And so, the lock-down and social distancing continues. It is all very strange. It is strange not seeing friends and family. It is strange having to totally adapt to a new way of working. It is strange not doing any travelling for work, something that became the norm last year. It is strange attending multiple meetings and delivering courses over zoom sessions.
Things I usually took for granted have changed dramatically – going to the shops, going to the pub with friends, and going to football.
One of the things I have been really impressed with is the way that communities have pulled together to support each other – whether this is in a practical or emotional sense. I really hope that this continues once we get back to a more ‘normal’ way of life.
As the lockdown has continued it has sometimes been a challenge to find ways of keeping oneself occupied – I’ve probably done more quizzes in the last couple of weeks than I have done in the last couple of years!!!! I need to read more though. A number of box sets on DVD have been watched yet again.
My ‘lockdown’ fitness challenge has kept me going and it is something I’ve been enjoying. I’m currently making my way along the Appalachian Trail. I had initially said I was only going to count my run miles in this but after doing the maths and looking at the distance I calculated it would take me around two years to complete!!!!! The app allows for any fitness activity to be included. As I’m also doing a few sessions a week on my indoor bike trainer I figured I might as well include these miles as well – after all it is training and it is keeping me fit. So to date (26 days since I started the challenge) I’ve covered 330 miles leaving just 1,638 miles to go. Looking on the map that plots the progress it can sometimes seem a bit daunting looking at how far I’ve got to go but that is all part of the fun I guess!
The runs and bike sessions are getting longer every week, so I’m determined to finish this as soon as I can.
With many races cancelled this year it has been good to have a goal to work towards.
I’ve noticed when I’ve been out running the number of people exercising – either running, walking or cycling. This is fantastic and I really hope that this continues once the rules around social distancing are relaxed, and we return to a more ‘normal’ way of life.
I’ve also noticed on social media the number of people that are taking up some of the virtual fitness challenges as well and it has been fantastic to see.
I like challenges and I enjoy having targets and goals to strive towards. I know for a fact that if I was just training for the sake of training my motivation levels would drop quite quickly as would my mood which would have an effect on my mental well-being.
It is amazing at the moment just some of the small things that people can and are doing, despite the huge challenges that the lockdown and social-distancing are bringing, to keep themselves occupied.
Until next time, keep well and stay safe, and remember those small changes each day can make a huge impact over time.
These are very strange times we are currently living in. We have all had to adapt to a different way of life and quickly. The things we considered to be normal and routine, things we didn’t even give a second thought about suddenly become things that are temporarily removed or changed in our lives.
I, like most, grumble a bit when change is suggested – it removes the normal and I question whether it is really a better way of doing things. Personally, I have had to adapt very quickly to the changes we have had to make. I can be a bit of a stickler for routine as well. So a new routine it was then.
Most of the races I had planned to do this year look like they are going to be cancelled or postponed. I didn’t see that as an excuse for not training though. We started the social distancing on Monday 23rd March, I started a new training schedule then. This was to get me into a routine where I’ve got something to focus on whilst working from home.
I’m still running and it is good to get out and do that still. The roads are much emptier and with fewer people about. It feels really strange running through places that are normally busy but are now deserted. I’m still doing sessions on the bike trainer as well.
I haven’t really been working to a plan other than being consistent and getting fitter – I didn’t really start with any goals or targets in mind if I’m being honest and that in itself has been strange. I’ve been clocking up the hours on the bike trainer and ticking off the miles whilst out running. I’m just coming to the end of my first 4 week block of training – I completed 22 sessions in 22 days which I was really pleased about.
At the beginning of the week I found a virtual challenge website which looked really interesting and after investigating further I decided to sign up to it. Some of the challenges looked pretty good on the site – you can clock up the distance by walking, cycling or running – cool. Never to do one by half measures I decided to sign up to do a virtual run of the Appalachian Trail in America. The total distance is 1,968 miles!!!!! That is the equivalent of running 75 marathons!!!! So every time I head out for a run now, I come back and enter my mileage onto the site and it moves me slowly but surely along the route on the map!!!! I’ve logged my miles from Saturday 4th April and have already completed a distance equivalent of 1 marathon – OK, 1 down, 74 to go – progress in the right direction. Wow! I have a target to work towards with my training which is fantastic. It is also keeping me focused and my motivation up now. Why the Appalachian Trail though? There were other routes on the site that I could have covered ‘virtually’ such as Lands End to John O’Groats, The Inca Trail, Hadrian's Wall, and Route 66.
Having an interest in ultra-endurance events the Appalachian Trail has been a course used by ultra-runners looking who can cover the distance the quickest. The record currently stands at a staggering 41 days!!!! I just thought it would be an interesting challenge to take on, I’m not looking to set any records, it is just to give me some focus and a target to aim for.
In these unprecedented times I think it is really important for our well-being to have things to focus on no matter how big or small. Set yourself a goal or a target and have fun doing.
Stay safe everyone.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.