Running in Lockdown

The UK has been in lockdown for 2 weeks now. It’s time for me to review how this has really affected my training. In the post I made the day after lockdown was announced, I said hadn’t been affected. Since then, a few things have changed.

A Cancelled Race

The first thing is that Race to the King, the double marathon in June I had signed up for, was cancelled. I genuinely believe that this was the right decision. Nevertheless, I am sad about it. Entries for this year have automatically been transferred to next year, and I fully intend to run it then. I will view the extra year of preparation time as an opportunity to get into prime shape and crush it next year!

On the other hand, not having the race in June takes the pressure out of the training. Silly me overdid it with the rope skipping a bit and twisted my knee slightly. As a result, I had to rest and just do some gardening and yoga last week. If the double marathon was still on, I’d have stressed about missing important sessions and miles. Now, I can just focus on letting it heal completely and then slowly build mileage again. 

Shifting the Focus

At the moment, the Ring of Steall Skyrace is still scheduled to take place in late September. I will revamp my training now with main focus on this event. This means I’ll work hard on vertical gains, very hard. 

Additionally, I have just signed up for the Montane Cheviot Goat ultra in December. This is a 55 mile/89km route with 2900m ascent through the most remote parts of the Cheviots in Northern England. I am quite confident that the lockdown will be over then. Plus, it’s nice to get to do another race this year! For that event, I will have to build up my mileage again. 

Trying to Build a Base

At the moment, I can only run on the Fife Coastal Path. It’s the path at the end of my garden and closest to my home. I feel blessed to have this at my doorstep, so I can still enjoy the beautiful Scottish coast. In the week, I can get out and run there pretty undisturbed. Boarhills doesn’t even have 100 inhabitants, so I might maybe meet someone walking their dog, but that’s it. 

These weekends, the picture is a little different though. From the house and garden, we can see quite a few people going on hikes along the coastal path. Most of them definitely don’t live here. They come driving here or to Kingsbarns and then go hiking, although the current rules specifically state no unnecessary travel and exercise from home. On these days, I stay away from the coastal path to keep social distancing up. It is a bit frustrating though. By ignoring the official rules and causing crowding on narrow paths like the coastal path, those people contribute to virus spread and put everyone’s health at risk. The longer they keep this behaviour up, the longer the lockdown will last. And no-one wants that.

Even on quiet days, I don’t want to stay out too long, which makes it difficult to actually get those very long runs in, that I used to do on weekends. I’ll try to maintain and extend my aerobic base fitness as much as I can in the current situation. I’m just enjoying relaxed runs in nature. Being out is very relaxing and helps to take my mind off everything. 

Staying Positive

Overall, I know my issues are a lot smaller than those of many other people, and I know how lucky I am. I’m doing my best to stay fit, and when everyone contributes their part, the lockdown will be over eventually. Then, I’ll treasure weekends out in the hills even more than I have done before. Until then, I’ll keep looking at maps and planning routes.

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