5 Tips for sticking to a home workout routine for runners
Almost six months on from the first national coronavirus lockdown in the UK, a new tier system being introduced, followed by a very odd Christmas, we find ourselves here: in lockdown 3.0, at least that’s what the cool kids are calling it.
By this point, many of us are frustrated, upset, and wearing thin with patience in response to the new restrictions being introduced. However, as we all banded together multiple times before, government guidance once again requires us to follow strict rules to save lives and protect the NHS.
As a runner, or someone who enjoys their regular exercise, this is no doubt testing for both your physical and mental health, not to mention derailing your training goals and ambitions, and perhaps that new year’s resolution. To help keep you sane and moving during the third, and hopefully the last national lockdown, this article will provide you with five tips for sticking with a home workout routine or schedule for runners.
But first, let’s discuss the current restrictions and what you are and aren’t allowed to do.
The national lockdown is a whole lot stricter than the previous tier system that was put in place back in October. All people must follow the same guidance, whether you live in the city or the countryside. This new lockdown is an effort to reduce the strain on the NHS and the healthcare systems, reducing the virus’s spread and saving lives.
As it stands, according to the BBC News, current restrictions are as follows:
- Stay at home where possible (only leave your home for work (if you cannot work at home), essential shopping, exercise, or medical appointments)
- You may exercise once per day in your local area (this can be with your household or support bubble)
- Schools are closed except for vulnerable pupils and children of essential workers
- No households are to mix indoors or outdoors (unless this person or household is in your support bubble)
- Non-essential shops are also closed
- Pubs and restaurants remain closed except for takeaway food services
So, what do these restrictions mean for runners?
As a runner, you still have the option to run once a day as your daily exercise. Perhaps, if you have the luxury of having a treadmill or exercise bike at home, you could instead go for a nice leisurely walk to reduce stress and get some fresh air.
Related: 6 Best treadmill workouts for runners.
The same applies to home workouts. During these unprecedented and trying times, don’t let your training get the better of you. It’s okay if you’re not following your training plan to the tee, after all, the circumstances are far from ideal and somewhat out of your control.
With this being said, you can still maintain your current fitness, and if you do it right, become faster, fitter, and stronger during this third lockdown period. The remainder of this article will provide you with five tips for sticking with your new home workout routine, regardless of whether this is a strict regime of push-ups and sit-ups or a combination or daily runs and home strength training exercises.
Create a routine
Routines and habits are both very powerful. During this lockdown period, especially if you are now working from home or left at home to your own devices, you should create a routine. Adding structure to your day creates purpose and fulfilment, providing mental stimulation and motivation to get things done.
Most importantly, you should set a time you intend to perform your home workout or run and stick to this. If possible, plan your weekly routine ahead of time. This, too, increases the likelihood of you actually sticking to the routine.
Take it day by day
During these trying times, it’s essential to take it day by day. We all have days where we feel on top of the world, days where we’re down in the dumps, and days where we don’t quite know what to do with ourselves. These days will be more prevalent during this lockdown period, so know to expect and respect them.
For instance, if you’re not quite feeling that home workout or run, don’t force yourself to do so. We’re not saying ditch running and exercise entirely, but we are saying to listen to your body, your mind, and to prioritise your well-being over everything else.
Know that you’ll likely feel better after your run or workout
Lockdown or not, there are many times where you don’t feel like running or working out. However, once you push through this resistance and lace up your running shoes or pick up that first weight, you begin to feel better. Furthermore, once you’ve finished your session, you feel great; energised, happy, and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
The same applies to lockdown. If you’re having a particularly tough day, an outlet such as running or a home workout may just be what you need. So, before you think of skipping that interval session or gruelling home circuit, do your best to muster up the courage to get the job done.
Set yourself lockdown goals
All of us set goals in various areas of our lives, including work, relationships, hobbies, and, of course, running and general training. You should also set yourself goals during lockdown, whether that’s to become faster, maintain your current fitness, or get better at a specific exercise such as push-ups or pull-ups.
Goals help keep us on track of our progress, ensuring the motivation remains high and providing us with a reason to get out of bed in the morning or early afternoon (no judgement!).
Don’t be too hard on yourself!
Fifth and finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! As you may have discovered in both the first and second lockdown, no two days are quite the same – it’s super tough, draining, and emotionally exhausting.
You don’t need to exercise every day, but getting in a handful of sessions a week will undoubtedly help you feel better mentally and physically.
Sticking to a home workout routine for runners during the third national lockdown is no easy task. Use the tips outlined above to dominate this period spent indoors, coming out a better and stronger runner. Or, at the very least, remaining sane during these difficult times.
Finally, if you would like further guidance on how to remain consistent with your home workout routine, you can check out our article on 6 top tips for sticking with a training plan.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.