Everyone’s favourite route! Just in case you thought I took it easy on my solo runs. In my head I was still encouraging you all to regroup round the dog poo bin!
SE Fitness runner Kate Rose is a professional gardener and took me at my word when I asked for tips. Sharing her photo of a ‘host of golden daffodils’ here’s her top tip for the coming weeks.
“A welcome and cheery sight in spring, daffodils are looking good right now. When they start to die down, cut the flower heads off just below the seedhead but leave the foliage to die down naturally for 6 weeks, as the nutrients are needed by the bulb for next year!”
Ringing the changes today out mowing the front lawn! As John and I have now exhausted our gardening knowhow (jet wash the patio / mow the lawn) any gardening tips gratefully received!
With no more reasons (excuses) not to complete the chores (unfortunately) today’s activity…jetwash the patio. Not helped by our cheapo jetwash the spray is roughly the diameter of a knitting needle!
If you feel up to sharing photos of how you’re keeping active that would be lovely: email@example.com or 07788 628755.
This morning Joe Wicks workout in the garden with Little John! Put a smile on our faces and I hope yours too xx
Lovely morning for my daily exercise (anyone else’s heart lift a little at that one concession)? Railway path was quiet without us. Hope you’re all doing OK.
Having spent so many years espousing the virtues of running / walking with a group it’s rather strange to be writing a post on the benefits of going out solo!
The current Government advice is that you can go for a walk or run outdoors as long as you stay two metres than others. I know we miss being out together but I would urge all of you who are used to exercising outdoors to continue to do it for as long as it is considered safe to do so. It is great for your physical health but will do wonders for how you feel during this time of high anxiety.
The first thing to say is that you can do it, you will probably enjoy it and you’ll certainly feel loads better for it afterwards. I’ve heard lots of people saying ‘But I can’t go for a walk / run on my own’ – nonsense. I know you SE Fitness, we have trained together for years, you are much stronger and more resilient than you think. You’ve got this!
Take it easy – if you aren’t used to running or walking alone then this is not the time for ‘hard’ or ‘long’ workouts. Keeping active is good for your health and immune system but pushing yourself to your limits is not. Setting out for a gentle run or walk is much easier to face.
Start Slow – I think the main reason people don’t enjoy running alone is that they are anxious about it they ‘want to get it over with’ and set off too fast. Force yourself to go very steady for the first ten minutes, take it as a walk even, see how you are getting on and then increase the pace if you feel like it.
Stay Safe – Of course one of the reasons we prefer being with the group is that it feels safer. Choose your route carefully and stick to well lit, popular areas. Be confident and make sure you know where you are going. Carry a noise maker such as an alarm or whistle. Only wear headphones if you can still hear what is going on around you (or wear one headphone).
Be in the moment – One of the beauties of being out on your own whether walking or running is that you are much more aware of the environment around you. You can tune in to the signs of Spring unfurling after the long, wet winter. Enjoy the wind, the rain and the sunshine. Listen to the birds singing. Nature is amazing and you are part of it.
Tune in to your Leaders – We may not be with you in person but your SE Leaders we are with you in spirit! If you’re finding it hard, relax into your breathing and remember what we would say! “Walk tall” “No hands in pockets” “Run tall and light on your feet” “Small steps up the hill” “Use your arms” “All downhill from here” “Nearly home”. We’ve talked before about finding your mantra: “The next four yards” “Counting to 100” all this stuff works.
Listen to music / Listen to podcasts – As long as you can do so safely many runners find music or listening to podcasts really helpful on a lone run or walk. What’s your favourite track to run to? What’s your best podcast to listen to while you run? Message me and I’ll share your recommendations.
Warm Up and Stretch – Completing the warm up and stretch at the end is part of our SE Fitness routine. If you stick to these routines it will help you feel in the right mindset for your lone run as well as helping to keep you safe from injury.
I hope you find my tips helpful in the coming weeks but remember, I want you to enjoy your solo runs and walks but I don’t want you to enjoy them too much!
Today is the first day of Spring and it’s bloody ironic that after all the crap weather we have endured together over the last few weeks this weekend, when we can’t get together as a group, looks set to be sunny and fair.
To look on the bright side it makes it much more tempting to get out for a solo run or walk or indeed to head out with our families or dog. To those of you who are having to stay inside because you are isolating then I hope you get to enjoy the sunshine from your garden, balcony or just through the open window.
The Guidance on Social Distancing currently says ‘You can go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others’. You can check the latest guidance here: Social Distancing.
We should count ourselves fortunate indeed that we live in the leafy suburbs and therefore have a choice of places we can get to locally to enjoy some time outdoors. Sutton Park, Newhall Valley or Pype Hayes park are in easy reach for many of us. As are local Nature Reserves Hill Hook and Park Hall. Please note with it being a sunny weekend lots of folks are likely to be tempted out so try and choose a quieter time of day.
Spring is my absolute favourite season and you don’t have to go far to enjoy the blossom on the trees and the new life unfurling on trees and hedgerows. Listen out too for the birdsong – perhaps it’s because the skies are quieter but I’ve noticed it much more this year.
In a short driving distance Cannock Chase, Kingsbury Water Park and RSPB Middleton Lakes are all open to give folks access to the outdoors. National Trust are working hard to keep Coast and Countryside open although check their website because they feel they may need to restrict access to smaller parks and gardens to adhere to Government guidelines on mass gatherings.
Whatever you do remember all cafes, visitor centres and similar attractions are highly likely to be closed so you might want to pack a picnic! Also remember to pack your phone and take a photo. Share it with me and I’ll try to keep the SE Fitness social media filled with happy, sunny photos.
It’s been a week of turmoil and unsettling change for all of us. Be thankful for the sunny weekend and whether you get out for a ‘safe’ walk or run in one of our local parks or just sit quietly in the garden with a cup of tea and a biscuit I hope you can let your mind relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
It’s been totally inspiring to hear over the last few days how important SE Fitness is in your lives. It’s a comfort to hear that SE Fitness has brought people together, helped forge lifelong friendships and provided a sense of belonging. I feel your pain and I appreciate how, now more than ever, you feel the need of that support network.
However having taken the extremely difficult decision to close SE Fitness, my lovely business, I would beg you all to support that decision and not to arrange to meet other runners and walkers at SE Fitness HQ.
I totally get that we all consider ourselves to be low risk and perhaps feel the measures being taken by the government are excessively draconian. I can only say I hope they are! I look forward to having a drink with you at the summer social and wondering what the heck this has all been about! How wonderful when we can all get back together again, what a party that will be!
I didn’t take the decision to protect us, although several of our older members do fall into the high risk category. I decided to close SE Fitness to avoid ‘non-essential social contact’ and help keep numbers with the virus to a minimum.
It wasn’t through lack of bravery on my part! I’d happily keep going if the risk was mine and yours but that’s the tricky thing with this Coronavirus isn’t it? The brave thing to do is not keep going out and carrying on. The brave thing to do and the right thing, according to our government, is to face the prospect of isolation. To separate ourselves from our friends and family.
We are not trying to protect ourselves. We are trying to protect NHS workers, police officers and other front line staff. Just imagine for one moment that you do get it bad, or your mom gets it bad, or your runner / walker friend gets it bad……
You will want them to be able to get in an ambulance, get a bed in hospital and have nurses and doctors to care for them. You want police on the streets to keep us safe just in case there’s rioting over the bog roll!
At SE Fitness alone we already have one ambulance driver at home really poorly with suspected Coronavirus and two police officers and a GP in 2 week lock down. If this is already happening to the people we know how much strain are our emergency services under?
The great news is that we are all at liberty to head out for a walk or a run. We can do so with our families or on our own perfectly legitimately as long as we respect the social distance rule (2 metres). We are so fortunate to live in the leafy suburbs with Sutton Park, Newhall Valley and green fields on our doorstep. If I honestly thought we could run/walk on the trails in Sutton Park or on the pavements as a group but keep 2 metres apart I would have kept us going believe me.
It’s the first day of Spring and the weekend forecast is gorgeous so do please do get out there and enjoy it. I know we miss SE Fitness, me most of all, but please support me and follow the government advice. Let’s protect our friends in the NHS, police and other support services just in case we or a loved one might need them.
Much love from me,