mental health and don’t place unnecessary pressure on your shoulders, even if you are pushing yourself in speed sessions or during the course of a long run.
And, a final thought, here – don’t run if you don’t feel like running and walk instead. The most important thing is to keep active and moving and avoid the cabin fever pressure of being stuck indoors for too long.
Stick with the home workouts
Working out from home is not ideal, especially if you don’t have great amounts of space, but creating an exercise routine as a runner at home has been really pivotal for many during the lockdown.
From stretching to strength and conditioning, remember the strides you’ve made to maintain your fitness during this tough period of time and try and sustain that variety moving forward.
Contributed by our specialist writer: Stuart Appleby
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