As a runner, I am always faced with new challenges which require me to adapt in order to persevere and reach my goals. Maybe it is starting a new training block, learning a new skill to improve my technique or over coming a setback. In the last number of weeks, we as a community, a country and a nation have all faced a new challenge in the form of COVID-19. These recent happenings have challenged us all in more ways than one and as member of the Athletics community, we have all had to change both our attitude to training and the way in which we train. Many of us had a season of ambition and goals set in place, but now we have to clear our race calendar and adapt to what we can do right now in order to stay safe, unite together and help to overcome the challenge of COVID-19.

Training - #RUNSAFE

 We as a sporting community are fortunate in the sense that we can still practice our sport. The main message is to adhere to the HSE guidelines, to keep your distance and practice safe running. With everyone now running solo or in a group of 2 while abiding to the 2m distancing guideline, this transition can be difficult for those who have spent years training in group settings with your coach and training facilities available all year round. So, what can you do now, to ensure you #RUNSAFE , whilst following the HSE guidelines?

  • Run in safe areas that are not populated by too many runners/ walkers or an area where you can # KEEPYOURDISTANCE.
  • Always wear hi- Vis clothing to ensure you are visible to traffic.
  • If you live in a rural area, map out a few routes, show them to those in your household and tell them which route you are taking before you leave for your run.
  • Have your phone fully charged and bring it with you, so you have someone to call in the case of an emergency.
  • If you are running with one other person, ensure you #keepyourdistance of 2m and sanitise your hands before and after the run.
  • If you have a coach, check in with them regularly via phone facetime or WhatsApp. This is a confusing time for us all, so it’s always good to get extra advice or just have a chat.
Maintaining motivation.

Maintaining motivation for training and activity can be a difficult factor for many people. Now that we are training solo and staying home, many of us are experiencing low motivation and drive, but what can we all do now to ensure we use our time wisely, in order to be as productive as possible each day towards keeping active?

1. Reframe your mindset

Many runners and athletes have faced the reality of their goal race being cancelled this summer. This doesn’t mean that all your hard work has gone to waste. All the sessions and miles will be put to good use, we just must wait a little while longer. So have a chat with your coach, get some advice and put a plan in place. If we reframe our mindset to the current situation and focus on maintaining fitness and enjoying training, when the time comes, we will be refreshed and ready to race again!

2. Group Training via facetime/ google hangouts.

We are all fortunate to live in a world with lots of technology. Facetime and google hangouts have kept us all in touch with our friends and family. Lots of athletes and coaches are now doing live workouts on their Instagram and other social media platforms. Whether you want a full body workout or a yoga session after your solo run, there are endless opportunities to workout in a group setting while staying socially distant at home. Members of our team here in AAI have produced videos and PDFs of different circuit training workouts which are excellent in improving mobility, strength and stamina. For more tips and advice visit…/recreational-running-tips

3. AAI Virtual Run group #ACTIVEAAI

Just because we don’t have any races, this doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself some challenges. AAI have set up a nationwide campaign with online initiatives to help keep everyone motivated, inspired and in touch with the Athletics community. The AAI virtual running group is on Facebook and Strava, with weekly challenges for us all to complete wherever we are. This may help you stay motivated towards your training when social distancing. The details can be found HERE

We aim to inspire you, to motivate you and to unite us all while adhering to the HSE guidelines. Facing into the coming months, we are all united in the sense that we all face a similar challenge, yet we all have our own unique challenges.

For me right now, I can simply enjoy the outdoors and take a run in its purest form and simplicity while Running safe. I can spend time with family. I can work on my other passions in life, all while staying home and social distancing myself to save others. Over the coming weeks, our aim in AAI is to help you all #STAYSAFE while maintaining your activity. So, keep up to date on our advice, tips and inspiring stories through our various social media platforms.

For now, let’s support each other, maintain a firm positive outlook and adapt to this challenge in order to overcome and expand ourselves in more ways than one.


Click HERE for the latest HSE guidelines.

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