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5 Tips For Running During Lockdown

With Christmas on our doorstep and some form of lockdown still present for most of us, getting out for a run is a fantastic way to stay fit – physically and emotionally. Here are our top 5 tips for getting the most out of running outside.

Headspace over Headphones

Being outside boosts one’s sense of wellbeing much more than an indoors workout. More than ever, we’re appreciating getting out on a run and really soaking up the sights and sounds. We really notice lower levels of aircraft noise, the smell of autumn, and family groups out on bikes or having a kick around. A great reason to ditch the headphones and soak up your surroundings.

Make it Count

Now is a good time to assess our running patterns and use our time wisely. We’ve certainly been guilty of “popping out for a half hour run” rather than planning more logically. A good three run week should consist of a tempo run (a bit slower than race pace); speed work (intervals) and a long run (nice and slow – 1 to 2 hours depending on your fitness and goals).

Be Safe, Be Responsible

Rules on social distancing vary round the world, but where you can run outside try to keep your distance from others. It helps to pick less busy times and routes. If you are working from home and can be reasonably flexible consider mid morning and mid afternoon. Similarly could you shift your Sunday long run to midweek? Time also to explore – give your favourite park or canal towpath a break and develop a few new route or even try a microadventure.

Keep a distance of 9 meters (not 2)

While maintaining a 2 metre distance may be sufficient for pedestrians, it is not enough for runners according to a recent study from Belgium and the Netherlands.  According to Dr Bert Blocken respiratory droplets travel further if a person is running.  If running with another person runners should either run alongside the other or in a staggered formation, rather than directly behind one another. The study recommends that runners maintain a distance of 9 meters.

Swap your long run for a microadventure

Be Sociable

For many of us community and friendship are a big part of why we run. So if you’re not already on Strava or equivalent now’s the time to start. Same goes for your running club. It's great to see where your friends are running, who’s putting in some sneaky extra training and general jockeying for position on the club leaderboard! You may like to join our Iffley Road Strava Club - we'd love to have you!

Enter a Virtual Race

Goal setting is also a powerful way to stay motivated during these difficult times and what better than to enter a virtual race or challenge. These are springing up almost daily, for example race organisers The Fix have launched "Through the Seasons December Virtual Run Challenge"  and FindARace, "The Great Reindeer Round-up Arctic Circle Challenge." Strava are offering the "December 4x4 Challenge."  And So let’s relish every run and be grateful that running can still be a constant in our lives.