Sorry, I’ve been really quiet on here for a while. It took me a few weeks to get used to the new way of living when the UK lockdown was announced, plus as a journalist this has been a really busy time for me work-wise. With so much going on, updating this blog got pushed to the back of my to-do list, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to invest more time on it from now on.
This has been a really difficult time for us all, but there has been one good thing that has happened since the lockdown – I’ve been running more. In fact, during April I ran the most miles in a month since last summer. Not only have I been running more, but I’ve also been enjoying my runs much more than I did before all this happened. In some ways, I think taking the pressure off preparing for races or hitting certain mileage and pace has helped me to fall back in love with running just for the sake of running.
Saying this, there have been times over the last seven weeks when I’ve also struggled to get out for a run. On these days I’ve had to search a little harder to find the motivation to run, so I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve been able to motivate myself to run during lockdown and without having a specific race to train for.
Create a routine
Having a routine and finding the best time of day to run has been one of the key ways that I’ve been able to run a lot more during lockdown. At first I was running after I’d finished working from home. This worked for me at the beginning of the lockdown, as I found that after being inside for so long I was desperate to get outdoors for a run. But as the daylight hours increased and more people were outside in the evenings, I began to find running at this time stressful and started to find excuses to not run as much. Last week, I switched my runs to the morning, which has helped me to enjoy running again as the streets are quieter and I love running at this time of day.
Mix up your runs
Although I love running, I’d quickly get bored doing the same route at the same pace everyday. Instead I’ve been mixing up the types of runs I’ve been doing, for example doing speed work on one day and an easy five miler the next. I’ve also changed my routes as much as I can while still staying close to home. These have helped me to add variety to my runs and have helped to stop me getting bored with running almost everyday.
Add in cross training
It’s really hard to add cross training into my weekly workouts at the moment. Luckily I have been able to do conditioning workouts at home and I’ve been doing yoga almost everyday, plus I’ve added in walks to my workout plan on days I haven’t been running. Normally, in the pre-lockdown world, I would cross train a lot to stop myself from getting bored and would often add swimming, cycling, rowing, weightlifting and gym classes to my workout plan. As this isn’t possible right now, I’m finding being able to mix up my workouts even a little bit is helping to keep me motivated.
Focus on why you’re running
Since the lockdown I’ve been much more relaxed about my runs and have focused more on running for my mental health and to get outdoors and exercise rather than training for a specific distance or time. This has helped to take me back to why I first fell in love with running. I originally started running as a way to get outdoors more and destress from a hectic and stressful job. I’ve found that by reconnecting with why I enjoy running has helped me to want to get outside and run more, even on days when it’s cold, raining and staying indoors is more tempting.