The Running Lockdown! – How do we find motivation?
Earlier this year, after taking several months off running, I decided to start over again. My goal, to run the Great North Run for another year, but this time on behalf of the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Supporting BHF means a lot to me as my mother was diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of 30 shortly after I was born. For more information or if you would like to sponsor me, please see my JustGiving page.
To kick-start my new running journey this year, I took part in the first-ever leap day parkrun and a local race at night called Dash in the Dark. The next stop was the Bath Half Marathon, which I deferred from the previous year when still recovering from a fractured fibula.
In March, the COVID-19 pandemic had just started to hit the UK, and race organisers started to cancel events. Fortunately, the Bath Half went ahead, albeit a little controversial. With limited training, I managed to run/walk my way to the finish line. A week after the Bath Half, the UK went into full lockdown and still remains this way until further notice. However, we are allowed one form of outdoor exercise per day, per person and must adhere to social distancing and government guidelines.
Have the restrictions we all now live under affected us?
Like everyone else’s running during this global pandemic, mine has taken a step back somewhat. I am struggling to find my rhythm in the running lockdown and the new normal.
So what about our training? What do we do now? How do we find the motivation to run with races cancelled?
I run to challenge myself, for my mental health, to have a focus and goal. Additionally, I enjoy the positive atmosphere surrounding running, the social aspect and feeling that goes with it.
To find some motivation, I came up with the idea to complete mini-challenges. As a mark of respect to the NHS frontline workers, I decided to run every street in my local parish. What I like to call; ‘painting Hazlemere blue’! To complete this endeavour, I travelled 53 km split into seven runs.
At the same time, I joined the ‘FindaRace Plan-B‘ virtual challenge and took part in the ‘Run for Heroes‘. These initiatives raise money for the WHO Covid Solidarity Response Fund and the NHS Charities Together, respectively.
Another virtual run for motivation I have recently signed up for the brand Runr ‘Miles for Mind’ challenge to spread the message that #MentalHealthMatters. Just £13.95 to take part and run a total distance from 25-200 miles in May. All profits go to the charity Mind, and for completing the challenge, you receive a fantastic medal! :-) #runningbling
With everyone struggling a little with the new lockdown regime, I shared a few of my own ideas to support solo running and keep the fun in the run…’Running Bingo‘ and ‘The Runner’s Journey‘ challenges to generate training tasks, running activities, and also a ‘Social Distancing Virtual Group Scavenger Hunt‘. If you have been reading my blog, you may have already seen these.
When sharing my ideas to social media, Running Bingo featured on ‘Up and Running’s’ Instagram story, on ‘Running Cards UK’ main Instagram page/feed and also commented on by Running Heroes UK!
Also, it was lovely to see my ideas getting liked by popular running brands. For example (not in any particular order);
- Asics FrontRunner – worldwide ambassadors of movement
- Up and Running – the nationwide running specialists
- Running Cards UK – the greetings cards and gift specialists for those mad about running
- The Running Channel – the YouTube channel for runners
- Running Heroes UK – a free website and app that rewards you for running with exclusive discounts and prizes
- Racecheck – the UK & world race and race review finder
While we are all missing our running friends and running clubs, why not join one of the various challenges to have a focus and a goal to complete. Perhaps draw some Strava art on one of your runs, play a bit of street name bingo, or try one of my ‘Keep the Fun in the Run Series’ challenges.
Together we can get through this. Stay safe! Duncan
@runiversitylife #runiversityoflife #runiversitylife