Armana Rai and Rachel Stringer share their motivation tips as lockdown restrictions begin to lift
Lockdown is lifting ever so slightly in the UK and people are once again are being allowed outside in public spaces, not just for exercise but to socialise outdoors with groups of friends and even travel further a field than their lockdown addresses. The question is what will this mean for all the newfound hobbies taken up during this period of isolation, or most interesting for us, what will happen to those who have acquired a love for running…?
Fear not! We have come up with some little tips to keep your running streak going and your motivation as high as it was when there was nothing better to do…
Invest in new training gear
It may sound cliché, but new gear can really boost your motivation. If you’ve got a speedy new pair of trainers to test out or some stylish kit to show off, you’re going to feel as great on the outside as running makes you feel on the inside. And that’s science (we’re pretty sure it is, anyway).
Funds are tight at the moment, but we’ve put together a list of this month’s fool-proof running gear so you can guarantee you’re making a good investment.
Get yourself a running buddy
Find a running friend and go on a socially-distanced run. This could be with someone who also found running in lockdown or a friend who caught the running bug years ago: either way, it will make your run so much easier and more sociable. Think of it like a catch up, but with the extra bonus of keeping fit, too.
In the long term, we’d recommend joining a running community or club as it’s a great way to meet likeminded people who will encourage and inspire you to shoot for your goals, whatever they might be.
Armana Rai: WR cover star, Under Armour runner and co-host of the Keep Running podcast
Follow some motivating runners on social media
Social media can be a very powerful and positive platform if used correctly. If you’re lacking motivation head on over to Instagram, have a little peak at what your favourite social media friends have been up to training wise and – ta dah – a new sense of motivation is found.
Here are our favourite Insta runners that’ll make you feel part of a supportive community. Despite their talents, none of them are intimidating, we promise!
Keep running as part of your routine. You made time for it during lockdown, so make sure you don’t forget to include it in your day/week as things start to change. Try and keep running at the same time that you used to run when lockdown was in full swing – if you usually run before you start your working from home day, wake up an extra half an hour early to run before work. We know, it sounds gross, but it only takes 30 days to form a habit and then the earlier mornings won’t seem so bad.
Rachel Stringer: Presenter, ex-international runner and co-host of the Keep Running podcast
Mix it up
On a Sunday night when you’re thinking about the week ahead, make sure you plan your runs for the whole week. The key here is to mix it up to keep it interesting! Admittedly, post-lockdown we might start to have a little less time on our hands, but by keeping your runs varied and interesting you can ensure that they are something to look forward to in your weekly routine rather than something to dread.
So what’s the best way to create that interest? Try adding in some tempo runs, or run to a specific location (I love to finish a run with coffee shop visit or meeting a friend). Another easy way to mix things up is by trying new routes. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you don’t end up stuck in a repetitive rut; you need to keep yourself interested to keep motivated.
Focus on that post-run high…
If you’re doing absolutely anything and everything to put off going for a run, whether you’re tired, too busy or just lacking in motivation, it really helps to remember that post-run feeling.
Just take a moment to consider how you’ll feel once you’ve completed that run. That post run high always outweighs any excuse not to run, so let those endorphins flow!
Armana and Rachel are the host of the Keep Running podcast, which you can listen to here.