With the impact of lockdown causing changes to our routines, this can have a negative impact on our health both mentally and physically. These routines have been established over many years and to suddenly face the lack of social, face-to-face connection, changes in work or furlough, added stresses and uncertainties we all face due to COVID-19, plus lots of other disruptions, it can create a negative mindset.
We want to try and help you to find positives and apply a positive mindset during these difficult times. Although these ideas aren’t a complete solution and may not be for you at all, they might help. I’ve decided to call this ‘Running Mindfulness’ as running is my passion and I know too well the positive mental benefits that running can bring. Here are a few things that might help.
1. Contact a friend and tell them that you are going for your run. Agree a time and a distance that you will run. Agree to contact each other afterwards and guess your partners time for the distance. I do this with my friend, who runs 5k three times a week and am only 10-20 secs out each time. He does the same with me and we see who is closer. We’re keeping score and it’s 6-2 to me.
2. Accept that although there are no Parkruns or races, you can still earn medals, prizes and get support through our virtual running challenges. Check out FITWINS challenges on our site.
3. Do not try to run a PB on every run or set a record-breaking time on every run you do. We recommend only running hard 2 or 3 times a week. Remember to take easy days.
4. With disruption to your routine, set aside a time that you will run and get out. I used to run at 7am before work and some laziness has crept in. An early run sets me up for the day but a lie-in is also helpful. I now set aside 12-1pm for my run and my family are supportive of that being the time for me to go out and run.
5. Running is one of the few areas where we might have control in terms of having YOU time. Do not feel guilty about having YOU time. It’s basic self-care. A single run, on your own can work wonders to clear your head and solve problems. Some of my most creative ideas happen when I run.
6. Music can help brighten up your mood. I wear AfterShokz when I run and listen to my favourite tunes, all downloaded and stored in the headphones.
7. Join a virtual running club. We have an inclusive club here on STRAVA (click on this link)
8. Accept that things will go back to normal soon
9. Give kudos to someone who has run in a virtual club, such as our STRAVA club. Reach out and give them a 'thumbs up'. Share the positivity of other people completing an activity.
10. Try to laugh. Have you noticed.....Some people only write Lockdown because they can't spell Kwaranteen.
Time for a run
© Carl Ryde and FITWINS Ltd.
Carl is an international marathon runner and qualified running coach. He holds a BSc(Hons) in sports and exercise science, a Diploma in Sports Psychology and is an Advanced Level 3 REPS qualified exercise instructor. Carl is also a BACR Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation therapist and has been leading fitness and running sessions for over 20 years.