Lockdown Running

I’ve read quite a few blogs in recent weeks about running through lockdown. After a couple of months I wanted to put down a few of my thoughts as well.

In many ways I can’t quite believe it has now been a couple of months. I have written before about my last marathon training run which was back on March 10th. Three days later and my races had been postponed and, with a persistent cough, I was locked down.

At the time I was surprised how “well” I took this news. I took some time to recover from my cough and only ran a handful of times in the rest of the month. Then I got placed on furlough. Looking back now I can see this definitely had an impact on my mental health as I really struggled to motivate to get going. I was also struggling with the government guidelines. If I went for a run, this then meant I couldn’t go for a walk, run or bike ride with my kids. I did dig out our old cross trainer but the choice between staying in bed or 40mins in my garage was too weighted towards the quilt.

Fortunately for me, this lack of mojo only really lasted about a month. Things started to change when I saw the updated Police advice that came out. It was open to interpretation but I felt I wasn’t going to get in to trouble if I was outside twice in a day, once as a personal exercise and once chaperoning my kids. What’s more, with my youngest learning to ride his bike, the option of running while they cycled was open. This came in the same week that we did the #TwoPointSixChallenge with the kids that made be remember some of the reasons I love running.To add to the good news, I then got recalled from furlough a month early. Feeling needed will always help mental health!

Since then, my running mojo has definitely returned and I’m well on course for a 200km month in May. Given I’d never achieved this before Marathon training, that’s something. My normal runs have been able to mix up with the aforementioned runs with the kids in their bikes, although they are rapidly getting too quick for me!

There are a couple of things that have helped to keep my mojo up as well. I have loved how my weekly parkrun have kept everyone involved with a weekly virtual parkrun. Even on my down weeks I have got out and knocked out my 5km and submitted the time. I have definitely benefited from the old adage of train slow to go fast. In recent weeks I have knocked 45s off my PB and gone sub-21 for the first time this weekend. I have also been able to use this time to head out with my eldest as a very capable pace rider on his bike.

The other thing that I have found during lockdown has been the site City Strides. This really appeals to my inner geek! Similar to the heat map option in parts of Strava, this site shows every run that you have done. It then links in to maps to calculate how many roads you have run completely with league tables for each city/region. I’m never going to complete my local region as it is spread so widely but it is nice to have an additional challenge. I have already found myself mixing up routes, throwing in warm downs etc. just to tick another local road off! The only downside is that the site is limited with how many Strava activities in can process each day. A cursory glance at the status page shows around half a million activities to be processed with a daily limit of 30k. Even with no new activities, it would still take three weeks to clear the backlog so it will be a while until all my runs have synced. It has been nice though being reminded of old runs as my completed streets knock off those in places like Hamburg for example!

Now I find myself waiting. To start a full training plan for the revised London Marathon will see me start again in mid June but I’m pretty certain it wont go ahead in 2020. I don’t mind starting the training again now I have some mojo back and my fitness is returning however, if they could not hit me 12wks in it would be appreciated.

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