We’re currently living through an uncertain and unprecedented time. Many of us are WFH or making the choice to stay in as much as possible as social distancing measures come into play to limit the impact and spread of COVID-19. If you’re find your motivation is dipping during this period, your races have been postponed, your club sessions are cancelled and you’re not sure what the new norm means for your training then read ahead for my tips for staying motivated.
If you’re working from home find a routine that optimises your motivation and don’t be afraid to add time to work out, you can read my top tips for working at home here. At present in the UK we can still workout outside and that means we can still RUN! Try scheduling a pre work run to get you focussed for the day ahead, a lunch time run to break the day up or a post work run to switch you from work to home mode (even though they’re merging into the same thing right now). Green/Blue are scientifically proven to benefit mental health and even some aspects of physical health, and many heath-care professionals use time outdoors as a social prescribing method. So get outside, enjoy a walk or run and appreciate the fresh air and world around you (providing you are well enough to do so and not experiencing any symptoms).
With races postponed, club sessions cancelled and even parkrun being off until April, its easy to feel a bit lost. But having a clear calendar means you can have the opportunity to mix things up and try something new. Join a virtual race, keep up with friends on strava or Instagram or try making a fake parkrun- imagine rolling out of bed and a ‘parkrun’ starting right by your front door! Make a list of routes you’ve always wanted to run, or use it as an excuse to explore your neighbourhood. You could even try some strava art!
But what about if you want to do more than running? You can still ride your bike outside, although perhaps consider bringing your bike training indoors to avoid any unnecessary hospital visits if you have an accident. Turbo trainers and exercise bikes are great for indoor cycling and you can cycling with friends virtually via apps like zwift.
Feeling a bit lost or not sure where to begin? Utilise networks via your running club or draw up plans with your friends. You can schedule to do the same sessions at the same time (but not physically together!) then report back to each other afterwards. The internet is also a plethora of advice and help, especially instagram and YouTube. Many trainers are offering suggestions of sessions and with many gyms closing, lots are posting live classes on Instagram which you can join in, for example my favourite cycling studio Digme have a home schedule of workouts. You might even have chance to try something new and the best thing is you can do this in the comfort of your own home.
No weights, no problem. Body weight exercises are great too. Lunges, squats, planks, push ups can all be done without any equipment. Try a bench or step for some tricep dips or ‘box’ jumps. Or even dig out any old workout DVD’s that you might have buried in the early 00s. If you’re interested in some core exercises to help benefit your running you can check out my blog on core exercises which I prepared with the help of my Physio Lewis at Fit2Function Clinic in Covent Garden. Additionally factor in stretching time and rehab exercises. It might not be as easy to access physios etc so it’s important to take extra care of yourself- I use a Myomaster massage gun at home to compliment my training (I’m proud to be an ambassador for a small company too).
Plan your sessions throughout the week. Things are so uncertain at the moment and I think that is causing everyone a bit of anxiety. For now the one thing we can control is our routine and making time for movement. Not only is exercise good for our physical health but right now it will be a mental outlet for many people.
And beyond exercise, keep your spirits up by practicing some self-care, enjoy some pamper time, reading, listening to music, binge watching Netflix, jigsaws, board games, read some blogs, download a podcast, call your friends, tidy the junk cupboard you’ve been avoiding. I’ve found that not travelling into work has given me 2 hours back in my day, and I intend to make the most of this. Draw up a list of things you’ve always wanted to do but never made time for and start working your way through where possible.
Hopefully these tips all help you find some normality in amongst the COVID related chaos. I’m still unsure of whether my half Ironman in June will go ahead, but I’ve decided to crack on with my training and make the most of the situation.
Stay safe, wash your hands and sending you all positive vibes. And a very special thank you to our frontline heroes in the NHS, Police, Fire, keeping our shops open, our science happening and our country functioning.
Find many more tips and tricks from Becca on her website www.thisbunnyruns.com