Lowestoft Road Runner and very well respected athlete, Robert Cheverton on how he is keeping fit and motivated during this time…
Desperate times often call for desperate measures. This leads me to do something I’ve never done before and that’s write an article about running (still something my family proofed before I could even get the words fully on the page).
I read somewhere that all you need to go running are a decent pair of trainers (bought from Sportlink of course) and a door. In these times of lockdown, its sometimes really hard to open that door to get out and go for a run.
Reading posts from local athletes I know and can relate to are quite often the only motivation I need to lace up my trainers and get out. Running for Lowestoft Road runners (and any other club for that matter) gives me a sense of team spirit and hearing what everyone else is doing helps me to stay sane. The coaches post weekly training sessions and it is nice to keep in touch with club mates via Facebook to see how they are coping. Sometimes just a simple “hello!” (clubmate Darryl) helps to keep the morale up within our club, or “What are your most memorable races and proudest running moments?”(clubmate Luke) also gets people chatting and inspiring each other to get the trainers on again.
Virtual challenges like the Sportlink April 5k age-graded challenge (which I did think was an April Fools Joke at first) get your racing brains into gear once more. Even at my age of 63, I still want to give the youngsters (40 and 50-year olds) a run for their money.
Alternating between fast tempo runs and easy bike rides also help to keep my old legs from seizing up. These days my long runs are not that long, but I still enjoy the speed sessions even on my own during my one daily exercise to help keep a strong positive mental attitude going. A mixture of sessions, courses and terrain also helps to keep motivation high – try and find something new and exciting in each run or session.
Keeping a training diary also helps to get a perspective of how my training is going. For example, how my weekly mileage now compares to this time last year. Are the speed sessions I’m now doing comparable to last year? Is my alcohol unit consumption during lockdown more than my weekly mileage? (My wife and (adult) children often tell me all I do is drink and run; this was therefore an interesting comparison!)
All joking aside, my weekly mileage is not very high compared to my clubmates who need to keep getting the long runs in ready for the time when we can get out and race properly again, but this suits me. In these times, it is important to find what works best for you.
Racing 10k maximum distance for me has its advantages but it never seems to get any easier. If its not hurting, I’m not going quick enough! That is how I judge my races. Whatever standard you are the races are always important and once this lockdown is over, I hope to see plenty of old (and new) faces again on the local racing scene.
Stay safe. Keep fit and healthy. Have a beer!